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Coach
Javier AGUIRRE
01.12.58
Mexico coach since April 2009
Nicknamed El Vasco, he played in the 1986 World Cup and was sent off in the quarter-final defeat by West Germany. In his second spell as national coach, having taken the team to the 2002 finals, he took over when Sven-Goran Eriksson was dismissed.

Goalkeepers
Luis MICHEL
21.07.79
Chivas
2 caps (0 goals)
Third choice keeper for his entire career until a series of injuries at Chivas finally handed him the starting spot three years ago. He hasn’t looked back ever since, winning a spot in the Mexican squad only a few months before the World Cup. Solid and talented, he lacks the international experience to be a starter.

Guillermo OCHOA
13.07.85
America
32 caps (0 goals)
The America young prodigy is considered one of the best of the continent. Agile, fast and charismatic, he should be starting in goal for el Tri in the opening match despite a series of mistakes with club and country that have prompted some fans and critics to demand he be dropped.

Oscar PEREZ
01.09.73
Jaguares
46 caps (0 goals)
A veteran of two World Cups who seemed to be on his way to retirement until Javier Aguirre asked him to return to the national team as he pondered if Ochoa was ready. Will be the third choice keeper and his calmness and good spirits will be more helpful off the pitch than in it.

Defenders
Paul AGUILAR
06.03.86
Pachuca
3 caps (2 goals)
Attacking right-back with a lot of upside, but lacks the experience to be a factor in South Africa.

Efrain JUAREZ
22.02.88
Pumas
2 caps (0 goals)
An up-and-coming right back, who has been prompted by Aguirre as one of the surprise players in the World Cup. A member of the U17 World Champions in 2005, he failed to make the grade in Spanish Football. Came back to Mexico and hasn’t stopped improving. Can play as an anchorman was well.

Jonny MAGALLON
21.11.81
Chivas
48 caps (3 goals)
A very consistent defender, with good man-marking skills but poor in the air. He has remained in the Mexican set-up for the last four years despite the managerial merry-go-round. He’s not expected to be a starter but he might play a role if Mexico needs to preserve a lead.

Rafael MARQUEZ
13.02.79
Barcelona (Spa)
88 caps (10 goals)
The team’s captain and its most emblematic player. He seems to have lost a step with Barcelona this season but is still an essential player for the Mexican set-up. One of the most technical centre backs in the game and a very intelligent player, he’s often criticised for losing his concentration with the national team.

Hector MORENO
17.01.88
AZ (Hol)
4 caps (0 goals)
Member of the team that won the Under-17 World Cup in 2005. He moved since then to Holland and has been in very good form with AZ, prompting interest in Spain and France. He’s a rare breed of centre-back, mixing physique and technique. He’s still inexperienced, though, and will be a substitute in South Africa.

Ricardo OSORIO
30.03.80
Stuttgart (Ger)
71 caps (1 goal)
Versatile defender, who played as a libero and right-sided centre-back in Mexico before becoming a right-back when he moved to Stuttgart. After three very good years in Germany he was on the bench this season. Was Marquez’s partner in the qualifiers and should keep his place in the World Cup despite his slight frame.

Francisco RODRIGUEZ
20.10.81
PSV (Hol)
37 caps (1 goal)
He seemed to be out of favour with Aguirre until a fantastic string of performances with PSV Eindhoven made the manager reconsider his position. He’s a very tall centre-back, something lacking in the Mexican squad. He suffers with fast strikers, although he has corrected the concentration mistakes that plagued him at the beginning of his career.

Carlos SALCIDO
02.04.80
PSV (Hol)
69 caps (6 goals)
A very physical and fast defender who, despite being right-footed, has always played as a left centre back or a left-back, the position he actually holds at PSV and the Tricolor. His fantastic physical tools make him a very good marker but he suffers with the ball at his feet and his passing is suspect.

Jorge TORRES
16.01.88
Atlas
4 caps (0 goals)
Dynamic left-back who rose into prominence quite recently. Torres Nilo is nicknamed “El Pechu” because of his prominent ribs, from pechuga meaning chicken breast.

Midfielders
Pablo BARRERA
21.06.87
Pumas
13 caps (3 goals)
Spectacular right winger, who should move to Europe after the World Cup. He has impressed with Pumas in the Mexican League in the last two years and plays an important role in the National squad as a second half sub thanks to his speed and devastating long-range shot. A player to look forward to.

Adolfo BAUTISTA
15.05.79
Chivas
32 caps (9 goals)
Talent-wise, this mercurial playmaker should have played in the last two World Cups, but he has character issues and fell out first with Aguirre and then with Lavolpe. After shedding 10 kilos and impressing with Chivas this season he seems to have put his inner demons to rest, and was rewarded with a second chance by Aguirre.

Israel CASTRO
20.12.80
Pumas
26 caps (1 goal)
A cultured player on and off the field. He’s Torrado’s technical counterpart in the middle of the pitch and has a tremendous long range shot, that he usually triggers in the most important matches. Was first called by Hugo Sanchez and has kept his spot ever since. He should be a starter in South Africa.

Giovani DOS SANTOS
11.05.89
Galatasaray (Tur)
20 caps (5 goals)
This electric winger has been one of the most important players for the Mexican side despite failing to make the grade at Barcelona and Tottenham. He’s supremely talented but off-the-pitch issues and a certain lack of consistency have hampered his progress. The Mexican fans expect a lot from him in South Africa.

Andres GUARDADO
28.09.86
Deportivo La Coruna (Spa)
40 caps (7 goals)
The Depor winger is considered one of the best foreign players in the Spanish League outside the “top four”. He’s fast, technical, has great vision and a storming long range shot. He’s very injury-prone though and that has raised doubts over his fitness in the World Cup.

Gerardo TORRADO
30.04.79
Cruz Azul
107 caps (6 goals)
One of Aguirre’s proclaimed “three marshalls” alongside Marquez and Blanco. He’s a no-nonsense anchorman in the Genaro Gattuso mold. He had a successful time in Spain with Tenerife, Sevilla and Racing before moving back to Mexico to captain Cruz Azul. He’s a sure lock in the Mexican World Cup starting XI.

Forwards:
Cuauhtemoc BLANCO
17.01.73
Veracruz
110 caps (38 goals)
Mexico’s best player in the last 15 years is ready to make his final bow in South Africa. After being forced into international retirement by Sven Goran Eriksson, he was recalled by Aguirre and was key in the qualifiers. He seems to have lost a step since then, and has looked slow and sluggish in the last friendlies.

Guillermo FRANCO
03.11.76
West Ham United (Eng)
20 caps (6 goals)
This Argentinian-born forward will play his second World Cup with Mexico after Germany 2006. He started his career with San Lorenzo, made his name in Monterrey and has enjoyed successful stints in Europe with Villarreal and West Ham. He’s a technical player, more suited for a support role than to play alone up front.

Javier HERNANDEZ
01.06.88
Chivas
4 caps (4 goal)
Potentially, he’s the best striker to have come out from Mexico since Hugo Sanchez. He hasn’t stopped scoring since being handed a first team spot at Chivas last year and his streak continued with the National team. He’s, fast, intelligent and a fantastic finisher – qualities that made Manchester United sign him before the World Cup started.

Alberto MEDINA
29.05.83
Chivas
49 caps (2 goals)
Medina made his professional debut for Chivas on August 8, 2000 at only 17 years old, and won an award for most promising player “The great Mexican hope” some years ago that has failed to fulfill his potential but remains a decent right winger. Nicknamed by fans as El Venado (The Deer).

Carlos VELA
01.03.89
Arsenal (Eng)
23 caps (8 goals)
He was a key member of the Under-17 World Cup-winning side but has struggled to make the grade at Arsenal after successful loan stints in Spain with Salamanca and Osasuna. He can play as a winger or as a support striker and has the physical tools to become a great player but seems to lack the mental ones.

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