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Rediff.com  » Sports » Penpix of Mexico's World Cup squad

Penpix of Mexico's World Cup squad

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May 29, 2006 18:43 IST
Mexico's squad for the World Cup finals in Germany comprises the following 23 players: (Statistics up to and including May 24 2006)

GOALKEEPERS

1-Oswaldo Sanchez (Guadalajara) Born 21.9.73 Caps: 68 Goals: 0

After playing second fiddle to Jorge Campos in 1998 and Oscar Perez four years later, Sanchez has finally established himself as the regular first choice. Superb in the Confederations Cup last year and conceded only five goals in the 12 qualifiers in which he played.

12-Jose de Jesus Corona (Tecos UAG) Born 26.1.81 Caps: 6 Goals: 0  

Relatively small for a goalkeeper, his excellent reflexes have made him the number two choice. Has dispensed with the eccentric approach favoured by such goalkeepers as Jorge Campos. Played in the Athens Olympics. Won the first five of his caps last year.

13-Guillermo Ochoa (America) Born 13.7.85 Caps: 1 Goals: 0

Has edged out Moises Munoz for the spot as third-choice keeper. Made his debut against Hungary in December.

DEFENDERS

15-Jose Antonio Castro (America) Born 11.8.80. Caps: 10 Goals: 0

Castro played five times for Mexico in 2003, was overlooked during 2004 but got another chance as coach Ricardo La Volpe searched for an alternative to the banned Salvador Carmona. Plays on the right side of defence.

22-Francisco Rodriguez (Guadalajara) Born 20.10.81 Caps: 31 Goals: 1

Gangly defender and Guadalajara product, "Maza" is one of a number of young players to have established themselves as seasoned internationals under La Volpe. Generally plays on the right of a three-man defence. Helped his club to reach the Libertadores Cup semi-finals last year. Has won all his caps in the last two years.

5-Ricardo Osorio (Cruz Azul) Born 30.3.81 Caps: 37 Goals: 1

Has quickly established himself at the heart of the defence after making his debut in the Gold Cup match against Brazil in 2003 and has been almost ever-present since, playing in the World Cup qualifiers and Confederations Cup.

4-Rafael Marquez (Barcelona, Spain) Born 13.2.79. Caps: 65 Goals: 7

Only the second Mexican footballer, after Hugo Sanchez, to make the grade with a major European club by being an integral part of Barcelona's Spanish League and Champions League winning team. Excellent timing in the tackle and distribution when bringing the ball out of defence means he can play as a central defender or midfielder.

Playing for his country sometimes brings out a temperamental streak. Made his debut in 1997 but missed the 1998 World Cup, he was notoriously sent off in the 2002 second-round defeat by the U.S.  

3-Carlos Salcido (Guadalajara) Born 2.4.80 Caps: 30 Goals: 2

Another of La Volpe's finds, the previously little-known Salcido has become a regular on the left side of a three-man defence, playing in eight of last year's 10 World Cup qualifiers.

Lots of pace, strong in the tackle and comfortable on the ball. Also played in Guadalajara's Libertadores campaign last year.

2-Claudio Suarez (Chivas USA, U.S.) Born 17.12.68 Caps: 176 Goals: 6.

The world's second-most capped player, Suarez played at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups but missed out in 2002 after breaking a leg a few months before the finals. Has also played in five Copa America tournaments but little used by La Volpe. Joined Chivas USA at the start of this year.

MIDFIELDERS

8-Pavel Pardo (America) Born 26.7.76 Caps: 124 Goals: 6

Team captain. Possesses a fierce right-foot shot and usually plays in a defensive midfield position. Has been at America since 1999, having started his career with Atlas and making a one-year stop at UAG. Played in the 1998 World Cup but missed out on 2002.

16-Mario Mendez (Monterrey) Born 1.6.79 Caps: 32 Goals: 1

Right-sided defender or midfielder who played in two friendlies in 2000 but then had to wait three years for an international recall. Won half his caps last year as he enjoyed an extended run in the team including the Confederations Cup. Raised at Atlas, he joined Toluca in 2004 before a move to Monterrey earlier this year.

6-Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul) Born 30.4.79. Caps: 54 Goals: 2

Hard-tackling midfielder who has returned to Mexico after a tour of several Spanish clubs. A key player in the 2002 side, he then spent two years out of the team before being recalled in 2004 for the friendly against Costa Rica.

23-Luis Perez (Monterrey) Born 12.1.81 Caps: 51 Goals: 8

Attacking midfielder who made his debut as a 17-year-old in the 1998 friendly against El Salvador, but added only five more appearances between then and the end of 2002, missing out on both the 1998 and 2002 World Cups. Has become a regular under La Volpe, who admires his neat skills and ability at set pieces.

14-Gonzalo Pineda (Guadalajara) Born 19.10.82 Caps: 26 Goals: 0

Left-sided midfielder or full-back and another La Volpe discovery, who had barely played any professional matches before being called into the 2004 Olympic squad. Is now a regular for both club and country. Recently moved from UNAM to Guadalajara.

11-Ramon Morales (Guadalajara) Born: 10.10.75 Caps: 44 Goals: 5

Left-footed player with plenty of pace who effectively plays as an old-fashioned winger. Also possesses a powerful shot and scored the winner in the 2004 Copa America match against Argentina with a virtuoso free kick. Joined Guadalajara in 1999 after starting his career with Monterrey.

7-Antonio Naelson "Zinha" (Toluca) Born 23.5.76 Caps: 30 Goals: 4

Brazilian-born attacking midfielder who moved to Mexico in 1997 without having made an impact in his homeland, now married to a Mexican. Became the first naturalised player to score for Mexico in the 3-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago in 2004. A regular fixture during the qualifying campaign and last year's Confederations Cup.

20-Rafael Garcia (Atlas) Born 14.8.74. Caps: 51 Goals: 3

A controversial choice, Garcia has been picked despite indifferent recent form. The fact that he is La Volpe's son-in-law has added to the controversy. Included in the 2002 squad and made a brief substitute appearance against Italy. Has been in and out of the team since his debut in 1996.

18-Andres Guardado (Atlas) Born 28.9.86 Caps: 7 Goals: 0

Left-sided player with outstanding pace and ball skills. Made his professional debut for Atlas in September and needed only three more months before being given his Mexico debut against Hungary.

FORWARDS

17-Jose Francisco Fonseca (Cruz Azul) Born 2.10.796 Caps: 28 Goals: 19

Speedy striker with a powerful shot and yet another to be blooded by La Volpe. Scored four goals in the 5-2 win over Guatemala to finish the qualifiers with a tally of 10. One of the main reasons why UNAM won both back-to-back Mexican championships in 2004 before joining their arch-rivals Cruz Azul at the start of last year for a $3-million fee.

9-Jared Borgetti (Bolton Wanderers, England) Born 14.8.73 Caps: 74 Goals: 37

Mexico's all-time leading scorer, a mark he achieved during last August's 2-0 win over Costa Rica. Penalty-area specialist, strong in the air, who has been knocking in the goals regularly at club level but has come to international prominence late in his career. Played in all four of Mexico's matches at the 2002 World Cup, scoring twice. Has had a frustrating time at Bolton, being reduced to a bit-part role with few starting opportunities.

10-Guillermo Franco (Monterrey) Born 3.11.76 Caps: 5 Goals: 2

Mexico's other naturalised player but unlike Zinha he moved to the country only in 2002 from Argentina's San Lorenzo and La Volpe's decision to pick him aroused huge controversy. Scored on his debut in the 5-2 win over Guatemala and set up two other goals for Fonseca.

19-Omar Bravo (Guadalajara) Born 4.3.80 Caps: 31 Goals: 7

Penalty area specialist and a useful reserve for Borgetti and Fonseca. Top scorer in the Clausura championship, held in the first half of 2005, with 12 goals and also netted six times as his club reached the Libertadores Cup semi-finals. Made his debut against Bolivia in 2003.

21-Jesus Arellano (Monterrey) Born 8.5.73 Caps: 67 Goals: 7

Dribbling specialist who likes to play wide. Played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups and is still being considered for a third finals even though coach La Volpe did not pick him throughout 2005 or in the early part of this year.

Source:
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