Why Jesus 'Tecatito' Corona Is the Next Big Thing for Mexico

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2015

Mexico's Jesus Corona during the Under-20 World Cup Group D soccer match between Mali and Mexico in Gaziantep, Turkey, Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
Gero Breloer/Associated Press

Jesus Manuel Corona has been making a lot of buzz in the Eredivisie lately, which couldn't come in better time for the Mexico national team.

Tecatito started his career with local club Monterrey and quickly became one of the players to follow. He made his first division debut at age 17, in August 2010, as a starter.

However, he didn't appear again until the next year, as a sub versus San Luis. Corona wasn't a regular player with the senior team, but he was instrumental at the youth level.

He quickly made the U20 national team and attended the Milk Cup (2011 and 2012), winning the latter. Corona also appeared in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship (where he scored three times), the 2013 Toulon Tournament and the U-20 World Cup.

His success with El Tri allowed him to secure a spot with Rayados' senior squad. In the 2012 Apertura, he made 12 appearances, while in the 2013 Clausura he played 13 times and scored once.

He also participated in the 2012 FIFA World Club Cup, where he netted twice.

All of the above proved that he was one of the most promising youngsters in the country, but like many, he was at risk of being left aside due to his age.

It's not uncommon in Mexico that a bright crop of footballers, like those who won the U-17 World Cups in 2005 and 2011, fade away due to the lack of opportunities in the Liga MX clubs.

Some have locked jobs in the first division, but only a handful are making an impact on the pitch.

Corona was one of those talented footballers who could have been lost among the bureaucracy and "pacts" in Mexico.

Instead, he decided to leave the country, which back then didn't seem to be the best option for him, not because he didn't have what it takes to make it big overseas, but because history has taught us that very few Mexicans make long and successful careers in Europe.

Most of the players abroad sit on the bench, until they eventually decide to return to the country, where they'll not only appear every week, but also will make more money.

So back to Tecatito, the winger signed a four-year deal with Dutch club Twente in August 2013, just three years after his professional debut.

Corona joined the second division squad, but he managed to appear 15 times with the senior team. Although he only started three of them, he put the ball away twice.

He also created three goal opportunities, all of them through the center of the pitch and had 80 percent of pass accuracy, for a total of 138 completed passes.

For the current season, Corona was fully promoted to the senior squad.

He has appeared 23 times in the Dutch league and has already scored more goals than in any other tournament in which he has competed, with a total tally of seven.

Mexico coach noticed the winger's efforts and talent quickly, and called him for the November friendlies (Netherlands and Belarus).

Corona made quite an impression against the Dutch. He assisted Carlos Vela for Mexico's second goal, just one minute after he stepped onto the pitch.

Tecatito's consistency with Twente has enhanced his already impressive skills. He started his career as a forward for Monterrey but eventually moved to the midfield.

His speed and dribbling skills make of him a very elusive footballer who provides depth to the team, which results in goal opportunities.

He is used to playing on both flanks, although lately he has appeared more on the right.

His fine touch allows him to shoot from outside the box or pass the ball to his teammates when they have better scoring opportunities.

Overall, Corona is a complete footballer. He is young (22 years old), he is playing on a regular basis with a European club and his talent is undeniable.

It's been a very long time since we've seen a Mexican footballer with his assets.

Carlos Vela and Giovani dos Santos were two of the most promising players back in 2005, but the lack of playing time with their respective clubs hurt them deeply at a young age.

Yes, they recovered and are now key members for their teams, but imagine what they could have achieved if they had played regularly.

Corona needs to stay at Twente and continue to develop his skills.

He will be instrumental for Mexico starting in the summer, either in the Copa America or the Gold Cup. But looking into the future, expect this kid to impress in the 2018 World Cup.

All stats appear courtesy of Squawka and MedioTiempo.com.


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