Friday, December 10, 2010

Five Mexicans wonderkid who could make a big impact over the coming years.

There is a feeling that Mexican football has never really fulfilled its potential.  With a football-mad population of 111 million people, it is surprising that the 1999 Confederations Cup victory has been the greatest achievement for the national team to date.

Although Mexico have qualified for fourteen World Cup finals and would have played in every tournament since 1986 had it not been for a ban in 1994, two quarter-final appearances as hosts in both 1970 and in 1986 is the furthest that they have progressed.

However, the current squad, under the guidance of Jose Manuel de la Torre shows signs that it could develop to take Mexican football to a level never before achieved.  Today's stars include Javier Hernandez who has made an instant impact at Manchester United and Arsenal youngster Carlos Vela .

However, there are plenty more where that came from.  We take a look at seven Mexicans who could make a big impact over the coming years.

Hernandez, nicknamed Chicarito, has been an instant hit at Old Trafford since his summer move from Chivas Guadalajara . He is without a doubt a natural striker.  Although he lacks the physical prowess and strength that is often associated with the Premier League, Hernandez more than makes up for it with pace, movement, anticipation and excellent eye for goal, somewhat reminiscent of Old Trafford team-mate Michael Owen.

Chicarito has already announced his arrival on the international stage.  A ratio of a goal every two games for Mexico included World Cup strikes against France and a memorable goal against Argentina.  He is set to spearhead Mexican hopes for many years to come.

It is easy to forget that Carlos Vela is only 21-years-old.  Signed by Arsenal aged 16, he has yet to secure a first-team slot with the Gunners, but time and indeed talent is certainly on Vela's side.  Pacy and alert, Vela is at his best breaking through on goal.  He is another diminutive striker with excellent control and good movement.

Vela has again been limited to brief appearances for Arsenal this season, although he has scored twice against Shakhtar Donetsk and once against Bolton.  Yet, he is already a very experienced international, with 33 Mexico caps to his name.  There is every chance that he will add very many more

Dos Santos is another player yet to really prove himself in North London.  He hasn't really had a look-in at Tottenham since his £4.6million move from Barcelona two years ago, although he wasn't helped by an ankle injury. Dos Santos was loaned out to Ipswich Town in the second half of the 2008/2009 season, and then to Galatasaray last campaign. 

Despite his failure to make an impact at Spurs, the 21-year-old was one of Mexico's best players at the World Cup and perhaps one of the most impressive attacking midfielders in the entire tournament.  Dos Santos boasts excellent technique, explosive acceleration and an ability to dribble past and beat players. 

 He can be an enormous threat to any defence and has the potential to provide the ammunition for Hernandez and Vela in a potentially lethal Mexico attack. 

Guardado moved to Deportivo three years ago, becoming the most expensive Mexican player in history.   He has since then been a regular in Spain's Primera Division ever since, proving to be a critical player for Miguel Angel Lotina's side.  His main attributes are pace and agility.  Guardado has excellent energy and is able to cover a lot of ground up and down the left wing.

Very capable of beating players, he likes to get into shooting range from where he is characteristically a dangerous threat on goal.  He is also regarded as something of a dead-ball specialist.  Such is Guardado's ability, that he was linked with an expensive move to Manchester United over the summer, following an impressive showing at the World Cup.

Like Hernandez and Vela, Fabian is a product of Chivas Guadalajara .  Although he is yet to make his international debut, there is every reason to expect that Fabian will join his two Chivas predecessors in the Mexico national side.

He boasts tremendous speed and great technique in addition to impressive ball control. He is a very agile player with characteristic nimble footwork who is capable of dribbling past opponents with ease. As such, he is an entertaining player to watch and usually deployed wide on the left, he relishes taking on defenders, who find it difficult to keep up with his footwork.

Fabian helped Chivas reach the 2010 Copa Libertadores final and is currently enjoying an excellent season.  It may not be long until he provides serious competition to Andres Guardado for the left wing spot in the national team.

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