10 Mexico Players Who Could Be Big Hits in Europe

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

10 Mexico Players Who Could Be Big Hits in Europe

0 of 10

    Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

    Little by little, Mexico has had more and more presence in Europe thanks to the continuous improvement of the local league.

    El Tri’s performance at the 2005 Confederations Cup and the 2006 World Cup opened the floodgates so that several footballers could leave the country to start a career abroad.

    Those tournaments set the basis and lifted the hopes of hundreds of footballers who had dreamed of playing in the world's best leagues.

    In the past decade, the Mexican Football Federation has put a lot of resources and hard work into the next generations; this has already given El Tri great accomplishments at the U-17 and U-20 FIFA World Cups, and the Summer Olympic Games.

    Let’s take a look at 10 players who could have a shot at succeeding abroad.

10. Jesus Escoboza

1 of 10

    Ross Setford/Associated Press

    Age: 21

    Position: Midfielder

    Team: Santos Laguna

    Jesus Escoboza started his career in the youth system of Santos Laguna, where he debuted professionally when he was 18 years old.

    He plays in the left sideline as a winger, giving depth and creativity to the team. He knows how to get into the box and shoot from close-range with his well-educated left foot.

    He has already scored with the Mexico national team in a friendly against Finland.

9. Rodolfo Pizarro

2 of 10

    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    Age: 20

    Position: Midfielder

    Team: Pachuca

    Rodolfo Pizarro may not be very well known but he has already been capped for El Tri and has become a thriving force for Pachuca's offense. In the 2014 Clausura he has been an undisputed starter.

    Although he is a natural midfielder, Pizarro can also play as a right-back, thanks to his ball control, and he can be a threat if he joins the attack due to his speed and endurance.

    He is the kind of player who can adjust to different positions easily without compromising his performance.

8. Miguel Ponce

3 of 10

    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Age: 24

    Position: Defender

    Team: Toluca

    Miguel Ponce is no stranger to international competitions as he was part of Mexico's U-23 team in 2012.

    He proved to be a very skillful left-back, providing speed, creativity and accuracy to the team, which gave him the coach's trust quickly.

    Since he arrived in Toluca, Ponce has gone back to his old self. He unbalances the rivals' defense and feeds balls to the attacking zone in style.

7. Isaac Brizuela

4 of 10

    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Age: 23

    Position: Midfielder

    Team: Toluca

    Isaac "El Conejito" Brizuela is a very aggressive midfielder who finishes plays from outside the box but who has no fear stepping into it to face the keeper.

    He can shoot with both feet and his dribbling skills are very impressive. He usually plays from the left but can also work coming from behind the strikers.

    Brizuela is one of the most complete players in the local league and also one of the most promising ones.

6. Oribe Peralta

5 of 10

    Hannah Peters/Getty Images

    Age: 30

    Position: Striker

    Team: Santos Laguna

    There is absolutely no doubt that Oribe Peralta is one of the best strikers in Mexican football right now.

    He is a late bloomer but his experience and goalscoring knack could be very valuable for a mid-table club.

    Peralta was recognized as the 2013 CONCACAF Player of the Year after being Mexico's top scorer, with 11 goals in nine appearances.

    "El Cepillo" can shoot from inside or outside the box, his aerial game is superb and he is a great passer.

5. Rogelio Chavez

6 of 10

    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    Age: 29

    Position: Defender

    Team: Cruz Azul

    Rogelio Chavez has played for Cruz Azul, Pachuca and Atlas since he made his professional debut in 2004. 

    In the 2014 Clausura he took advantage of Gerardo Flores’ injury and has become Luis Fernando Tena's first choice ever since the start of the tournament.

    Like many defenders of the local league, Chavez can help the offense with his long runs through the right flank, but his signature is his fine touch, as he can send accurate crosses to the box or put the ball away in free kicks.

    He is a bold defender who doesn't settle and is not scared of one-on-one challenges.

4. Alan Pulido

7 of 10

    Ed Zurga/Getty Images

    Age: 23

    Position: Striker

    Team: Tigres

    Alan Pulido came onto the scene with his superb performances with Mexico's U-20 squad.

    His long stride and speed help him leave defenders behind easily. Add dribbling skills, the ability to shoot with both feet and a flawless aerial game and you have one of the most lethal strikers of the Liga MX. 

    Pulido's best chance to show the world what he is capable of will be the World Cup and do not be surprised if he doesn't return to Mexico.

3. Miguel Layun

8 of 10

    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Age: 25

    Position: Defender

    Team: Club America

    Yes, he has already had an experience abroad, when he played for Atalanta in the 2009/2010 season.

    At that time Miguel Layun lacked maturity to assume the challenge, but things are different now and he has proved to be a very resourceful full-back.

    He can work in both flanks with the same level of compromise and success. He is fast and accurate, two abilities he takes advantage of when he runs all the way to the goal line. 

    Layun is the kind of man who assists like very few players on the pitch can.

2. Marco Fabian

9 of 10

    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Age: 24

    Position: Midfielder

    Team: Cruz Azul

    After his successful 2012, Marco Fabian was on the radar of several clubs. However, he couldn't keep up and all rumors ended.

    This season, he arrived in Cruz Azul after six years with Chivas. The loan has been quite a success.

    Fabian is the top Mexican scorer of the 2014 Clausura, with six goals to his name. He had not put the ball away that many times since the 2011 Apertura, when he had a total tally of eight goals in 18 appearances.

    He is a fantastic attacking midfielder who provides flexibility and creativity to the attacking zone. He knows how to keep the ball and pass it when one of his teammates has a better chance at scoring.

1. Carlos Pena

10 of 10

    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    Age: 23

    Position: Midfielder

    Team: Leon

    Carlos Pena is one of the most talented midfielders we have seen lately in the Liga MX.

    He can take over the center of the pitch with authority, becoming a great link between the defense and the offense.

    However, it is in the attacking zone where he can make a real difference. His fitness and vision let him create plays and work in tight spaces easily.

    He knows how to keep the ball and to push the defenders into their own box, leaving his teammates unmarked, which means more scoring opportunities for his squad.