Ranking the Top Mexican Footballers Abroad This Season

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2013

Ranking the Top Mexican Footballers Abroad This Season

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    Little by little we see more Mexican footballers in Europe. This season 10 players are trying their luck in Spain and England, but not all of them have had their big break yet.

    Javier Hernández and Guillermo Ochoa are just two of the players that have proven to belong. Others, like Aníbal Zurdo and Ulises Dávila, are working hard to get a chance with a top-class club.

    From goalkeepers to strikers, these men have represented El Tri in top competitions, such as the Olympic Games, the World Cup and more.

    Let's see where the top Mexican footballers rank this season. 

Honorable Mention

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    There are three talented players giving their best, but it has not been easy. They could easily give the Liga MX a try, but have decided to keep trying in Europe.

    Jonathan dos Santos

    Giovani's brother started playing for Barcelona B in 2009. He is a skillful footballer that can play as a defensive or central midfielder.

    As of this season, Jona is a member of Barça's first team; however, he has only played once. 

    The last time he was capped with the national team was in February 2012 in a friendly against Colombia.

    Ulises Dávila

    He started his career with Mexican club Chivas, where he debuted in 2009. Dávila was a striving force of the U-20 squad. He scored twice in the U-20 World Cup, and in the U-20 CONCACAF Championship he was El Tri's top scorer with four goals.

    A week after the World Cup final, Dávila signed with Chelsea, becoming the first Mexican to commit with the Blue Devils. However, he was loaned to Dutch club Vitesse and this season he is playing with Sabadell from Spain's second division.

    Aníbal Zurdo

    This 30-year-old was born in Mexico to Spanish parents. He has dual citizenship and has stated that he would love to play for a Mexican club and later for El Tri (via msnmediotiempo.com).

    He is Ulises Dávila's teammate and Sabadell's second best scorer this season with nine goals.

7. Javier Aquino

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    He is the most recent Mexican to arrive to European football. At age 23, Javier Aquino has already won an Olympic gold medal and has become an undisputed player with the national team.

    Aquino left Cruz Azul, one of the country's top clubs, in January. He debuted with Villarreal, a second division team, on February 17 and has played eight games, six of them from the start.

    So far, Javier has a 69 percent passing accuracy, has won 15 fouls and conceded five.

6. Andrés Guardado

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    Andrés has not had a walk in the park since he joined Valencia. His brightest moments this season have come with El Tri.

    Guardado has played 3,148 minutes and has yet to score with Los Che. After 45 games, the Mexican midfielder has managed to make three assists. He has been an unused substitute twice.

    However, his performance with the national team has been different. In 15 matches he has one goal, one assist and he has not missed a game (he only came on as a sub once, in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina).

    His speed and accuracy with long-distance shots make him one of the best Mexican players, but he needs to overcome the setback he's in if he wants to keep playing in one of the best teams of La Liga.

5. Héctor Moreno

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    One of Mexico's finest defenders is Héctor Moreno. The résumé of this 25-year-old includes eight seasons in Europe, a Dutch championship, a Dutch Super Cup and being named Player of the Year (2011-2012) of his current club, Espanyol.

    Moreno has appeared 28 times in La Liga this season and has scored twice. He has a powerful header and is a great passer; his accuracy rate is 77 percent.

    He has become one of the most reliable men of José Manuel de la Torre and has worn the captain armband repeatedly.

    His physical attributes are his biggest advantage. He has a lot of strength and is very quick, and has emerged as the leader of the Mexican backbone.

4. Giovani Dos Santos

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    The last time Gio played more than 20 games with a single club was in the 2007-2008 season when he was with Barcelona.

    After bouncing from team to team, dos Santos is back to playing regularly with Mallorca. He has appeared 19 times in La Liga and three in the Copa del Rey for a total of 22 matches.

    Giovani is the kind of player that can solve a game with one play. He is fast and creative, characteristics that set him as an unbalancing footballer. No wonder why he has scored six times and made three assists so far.

    His talent has also been useful with El Tri. At the World Cup qualifier (semifinal stage and Hexagonal), Gio has played 340 minutes and has started each of the six games he has appeared in. 

3. Guillermo Ochoa

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    It took Guillermo Ochoa seven seasons to leave Mexico. Since 2011, he has been Ajaccio's starting goalkeeper.

    At age 27, Ochoa has played two seasons with the French club, which named him Player of the Year (2011-2012).

    The Mexican has had a stellar year so far. Lately, he saved a fantastic try by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and rejected a penalty kick from Bafetimbi Gomis of Olympique Lyonnais.

    He was also capped for the Hexagonal, which was another positive for the Mexican keeper. The last time he appeared with the national team was in September 2012 in a friendly match.

2. Carlos Vela

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    In his second season with Real Sociedad, Carlos Vela has made a huge impact. He's scored 13 times, including the club's 3000th goal, in 2,215 minutes.

    After the 2005 U-17 World Cup Vela signed with Arsenal; however, the youngster did not get many chances to play and was loaned to Salamanca, Osasuna, West Bromwich and Real Sociedad.

    With the Txuri-urdin, Carlos has proven to be a lethal striker. He sits second all-time among Mexican scorers in Europe with 49 goals, 25 of them with Real Sociedad.

    Unfortunately, Vela has declined to play for El Tri. The first time he rejected a call-up, the team was getting ready for the 2012 London Olympics; then he decided to avoid the Hexagonal.

1. Javier Hernández

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    Chicharito has scored 16 times in 1,883 minutes, which means that he nets one every 117 minutes. In the first half of the season, Hernández was considered the most lethal striker of the Premier League.

    Javier has started 20 games, while Carlos Vela has 26 La Liga starts. Chicharito has three more goals to his count and trails his fellow countryman by one in the all-time ranking of Mexican scorers in Europe.

    Another thing to consider is that Javier competes with Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck to get a chance to play. His teammates are also key figures of their national teams.

    Chicharito has also had good performances with El Tri. During the third round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifier, he was Mexico's best scorer (three goals). In the Hexagonal, he is the only Mexican who has found the net for his team.


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