Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mexico Greatest All-time 23 member team

Confederation Cup 1999
This is my all-time team for MexicoIf there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  

 Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Mexico successfully hosted a WC in 1970, but it was Hugo Sanchez who put Mexico on the football map.  He starred for Real Madrid in the 1980's and led "El Tri" to the quarterfinal of the WC in 1986. In 1990's, Mexico enjoyed a period of successes.  They first reached the Final of Copa America in 1993, followed by great runs at the WC in 1994 and 1998.  In 1999, they won the Confederation Cup. In 2000's, Mexico also did well, but expectations are much higher.  They managed to win the Gold medal at the Olympics.

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  The team is not an All-Star team. I tried to be as realistic as possible.   A few of the players are selected for tactical reasons at the expense of more famous players.

GK: Jorge Campos
Known for his colorful attire and his stint as a forward for his club team.  He was the most iconic footballer of his generation. He played in two WC Finals(1994 and 1998) and won the 1999 Confederation Cup.  He was capped 130 times.  He played mainly in Mexico, but also in the MLS.

GK: Antonio Carbajal
He was the first player to play in 5 WC Finals from 1950 to 1966.  That record was equaled by German player Lothar Matthäus in 1998 and by Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in 2014.  He was capped 48 times.  He spent most of his cub career with Leon.
Antonio Carbajal
GK: Oswaldo Sanchez
Oswaldo Sanchez played in three World Cup Finals in 1998, 2002 and 2006, earning 99 caps. He was voted the best keeper in Mexico for 7 times. He spent the majority of his career with Guadalajara and Santos Laguna.

RB: Gustavo Pena
He was the captain of "El Tri" at WC Finals in 1966 and 1970.  He earned 80 caps. He played for nearly twenty years in the Primera División de México with Oro, Cruz Azul, Monterrey and Club de Fútbol Laguna.

RB: Ricardo Osorio
Osorio played with Cruz Azul before going to play in Germany.  He was the starting righback for Stuttgart when they won the Bundesliga in 2007.  He played with them from 2006 to 2010.  He was also a key player for Mexico at the WC 2006 and 2010.

CB:  Claudio Suarez
Nicknamed "El Emperador".  He is the Mexico's cap record holder with 178(second in the world).  He went to three WC Finals, where he had a big role in 1994 and 1998.  In Mexico, he played with UNAM Pumas, Guadalajara and Tigres.  He also joined Chivas USA in the MLS.
Claudio Suarez
CB:  Guillermo Sepúlveda
Sepúlveda played in 1958 and 1962 World Cup Finals.  His career was associated with Guadalajara.

CB:  Jesus Del Muro 
During his career he played for CD Atlas (1954-1965), Veracruz (1965), Cruz Azul (1966, 1971) and Toluca (1969, 1973).  He had 40 caps and appeared in three WC Finals for "El Tri": 1958, 1962 and 1966.

CB:  Rafael Marquez
He is one of the best players in Mexico's history.  He started his career with Atlas before moving to play in Europe, notably with Monaco and Barcelona.  He was the first Mexican to win the European Champions' League. He is the first player ever to captain his national team in four consecutive World Cup Finals, captaining Mexico in the 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014.
Rafael Marquez
LB: Carlos Salcido
Carlos Salcido played 124 times for Mexico.  He played in three World Cups: 2006, 2010, 2014.  He was a part of the Mexican team that won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.  He started his career with Guadalajara. He also found successes with PSV Eindhoven, Fulham and UANL.  

DM/LB:  Ramon Ramirez
Ramon Ramirez was a left winger and attack midfielder for his club, but a leftback for Mexico.  He was one of Mexico's most capped players.  He played in both 1994 and 1998 WC Finals.  He spent his club career in Mexico and in the United States.  His best years were spent with Guadalajara.
Ramon Ramirez

DM: Raul Cardenas
Cárdenas played for C.D. Guadalajara, Club Deportivo Marte and Puebla F.C., before joining Zacatepec for 10 seasons.  He played in three WC Finals: 1954, 1958 and 1962. He is best remembered for the being the coach for Mexico in the 1970 World Finals.

DM/CM: Pavel Pardo
He spent most of his career playing with Club América and is the second most capped player for Mexico. Pardo participated in two World Cups (1998 and 2006), won two CONCACAF Gold Cups and won the FIFA Confederations Cup with "El Tri" in 1999.  He was voted the fifth best player in the Bundesliga in 2007 when he won the league with Stuttgart. 

AM/CM: Manuel Negrete
Best remembered for his bicycle kick goal in Mexico 1986.  He had 57 caps. He was also one of the first Mexicans to play in Europe when he moved to Sporting CP in Portugal and then, Sporting de Gijon in Spain.  In Mexico, his main club was UNAM Pumas.

ST/RW: Luis Garcia
Luis Garcia started his career with UNAM Pumas.  He went to Spain and for Atletico Madrid and then, Real Sociedad.  He played in the WC Finals in 1994.  He also went to France 1998, but did not see any action.  He had 79 caps.

AM: Alberto García Aspe
Alberto García Aspe was an icon of the 1990's.  He played in 3 World Cup Finals from 1994 to 2002, earning over 100 caps. García Aspe played for UNAM Pumas, Necaxa, Argentine club River Plate, América, and Puebla.  His career with River Plate was very short. 
Alberto García Aspe
FW:  Salvador Reyes
He was Chivas de Guadalajara's all-time top scorer with 122 goals. He was the last member from the club to win Campeon de Goleo (Goal scorer champion) until Omar Bravo won it on April 28, 2007. Played in three World Cups: 1958, 1962 and 1966.

AM:  Luis de la Fuente
He is the first Mexican player to play in four countries (Mexico, Spain, Paraguay and Argentina).  After he played in the WC in 1934, he went to play in Spain with Racing Club de Santander.  He also played with Club Atlético Corrales in Paraguay and Vélez Sarsfield in Argentina.  He was widely considered to be one of Mexico's greatest players.

FW: Cuauhtemoc Blanco
He was part of the squad at France '98, Korea-Japan 2002 and South Africa 2010.  He won the Silver Ball and the Silver Shoe awards in the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup. He is tied with Ronaldinho as the all-time leading Confederations Cup goalscorer.  He is also remembered for the Cuauhtemiña (also spelled Cuauhteminha), or Blanco Trick, which he performed notably at the 1998 World Cup.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco
ST: Luis Hernandez
 Known by his nickname "El Matador", Luis Hernandez was among the top scorers at France 1998. He was also Mexico's highest scorer in the WC Finals.  He was twice named Mexico's Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998. Hernández played with Querétaro F.C., Cruz Azul, C.F. Monterrey, Necaxa, Club América, UANL Tigres, CD Veracruz, and Chiapas in Mexico. He had a very unproductive stint with Boca Juniors.  He also played with LA Galaxy.

ST: Javier Hernandez 
He began his career in 2006, playing for Guadalajara, before becoming the first Mexican player to join Manchester United in July 2010. He spent the 2014–15 season on loan to Real Madrid, and then moved permanently to Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.  At the time of writing, he has over 80 caps for Mexico.
ST: Horacio Casarin
An icon in 1940's and 1950's.  He was Atlante's greatest player.   He also played for Necaxa, Leon, Asturias, Club América, Real España, CF Monterrey and Zacatepec in his country, as well as FC Barcelona in Spain.

ST: Hugo Sanchez 
He was considered to be the best Mexican player of all-time. He is remembered for his career in Spain where he played for both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.  He won 5 straight Pichichi title in Spain.  With Real Madrid, he won five consecutive league titles (from 1985-86 to 1989-90), the Copa del Rey in 1989, and the UEFA Cup in 1986.  The team was the dominant team in Spain during the 1980's.

Hugo Sanchez 
Honorable Mention
Guillermo Ochoa, Gerardo Torrado, Zague, Benjamin Galindo, Enrique Borja, Carlos Hermosillo, Jared Borgetti, Jesús del Muro, 

Squad Explanation
-- Until in recent years, Mexican players tend to stay home and play in their domestic league.  Hugo Sanchez is the greatest ever Mexican footballer. He was one of the few players before 2000's to play overseas.  He made a big impact while playing in Spain. 
-- A lot of people considered Jorge Campos overrated, but he was the most recognized Mexican keeper in history with his colourful uniforms. He is probably the most famous Mexican player after Hugo Sanchez. I would create controversy by putting him as the number 1 keeper for this team.  Antonio Carbajal also held the World Cup record for playing in the most Finals, but only the history buff would know.
-- Blanco helpe Mexico to win the Confederation Cup in 1999, the highest honor for Mexcico.  I also selected him for his "Blanco Trick".  He added "fun" to the game of football. I see this as a "contribution" to the game.
-- Mexico's performance in big tournament is very steady.  They do not have any golden team.  Their best result might be the Confederation Cup in 1999.  The Gold Medal at London 2012 was also very big.
-- I took Luis Garcia over Benjamin Galindo. 
-- Mexican goalkeeper seldom made an impact playing in Europe.  Guillermo Ochoa is a rare case.  He has potential to be among the greatest. 
-- Javier Hernandez is one of the few Mexicans to have played for a big club.  He played with both Manchester United and Real Madrid, but he had both up and downs with the two club. He kept both Jared Borgetti and Carlos Hermosillo out of the team. Both Borgetti only and Hermosillo played a handful of domestic games outside of Mexico.
-- Manuel Negrete was remembered for his half-volley goal in the 1986 World Cup Finals.  He was not just known for that goal.  He also was one of the few Mexicans to play in Europe in that generation.

Starting lineup
Formation 4-2-3-1  
Blanco could move up and play as a secondary striker behind Sanchez. Ramairez normally played leftback for Mexico, but I pushed him to the midfield where he could provide more width to the attack.