Ranking Mexico's 10 Greatest Wingers

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2014

Ranking Mexico's 10 Greatest Wingers

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    Mexico have been a team whose attack through the flanks has been ruled by talented and creative wingers and midfielders.

    These players have had the ability to become not only playmakers but also finishers, giving El Tri and their clubs unforgettable moments in tournaments as important as the World Cup, the Confederations Cup and the Summer Olympics.

    Some of these footballers have left Mexico for Europe, others have stayed in the local league, and no matter their decision, they have all caught the fans' and media attention. 

    All advanced stats appear courtesy of FEMEXFUT (in Spanish), unless otherwise noted. 

10. Missael Espinoza

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    Missael Espinoza played with El Tri from 1990 to 1995, during this period he appeared in 41 international games and scored once.

    Espinoza made Miguel Mejia Baron's 23-man squad for the 1994 World Cup but didn't play.

    In his club career, Espinoza represented Monterrey, Guadalajara, Leon, Necaxa, Queretaro and San Jose Clash; overall, he netted 97 goals between 1984 and 2003, when he retired.

    Espinoza was a quick midfielder who took over the right flank, either to attack or help the defense when they were in distress.

9. Pablo Barrera

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    Pablo Barrera established himself as one of El Tri's most unbalancing players in 2009, when he played in the 2009 Gold Cup.

    Dubbed Dinamita for his explosiveness through the right flank, he played in the 2010 World Cup and made his latest appearance in the 2013 Confederations Cup.

    His brightest tournament with El Tri was the 2011 Gold Cup, where he scored three times, including a brace in the final match against the United States.

8. Fernando Bustos

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    Fernando Bustos played for Mexican clubs Cruz Azul and Atletico Espanol, but it was with La Maquina where he became a player to follow.

    Bustos played in the 1968 Summer Olympics, making a huge impact for the local team, as he was a fantastic playmaker and finisher.

    Although he never made it to a World Cup he had fantastic dribbling skills and enviable speed, which combined with his elusiveness set him as a threat to any team.

7. Manuel Manzo

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    Jose Luis Lopez, Manuel Negrete and Manuel Manzo
    Jose Luis Lopez, Manuel Negrete and Manuel ManzoManuel Negrete's Twitter (@manuelnegrete22)

    Manuel Manzo owned one of the finest touches any Mexican has ever had.

    He represented six clubs in his 12-year career, including Chivas de Guadalajara, UNAM and Tigres. Manzo was a very creative player, who could command an attack from the center or the last third of the pitch with the same success.

    He played in the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, where he scored once. With the senior team he received his first call in 1982, five years before he announced his retirement.

6. Isidoro Diaz

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    Isidoro Diaz was a flexible footballer who could score on a regular basis, despite not playing as a forward, his natural position.

    He could make the difference in the score easily, although his ball distribution, lethal passes and intelligence to create plays were some of his most praised skills.

    Chololo, as he is known in Mexico, was part of Chivas de Guadalajara during the Campeonisimo era, where he secured 15 titles, seven of those in the local league.

    He played in three World Cups (1962, 1966 and 1970). In Chile 1962 he scored Mexico's first goal against Czechoslovakia.

5. Braulio Luna

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    In his golden days, Braulio Luna was a key player for Pumas, where he spent four years. Although Club America signed him after France 1998 he never showed the same level as with UNAM.

    It took him three years to go back on track, basically because he joined Necaxa, where he appeared regularly and ultimately became a thriving force again.

    Luna was a very complete footballer, who could play in either flank but he was a real threat in set pieces, due to his aerial game, and in long-distance shots.

    With Mexico he played in two World Cups France 1998 and Korea-Japan 2002.

4. Ramon Ramirez

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    MOISES CASTILLO/Associated Press

    Ramon Ramirez made his professional debut in 1988 with Mexican club Tepic.

    He quickly caught the attention of the press and moved to Santos Laguna two years later. During his time with Los Guerreros he proved his worth in the left flank.

    Ramirez was not only fast, he had fantastic dribbling skills, which helped him unbalance the rivals. He was also a flexible footballer who could play as a left-back.

    With Mexico he appeared 121 and scored 15 times.

3. Jesus Arellano

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    Jesus Arellano was one of the most lethal footballers in Mexican football.

    He used to run all the way to the goal line, from where he could get into the box or send a cross, always threatening the rivals.

    Arellano had a powerful long-distance shot. His gifted right foot was one of his most valuable assets. It wasn't odd to see him standing outside the box in corner kicks waiting to take his chances.

    He wore Mexico's jersey 69 times and played in the 2002 World Cup. He scored seven times with El Tri, one of them at the 2001 Copa America.

2. Ramon Morales

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    Ramon Morales played in Mexico's promotion league two years with La Piedad before signing his first Primera Division contract with Monterrey.

    His most successful period in the local league came with Chivas de Guadalajara where he spent 11 years. Ramoncito appeared 467 times and netted 70 goals.

    Morales used to play in the left flank, but he could very well cut into the center of the penalty area to inflict danger to the opponents.

    With Mexico, he played 55 games, including two World Cups (2002 and 2006)one Confederations Cup (2005) and three Copas America (2001, 2004 and 2007).

1. Andres Guardado

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    At age 27, Andres Guardado is already an stalwart of the national team, having played 106 games, including three World Cups, one Copa America and three Gold Cups.

    He is a very elusive player who can shoot from outside the box, pass accurately and create spaces for his teammates.

    He left for Spain in 2007, just after helping El Tri secure the third place at the 2007 Copa America. By that time, he was the most expensive Mexican, as Deportivo La Coruna paid €7 million, as confirmed by FIFA.com.

    His experience has allowed him to perform in different positions; he currently plays for Bayer Leverkusen as a left-back and has been instrumental with Mexico in Brazil 2014.