Blanco Retires From International Football As Mexico Defeat Canada

ThomasSenior Writer ISeptember 10, 2008

Mexican striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco announced his retirement from international football Wednesday, as Mexico defeated Canada 2-1 in a 2010 World Cup qualifier.

Blanco had made his intentions known before the match, in which he went on in the closing moments for Fernando Arce to make his 100th appearance for the national team.

The 35-year-old, who scored 34 goals in 100 appearances for Mexico in his international career, admitted he would have liked to make his final appearance at famed Azteca stadium, but said it was time to make way for younger players.

"The decision was already made," he said to reporters. "I'm content. I believe that my time in the selection is done," said the talented player who is beloved by Mexican fans.

Blanco made his debut for Mexico on February 1, 1995, in a friendly against Uruguay.

He played in two World Cups, in France in 1998 and South Korea and Japan in 2002, and helped Mexico win the Confederations Cup in 1999. The Mexican MVP in 2004 and 2005 joined the Chicago Fire in April of 2007.

Second-half goals from Omar Blanco and Rafael Marquez gave Mexico the points in Tuxtla Gutierrez. Ali Gerba replied for Canada, who have taken one point from three games in third stage Group Two. 

Bravo headed Mexico ahead just before the hour following a cross from the right from Ricardo Osorio, and Blanco increased their lead with another header in the 73rd minute.

Gerba headed Canada's reply after Oswaldo Sanchez misjudged Iain Hume's cross.

The gifted but volatile Blanco came on for the last two minutes and found time to get booked for diving in the penalty area before making the announcement to the Televisa network after the final whistle. 

Mexico top the group with a maximum nine points, all from home games. Sven-Goran Eriksson's team also won both legs of a preliminary round tie against Belize.