Straight From the Fans: Mexico PreviewApril 28, 2010
Road to South Africa recently sat down with Miguel Serrano, a die-hard Mexico supporter from Clovis, California. Serrano is an avid follower of worldwide soccer, especially the Primera División de México. He has a wealth of knowledge to offer on the Mexican national team and this week he gave his fan perspective on Mexico’s chances at the World Cup in South Africa.
RTSA: Mexico’s group is almost the group of death part two. Does Mexico have the squad to qualify for the group stages against teams like France, Uruguay and South Africa?
Miguel Serrano: Mexico has gone to the second round for every World Cup since 1986. Three out of five times they have finished winners of the group. They have great results against Uruguay and South Africa in the past; only France is the real threat for Mexico.
RTSA: Who are Mexico’s most important players, and who are some underrated prospects that might open some eyes this summer?
Miguel Serrano: The most important players for Mexico are Israel Castro, Giovani Dos Santos, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez and Guardado. Dos Santos and Guardado play on the wings and can turn a game around when they are playing. Castro is our most important holding midfielder, he covers the most amount of the field, can win tackles and make great passes to create options. Chicharito is the most important player, and newest player to the Mexican starting line up. He scores goals, plain and simple. He has 4 goals in 4 games for Mexico, 10 in 11 for his club this season, and he was always going to be noticed during the world cup, but Manchester United has already bought him. They knew if they waited until after the World Cup, too many teams would want him and the price would have gone up. Chicharito is our most promising player since Hugo Sanchez. We also now have players that won the under-19 world cup in 2005 on the senior squad.
RTSA: What games in the group stage do you think Mexico will win?
Miguel Serrano: Mexico will beat South Africa 2-0, draw with France, and beat Uruguay 2-1. They may tie with Uruguay if they are caught off guard.
RTSA: What are your thoughts on Manchester United’s recent signing of Chicharito, and does this open the door to more Mexican players playing in big European clubs (besides Vela and the dos Santos’)?
Miguel Serrano: This is the best thing for Mexican players right now. Manchester United didn’t get him on loan; they bought him which means they are planning to play him. Right now we have the most European based players then ever before. The next step is getting a handful of more players over there and having them become vital players for their club playing regularly. We need more Guardado’s and Marquez’s that get playing time almost every week unlike Vela or Castillo, who rarely play the whole season.
Mexico have the strongest squad in the group with a perfect mix of young and old players. The expectation is high as usual and the players have a great sense of nationality right now. The group is tricky but Mexico always gets the job done in the first round.