Football (fútbol) is one of the most popular recreational sports in Mexico. As a football-loving nation, Spain has produced some of the soccer greats that have been known the world over for their skills and individual contribution to the sport. Some of these names have become synonymous with soccer itself.
The Mexican National Team, managed by the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol and listed officially under the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), first participated in the World Cup in 1930. However, they had not made a significant presence in international soccer until the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The Mexican national soccer team has qualified for the World Cup 14 times since then, with consecutive qualifiers from the 1994 season onwards.
To date, Mexico’s best performances during the World Cup FIFA series were during the 1970 season and 1986 season, where they reached the Quarterfinals. In other international leagues, Mexico also holds several titles in the region, including 1 FIFA Confederations Cup, 9 CONCACAF championships including 6 gold cups, 1 North American Nations Cup and 2 NAFC Championship cups.
The Mexican national football team is often invited to the Copa America even though the team is officially listed under CONCACAF.
Hugo Sanchez Marquez
Hugo Sanchez is perhaps the best-known soccer player from Mexico. Born July 11, 1958, Sanchez – popularly nicknamed Pentapichichi or Hugol – played striker for the Mexican team in three World Cups. His professional career debuted with Pumas de UNAM, and had stints in Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, America, Rayo Vallecano, Atlante, FC Linz, Dallas Burn and Club Celaya. He started quite young and even before he was 18 he had represented Uruguay in 80 international games. He was a regular striker with UNAM Pumas, playing with them for five seasons, appearing in 200 matches and scoring 99 goals.
He was bought by Atletico Madrid from Pumas in 1981 but took two years before he was bale to adapt to the new playing style and the new country. But on his third season with Atletico, he was back to his old form and helped Spain win the Spanish Cup, the Spanish Super Cup and helped the team place second in the Spanish La Liga. His performance earned him the Pichichi trophy, given yearly to the best scorer in the league. Real Madrid took interest in him and bought him from Atletico Madrid in 1985. Despite the presence of talented players in Real Madrid’s roster, Sanchez was also able to make his presence felt, and became part of the Real Madrid that won the league titles consecutively from 1985 to 1990, the 1986 UEFA Cup and the 1989 Spanish Cup. And during his time with Real he was able to win four Pichichi trophies consecutively with a goal tally of 253 in 283 games, which in itself is no mean feat.
Sanchez retired from futbol in 1997 and currently works as a sports broadcaster. His trademark moves include acrobatic kicks like his windmill kick, and a celebratory somersault after every goal he made. His total goal tally after his retirement was 477 in 769 games. For the Mexican football team he was able to score 29 goals in 60 appearances from 1977 to 1998.
Luis de la Fuente
Born January 17, 1914, Luis de la Fuente is one of the Mexican national football team’s legends. Nicknamed “The Pirate” he started his professional career with Aurrera, and had stints with Real Club España, Racing de Santander, Club América, Atlético Corrales, Velez Sarsfield, Club Deportivo Marte and CD Veracruz.
De la Fuente played midfield for his teams, and represented Mexico in the 1934 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The team did not qualify during this season, but “Pirata” garnered the attention of various football clubs with his athleticism and power on the field.
His football prowess attracted the attention of bigger footballing nations and he has played for Racing de Santander of Spain, Atlético Corrales of Paraguay and Vélez Sarsfield of Argentina. He was the first Mexican football player to do that. De la Fuente had incredible football skills, which he used judiciously to pass the ball precisely and assisted in creating opportunities to score goals. He was also known to have kicking power on both legs, although he favored his left and he had a dangerous air game as he can leap over defenses from his rivals.
Rafael Márquez Álvarez
Rafael Márquez played center back or defensive midfielder for the Mexican national soccer team. Born February 13, 1979, Marquez had stints with Atlas, Monaco, Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls. He had spent 10 years playing in Spain and France and is highly regarded as one of the world’s best central defenders. Marquez’ career with the Mexican national team started in 1997 although he was not chosen for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Marquez participated in the winning Mexican team at the 1999 Confederations Cup and CONCACAF Gold Cup. He won several titles while playing for Monaco, helping the team win the Ligue 1 championships. While with FC Barcelona he became the first Mexican footballer to win the UEFA Champions League, which the team won in 2006. Knee injury forced him to be sidelined for the Champions League in the 2008-2009 season. He had signed up with Barcelona until 2012, but was released in July 31, 2010 and later signed up with the New York Red Bulls.
Despite his young age (at 23 years old), Marquez served as captain of the Mexican team during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He also represented Mexico in 2006 and again captained the team in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Marquez also made the team during the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2007 Copa America.
Antonio Félix Carbajal Rodriguez
Born June 7, 1929, Antonio Carbajal holds the honor of being the only Mexican to participate in at least five FIFA World Cups, and also the youngest goalkeeper to participate in the league. Carbajal debuted with Club España in 1948. Club España disappeared in 1950 and Carbajal joined Club León where he remained until the end of his career.
Leon’s stint with the Mexican national team included participation in the 1948 Olympic Games. He made his FIFA World Cup debut in 1950, and also participated in matches during the 1954, 1958, 1962 and 1966 World Cups. After his fourth appearance in the World Cup, he became the first football player to achieve that feat, as well as helping the Mexican national team win their first ever World Cup match. After retirement from professional soccer, Carbajal managed several teams in the 1980s, notably Club León, Morelia and Unión de Curtidores.
Born January 17, 1973, Cuauhtémoc Blanco is considered to be among the most talented fútbol players in Mexico. Blanco currently plays attacking midfielder with Liga de Ascenso’s Irapuato. Blanco had stints with America, Nexaca, Real Valladolid, Veracruz, Chicago Fire, and Santos Laguna. He had been a five-time MVP winner of the Mexican First League Division.
Blanco’s international career started in 1995, and he has participated in the 1998, 2002 and 2010 FIFA World Cups. He also represented Mexico during the 1999 Confederations Cup, and became the only Mexican footballer to win in a major FIFA international competition when he earned the “Golden Boot” and “Silver Ball” awards. Blanco holds the record of having the most Confederations Cup goals in the 1997 and 1999 seasons, and also tied up with Ronaldinho as leading goalscorer for the Confederations Cup. Blanco is second top scorer in the Mexican national team, in Club América and in Mexico’s FIFA World Cup and Copa Libertadores team.
After stints in Necaxa, Real Valladolid, Veracruz, Chicago Fire and Santos Laguna, he decided to come back to Mexico and sign up once again with Veracruz from January 2010. He is the originator of the Blanco trick or Cuauhtemiña. It involves trapping the ball between his feet when there are two defenders trying to get the ball from him. Then he jumps through the two opposition players while releasing the ball in the air and landing at the back of the opposition players while regaining control of the ball. Aside from playing football, Blanco is also an actor and is currently busy with Triunfo del Amor, a Mexican telenovela.
Jared Francisco Borgetti Echeverria
Born August 14, 1973, Jared Borgetti is a retired member of the Mexican national football team. The team’s all-time leading goal scorer, Borgetti started his career with Atlas and had stints with Santos Laguna, Dorados, Pachuca, Bolton Wanderers, Al-Ittihad, Cruz Azul, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Puebla, Morella and León. He goes by nicknames like Borgetti Spaghetti and El Zorro del Desierto, meaning Desert Fox. He won three Golden Boot awards while playing for Santos Laguna from 1996 to 2004. He also holds the distinction of being the first Mexican football player to play with an English Club when he signed with Bolton Wanderers in 2005.
Borgetti represented the Mexican national team from 1997 to 2008 and participated in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, 2005 Confederations Cup and the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He retired from professional soccer in December 2010. He now acts a analyst for soccer matches and soccer show Fútbol Picante and ESPN Deportes.
Luis Claudio Suárez Sánchez
Born on December 17, 1968, Claudio Suarez, known as El Emperador or The Emperor is the record holder with the Mexican national soccer team for most caps. He is also the world record holder for an outfield player with 178 caps. He shares the world record with Mohamed Al-Deayea, goalkeeper from the Saudi Arabia. His senior career debuted with UNAM and he played for UNAM Pumas, Guadalajara and UANL Tigres. Suarez played for Chivas USA in Major League Soccer from 2006 until his retirement in 2009, although he played for another year to finally retire on March 26, 2010. Suarez’ stint with the Mexican national soccer team spanned 1992 to 2006. He was a starter for the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup and was part of the 2006 World Cup. It was announced on January 2011 that Claudio will be a consultant and talent scout for Mexican football players for Chivas USA, his former club.
Luis Arturo Hernández Carreón
Born August 17, 1968, Luis Hernández is the fourth highest goal scorer in the Mexican national fútbol team and the highest goal scorer for the team in his World Cup career. A striker, Hernandez started his professional career with Cruz Azul, and had stints with Querétaro, Monterrey, Necaxa, Boca Juniors, UANL Tigres, Los Angeles Galaxy, América, Veracruz, Jaguares de Chiapas and BUAP, teams from the United States and Argentina, aside from Mexico. His great football form was put on display when he played for Necaxa where he scored 9 goals in 12 appearances. His form was on display again when he played 64 games with UANL Tigres and scored 38 goals. He also holds the record for being the only player to score a goal in the Clásico Regiomontano when he played with Necaxa and Tigres.
Hernández was part of Mexico’s national football team from 1995 to 2002, during which he participated in the 1997 Copa América and the FIFA World Cup during the 1998 and 2002 seasons. Hernández was the first Mexican to have score more than two goals in World Cup history when he scored four goals in 1998. Hernandez is nicknamed El Matador and is known for his long blond hair. He is currently the third highest goalscorer in Mexico.
Manuel Rosas Sánchez
Born April 17, 1912, Manuel Rosas Sánchez was a member of the Mexican national football team notable for being the first player in FIFA’s history to score a penalty kick goal. He achieved that feat in the 1930 World Cup. At that time, he held the record for being the youngest player to have scored a goal in the Cup, until he was beaten by Pele. His record for being the second youngest player to score in a Cup game still holds up to this day. Rosas was fondly nicknamed Chaquetas.
Carlos Alberto Vela Garrido
Born March 1, 1989, Carlos Vela is a striker for Arsenal FC and a current member of the Mexican squad. He started his youth career with Guadalajara and won the U-17 World Cup as well as an Adidas Golden Boot award. He debuted in the professional leagues with Arsenal, which he joined in 2005. He came from a non-EU member country, so he was not allowed to play in England. He was therefore sent on loan first to Celta de Vigo, then to the second division of Salamanca in Spain where he personally scored 8 goals and helped in the clubs total of 53 in the 2006-2007 season. While still waiting for his work permit, he was once again loaned, this time to Osasuna. He got his work permit on May 22, 2008, three years after signing the contract with Arsenal. Vela was on loan to West Bromwich Albion for the 2010-2011 season.
Vela’s career with the Mexican national team started in the 2005 FIFA under-17 World Championships. He was called up for the Mexican team during the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Vela was part of the Mexican team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup where he scored a goal. His current total goal tally for club games is 24 goals, 26 assists in 134 appearances. For the Mexican national team, he has a total of 9 goals in 35 appearances, as of April 4, 2011.
The current lineup of the 2011 Mexican national football team includes players who have been capped for the squad for international events and competitions, such as Copa América and the CONCACAF Gold Cup during the last 12 months.
Luis Ernesto Michel Vergara
Born July 21, 1979, Luis Ernesto Michel Vergara is a current goalkeeper for Guadalajara (Chivas) in Mexico’s Primera division. Michel started his career with Tapatio in 1999 and was on loan to Santos Laguna before his current membership with Guadalajara. Michel was first capped for the Mexican national soccer team in 2007, but did not play. He played against New Zealand and then against Iceland, and was part of the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup. Michel will also participate in the 2011 Copa América. Michel goes by many nicknames based on the color of his goalie shirt. When he was wearing red in 2006, he was tagged as The Devil or El Diablo in Spanish. He was also called The Little Red One or El Coloradito. He switched to all black in 2007, earning him the nickname el Caballero Negro, which means The Black Knight in English.
He was named captain on January 11, 2010, leading Chivas to a record 8-0 run. Their smooth sailing came to a halt when they suffered their first defeat when they played Jaguares.
Born October 9, 1989, Liborio Vicente Sánchez Ledesma is currently goalkeeper on loan to Querétaro FC. He started his senior career with Guadalajara in 2009 and had an on-loan stint with CD Veracruz. Sanchez was first capped for the Mexican team in 2009, and has played in the 2010 Copa Libertadores.
Carlos Felipe Rodríguez
Carlos Felipe Rodriguez was born April 3, 1989 and currently plays goalkeeper for Monarcas Morelia, where he debuted in 2006. He had a short stint with Merida on-loan in 2008. Rodriguez will participate in the 2011 Copa América.
Born May 12, 1986, Jonathan Emmanuel Orozco Dominguez currently plays goalkeeper for Monterrey in the Mexican Primera division. He started his senior career with Cobras de Ciudad Juarez in 2004, and moved to Monterrey from 2005 onwards, with his professional debut on August 13, 2005 and earning a clean sheet in their 1-0 win against CF Atlas. As part of the Monterrey squad they were able to win the Apertura 2009 and 2010. Orozco was first capped for the Mexican national team in 2003, with the FIFA under-17 and in 2008 with the U-23. Orozco is part of the Mexican squad for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
José de Jesús Corona
Born January 26, 1981, Jose de Jesus Corona currently plays goalkeeper for Cruz Azul under Mexico’s Primera division. During his first year with the club he helped Cruz Azul to play in the finals, eventually finishing as runners-up to CF Monterrey. Corona started his career with F.C. Atlas in 2002 until he was transferred to Tecos AG from 2004 to 2009. He was first capped to the Mexico national football team in 2004, and he represented the country in the 2006 World Cup. Corona was also part of the Mexican soccer team during the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and will participate during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa América.
Kristian Omar Álvarez Nuño was born April 20, 1990 and has started his senior professional career with Guadalajara. A defender, Nuño was the captain of the Mexican under-17 football team in the 2009 U17 World Cup. He is also part of the Mexican squad in the under-20 CONCACAF Gold Cup 2011. He is now a promising center back for Club Deportivo Guadalajara. Although yet to score in his senior career, his form shows great potential, having displayed agility and aggression and bravery at making sweeps and marking, and had already made several goal threats.
Born March 18, 1989, Osvaldo Alanís Pantoja is a defender for Estudiantes Tecos, where his senior career debuted in 2009. Alanis is part of Mexico’s national team in the 2011 Copa América. For season 2010-2011 he scored a total of 3 goals. For the current season, 2011-2012 he had only scored once.
Born November 21, 1989, Dárvin Francisco Chávez Ramírez plays defender for CF Monterrey. He debuted in 2008 with Club Atlas until he was transferred to Monterrey in 2011. Chavez is currently capped for Mexico’s national team for the 2011 Copa América. It will be his fifth international cap.
Born August 29, 1991, Néstor Alejandro Araujo Razo is a defender currently with Cruz Azul in the Mexican Primera division. He debuted with Cruz Azul in 2010 and was capped for the Mexico national football team in 2011, where he is set to play at the 2011 Copa América. His first goal for Mexico was scored on July 4, 2011 in the match against Chile in the 2011 Copa América.
Miguel Ángel Ponce
Born April 12, 1989, Miguel Ángel Ponce plays in the Mexican Primera division under Chivas de Guadalajara, where he started his senior career in 2010. Ponce was capped for the Mexican national soccer team in 2011 where he plays in the Copa América. Ponce is a Mexican-American, having been born in Sacramento, California. His scored his first goal on September 28, 2010 against UANL Tigres and another one on October 3, 2010 against Club Atlas.
Hector Reynoso is currently a defender and team captain of Chivas de Guadalajara. Born October 3, 1980, his senior career debuted with the same team in 2000. Reynoso was capped for the Mexican national football team in 2011, where he will play in the squad that will compete in the Copa América. His long and curly hair earned him the nickname of Samson. He made the headlines in 2009 when he repeatedly spat on the face of Sebastian Penco from Chile, when the pandemic of swine flu was at its height. He later apologized for the incident.
Hiram Ricardo Mier Alanis
Hiram Mier was born August 25, 1989 and is currently defender with CF Monterrey where he debuted on August 25, 2010. He played for Mexico in the 2010 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Mier will participate in the 2011 Copa América, playing under the U-22 Mexican squad.
Born September 19, 1992, Diego Reyes plays midfielder for the premier division of Club América where he debuted with his senior career in 2010. Reyes was first capped for the Mexico Under-17 soccer team in 2008, the U-20 team in 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the Mexican league for the 2011 Copa América.
Israel Sabdi Jiménez Nañez was born August 13, 1989 and is a defender for Tigres UANL in the Mexican premier division. Jimenez started his career with the Tigres in 2008, and he was capped for the Mexican football squad in the 2011 Copa América where he plays in the U-22 preliminary squad. He made his first international appearance with Tigres against Chivas USA in the 2009 North American SuperLiga.
José Jonny Magallón Oliva was born November 21, 1981 and currently plays as defender for Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas). He debuted with Tapatio in 2000, and was transferred to Chivas in the 2005 season. Magallón has played for the Mexican squad since 2007, where he holds the record of most minutes at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2007 Copa América. In a friendly match against the United States in February 2008, Magallón scored both of Mexico’s goal, which brought the game to a draw. Magallón was called up to the 2010 Mexico team during the FIFA World Cup, but was unable to play.
Fernando Navarro Morán is a midfielder for the Tigres UANL. Born April 16, 1989, Navarro started his senior career with Club Atlante in 2008 and moved to Tires in 2011. He was capped for the Mexico national soccer team in 2011 and is expected to play in the 2011 Copa América.
Néstor Vicente Vidrio Serrano
Néstor Vidrio was born March 22, 1989 and is currently defender with Atlas, where he started his youth football career before debuting with the first squad in 2008. Vidrio was named Rookie of the Season during the Clausura in 2008 and earned a starting position as defender as well. He can play the defensive midfielder position. Vidrio was capped for the Mexico league in the 2009 under-20 CONCACAF Championships. Vidrio plays again for Mexico at the 2011 Copa América.
Born March 5, 1983, Édgar Dueñas currently plays defender for Toluca since his senior debut in 2004. He joined the Mexican soccer team from 2006 onwards, and is currently with the 2011 lineup for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Dueñas is notable for being one of the players withdrawn from the squad after testing positive for a banned substance. He was, however, reinstated when the substance was found to have been accidentally ingested through contaminated meat served during soccer training.
Ricardo Osorio Mendoza was born on March 30, 1980 and currently plays with Monterrey in Mexico’s Premier Division. Osorio started his senior career with Cruz Azul Hidalgo in 2001, then had stints with Cruz Azul and VfB Stuttgart in a deal worth £4 million. He was still with Stuttgart when the team won the Bundesliga in 2007, and Osorio having made the most number of appearances for that season. Osorio was capped for the Mexican squad from 2003 onwards, and has participated in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He is also part of the Mexican national soccer team for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Born March 31, 1987, Hugo Ayala Castro plays midfield for Tigres UANL in the Mexican Primera Liga. His senior career debuted with Club Atlas in 2006 as a substitute. He was transferred to Tigres in 2010. Ayala joined the Mexican under-20 team in 2007 and participated in 2009 in the senior’s league.
Jorge Iván Estrada
Born October 16, 1983, Jorge Iván Estrada Manjarrez plays defender for Mexican team Santos Laguna. He made his professional debut in 2004 with Dorados and had a stint with CD Veracruz. Estrada joined the Mexican national football team in 2010 in a friendly match against Venezuela. His nickname is El Guti. He is known for his strong and quick defensive moves and his dribbling skills that make up for his lack in height.
Born September 4, 1983, Leobardo López Garcia is a defender for CF Pachuca. He started his professional career with the team in 2005, and has since played with this club. Lopez was capped for the Mexican national team starting 2008 in a friendly game against China. His first goal for Mexico was against Ecuador in a friendly match in 2008 held in the United States.
Fausto Manuel Pinto Rosas, born August 8, 1983, plays left back for Cruz Azul. His professional career started in 2001 with CF Pachuca. Pinto was called up for the national team by coach Hugo Sánchez for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup but was not able to play. His international debut happened in the Copa América in 2007, where the national team won 2-1 against Brazil.
Diego De Buen
Born July 3, 1991, Diego Eduardo De Buen plays midfielder for Pumas UNAM where his career debuted in 2007. De Buen was capped for the Mexican national soccer team since 2011, as part of the CONCACAF under-20 championship and Copa América.
Antonio Gallardo Palacios was born April 19, 1989, and plays midfield for Club Deportivo Guadalajara (commonly referred to as Chivas) since 2011. He was capped for the Mexican team in 2011.
Born February 1, 1991, Carlos Emilio Orrantía currently plays midfield for Pumas de la UNAM with Mexico’s Primera division where he debuted in 2009. He was capped for the Mexican national soccer team in 2001 as part of the CONCACAF under-20 Championship and the FIFA under-20 World Cup.
Jorge Enríquez Garcia was born January 8, 1991 and plays midfield for Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas). He debuted in his senior career in 2010 and was capped for the Mexican national team in 2011 as part of the CONCACAF under-20 Championship.
Born January 22, 1990, Edgar Ivan Pacheco Rodriguez plays attacking midfielder for UANL Tigres in Mexico’s Primera division. He started youth football with Atlas, and moved on to his senior career with Atlas from 2008 to 2011, then transferred to Tigres for $4 million contract. At Tigres he showed his versatility in the field, playing middle, left and right sides in both defensive and offensive positions. Pacheco was capped for the Mexican national soccer team in 2009, where the team played a friendly match against Colombia. Pacheco was then capped for the team for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2011 Copa América.
Born September 7, 1989, David Cabrera Pujol currently plays midfield for Club Universidad Nacional. Locally the team is called Pumas. He started his senior career with the club in 2008. He was capped for the Mexican squad in 2011 and had made three international appearances for Mexico.
Néstor Calderón Enriquez was born February 14, 1989 and is nicknamed “el Avion” or “the Plane” for his speed and agility with the ball. He debuted with Atletico Mexiquense and played for one season in 2007-2008. Calderon currently plays midfield for Toluca where his professional career started in 2008. Calderon was capped for the Mexican squad in 2009, where he participated in the World Cup qualifiers.
Jonathan dos Santos
Born 26 April 1990, Jonathan dos Santos Ramirez plays midfield for FC Barcelona B. He started his career with Barcelona in 2002 and then played for Barcelona B in the 2008 to 2009 season. Dos Santos was capped for the Mexico national football squad during the 2009 season, where he actually represented his national team before his own club team. Dos Santos was capped to play the 2011 Copa América, but was dismissed along with several other players due to misconduct.
His father, Geraldo Francisco dos Santos, nicknamed Zizinho was a former football player for Mexixo. His two brothers, Giovani and Eder are also football players.
Marco Jhonfai Fabián de la Mora was born July 21, 1989 started playing football with CD Tapatio and currently plays midfielder for Guadalajara. He debuted with the same team for his senior career and has since played with the Chivas. Despite being a midfielder, Fabian has the skills to score goals and has a current tally of 19 goals in 95 appearances with his team. Fabian was capped for the 2011 U-22 Mexican squad for the Copa América. However, he was dismissed along with other players because of problems with conduct.
Jorge Daniel Hernández was born June 10, 1989 and currently plays midfield for Jaguares de Chiapas in Mexico’s Primera division, where his senior career debuted. Hernandez joined the Mexico national squad in 2011.
Luis Ernesto Pérez
Born January 12, 1981, Luis Ernesto Pérez Gómez plays midfield for CF Monterrey. His senior career debuted in 1999 with Necaxa, where he played until 2003 before he was sold to Monterrey. His move was beneficial to his new team as he led them to win the Clausura 2003. He became team captain in 2009 and won the Apertura 2009 and the 2010 InterLiga, helping his team qualify for the Copa Libertadores in 2010. Perez joined the Mexico national soccer team in 2003 where he played in that year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. Perez has likewise played for the team during the 2004 Summer Olympics, 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, and 2006 FIFA World Cup. He was capped for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but withdrew due to injuries.
José María Cárdenas
José María Cárdenas Lopez was born April 2, 1985 and currently plays for Santos Laguna in Mexico’s Primera division. Cardenas’ senior career debuted with Atlante in 2005, until he moved to Pachuca in 2008. He started with Santos Laguna in 2009. Cardenas joined the Mexican national football squad in 2009 during a friendly match against Bolivia, where he scored a goal. He was also part of the Mexican squad in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, during which the team won.
Antonio Ríos Martinez was born October 24, 1988 and plays defensive midfield for Toluca. Rios started playing football with Atlético Mexiquense in 2007 before he joined the senior team of Toluca in 2009, where he debuted against Atlante. Rios joined the Mexico national soccer team in the 2010 CONCACAF Champions League and had call ups to play friendly matches.
Ulises Alejandro Davila Plascencia was born April 13, 1991 and plays attacking midfielder for Chivas de Guadalajara where his senior career debuted in 2008. Davila was capped for the Mexican national football team in the U-17 and U-20 divisions, and is participating in the 2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, as well as the 2011 Toulon Tournament in France.
Rafael Márquez Lugo
Rafael Márquez Lugo, born November 2, 1981, is a striker for Morelia in Mexico’s Primera division. His senior career debuted with UNAM Pumas in 2000, and he had stints with Chiapas, Morelia, Pachuca, UAG Tecos, América, Atlante and was on loan to Morelia, where he eventually settled from 2011 onwards. It was his first stint with Morelia, from 2004 to 2007 that Lugo had his best seasons, scoring 34 goals in 96 appearances. Lugo made his first appearance with the Mexico national team in the 2004 Summer Olympics. He is also representing the Mexican team at the 2011 Copa América.
Alan Pulido Izaguirre was born March 8, 1991 and is a striker for Tigres UANL in the Mexican Primera division. His senior career debuted with Tigres UANL in 2010. Pulido was capped for the Mexican U-20 squad in 2010. He is likewise part of the current 2011 Mexican team that played the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, and qualified to the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Pulido was also capped to the squad for the 2011 Copa América as a replacement.
Born July 29, 1989, Javier Cortés Granados currently plays forward for the Pumas de la UNAM where his senior career debuted in 2008. He has contributed 7 goals in 48 appearances for the Pumas. Cortes was capped for the Mexican national soccer team in 2011, where he played for the 2011 Copa América preliminary squad.
Aldo de Nigris
Aldo de Nigris Guajardo was born July 22, 1983 and is of Mexican and Italian descent. De Nigris currently plays for the Rayados of Monterrey. De Nigris’ senior career started with Tigres in 2002, and he had stints with Veracruz, Necaxa, and loans to Monterrey before finally settling with Monterrey in 2010 onwards. De Nigris was capped for the U-20 national team in 2003 and the Mexican national soccer team in 2010. He was part of the Mexican squad that won the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Elías Hernan Hernández Jacuinde was born April 29, 1988 and plays for Pachuca in Mexico’s Primera division as a winger. His senior career debuted with Morelia in 2007 and he was on loan to Merida from 2007 to 2008 until his transfer to Pachuca in 2011. Hernandez was first called up to the Mexican national team in 2010 for a friendly match against Spain. Hernández scored his first and the only goal for Mexico against Colombia on September 7, 2010, which allowed Mexico to win the friendly match.
Born June 1, 1988, Javier Hernández Balcázar currently plays forward for Manchester United, and is the first Mexican to play for the team. His senior career started in 2006 with Guadalajara until his transfer to Man Utd for an undisclosed fee on April 8, 2010, subject to the issuance of a work permit as he was still young. It was however granted on May 27, 2010, allowing for Hernández to formally transfer to Manchester United by July. . Hernandez was part of the Mexican U-20 team that played in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He debuted with the Mexican national team in 2009 during a friendly match against Colombia. Hernandez was part of the Mexican national soccer squad in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Hernandez is nicknamed Chicharito, which means “little pea,” which is printed on his shirt.
Javier Hernandez is the son of Javier Hernandez Gutierrez (nicknamed “Chicharo”) and the grandson of Tomas Balcazar, both retired Mexican football players.
Ángel Eduardo Reyna Martinez was born September 19, 1984 and is a midfielder for Club America in Mexico’s Primera division. He debuted with San Luis in 2005 and had stints with Necaxa and San Luis prior to his move to Club America in 2009. Reyna scored his first hat trick in his team’s win against Puebla on April 3, 2011. He became the champion goalscorer in Clausura 2011 with a personal haul of 13 and the second Mexican to achieve the feat, after Cuauhtemoc Blanco who did it in 1998, scoring 16 goals. Reyna was capped for the Mexican team in 2010 where he played friendly matches against Bolivia, North Korea and Iceland. He currently plays for the Mexican squad for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Born January 19, 1993, Erick Estefano Torres Padilla, more commonly known as El Cubo, plays for Chivas de Guadalajara where his senior career debuted in 2010. Torres played starting forward for the Mexico U-17 team in the 2010 Milk Cup, and led his team to the championships as its captain during the Bicentenario 2010. During his debut in the premier division he scored Chivas’ goal to tie with CF Monterrey, then scored 2 goals to win against Pachuca, with a final score of 4-2 and went even further, scoring a hat trick that led to a 3-0 win against América, thus he was named as the second leading scorer at the end of Clausura 2011. Torres currently plays for the Mexican national U-20 squad for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Carlos Alberto Vela Garrido was born March 1, 1989 and currently plays striker for Arsenal FC where his senior career debuted in 2005. He has been on loan to Salamanca (2006 to 2007), Osasuna (2007 to 2008) and West Bromwich Albion (2011). Vela debuted for the Mexican national soccer team in 2005 where he played in various friendly international games in the FIFA U-17 World Championship. He was likewise called up to play at the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Vela has dual citizenship and holds a passport issued by Spain.
Juan Carlos Cacho
Born May 3, 1982, Juan Carlos Cacho Gutierrez plays striker for UNAM Pumas in Mexico’s Primera division. Cacho debuted with Cruz Azul in 2001, and had stints with CF Pachuca as a regular (2004 to 2008) where he has amassed 45 goals in 141 appearances and on-loan during the 2009-2010 season. Cacho has been part of the Mexican national soccer team since his 2007 debut, and has recently appeared in the 2011 Copa América.
Enrique Alejandro Esquead Tirado was born April 19, 1988, and is a striker for Pachuca. Esqueda debuted for Club America in 2006 and moved to Pachuca in 2011. He started his career with Mexico’s national soccer team in 2001, starting with the Mexican U-17 team, in 2007 with the Mexico U-20 team and U-23 team, and also the Mexican national squad in 2007. He has played in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and 2007 Pan American games.
Javier Orozco was born November 16, 1987 and currently play striker for Cruz Azul. Orozco started his senior career with Cruz Azul in 2005. Orozco’s career with the Mexican national team started in 2010. He is the top goal scorer in the history of CONCACAF Champions League, with a total goal of 23. He is the son of retired footballer Luis Antonio Orozco, who was nicknamed “Chuleta.” Javier inherited his father’s nickname is called Chuletita or little pork chop.