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Mexico’s Squad for FIFA World Cup 2022 & Team Profile

Gerardo Martino waited until the FIFA deadline day on 14th November to announce Mexico’s 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. In this article, check out the Mexico FIFA World Cup 2022 squad, fixtures, lineups and team analysis.

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Last updated: 19.11.2022
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Gerardo Martino waited until the FIFA deadline day on 14th November to announce Mexico’s 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Usual star names of the past are missing from the squad as the coach has selected his likable players for the mega event. El Tri will be desperate to break their losing streak in the round of 16 to finally enter the quarter final stage for the first time since 1986. 

 

History

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Mexico are on course to participate in their 17th World Cup since entering in 1930, the first edition of the tournament. They only failed to qualify for three editions, withdrew from the 1938 edition and were banned from competing in 1990. Their best finishes have been quarterfinals in 1974 and 1986, both times they hosted the showpiece. El Tri are stopping at the last 16 stages since the 1994 World Cup in the USA. Since then, they haven’t failed to qualify for the tournament yet eight tournaments have passed with the last eight stages continuing to be a distant dream.       

 

Last Tournament

El Tri had no change of faith in the 2018 World Cup as they long quest of getting out of the last 16 continued, this time eliminated by Brazil with Neymar and Roberto Firmino scoring for the record champions. The group stages were delightful even though the last game resulted ended in a 3-0 defeat to Sweden. Hirving Lozano scored to help Mexico register a memorable 1-0 win against then-holders Germany in the first group-stage game before they comfortably beat South Korea 2-1 despite conceding a late goal from Heung-Min Son. Chucky Lozano ended with the most goal contributed in the tournament for delivering the assist to Javier Hernadez’s winner in the game.             


Qualification

Mexico had an encouraging CONCACAF qualification campaign in which they finished second but on equal points with Canada at the top. Only head-to-head-record separated the sides at the end. El Tri also finished three points above USA and Costa Rica taking the next two spots on the table. In total, Mexico completed the 14 matches in the qualifying with eight wins, four draws and two losses. They had the joint second-best defense having conceded only eight.    


Preparation for World Cup

Friendlies against top sides have not gone according to plan with a 3-0 loss to Uruguay in June while most recently they lost 3-2 to Colombia in a thriller, 0-1 to Paraguay and 2-1 against Sweden in the Pre-World Cup preparation. They picked up two wins against Iraq and Peru and drew with Ecuador in the other friendlies played. Mexico are also placed second in the CONCACAF Nations League behind Jamaica after two games with a point away from qualifying for the next stage.


Mexico 2022 World Cup Squad

 

Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Club America) Alfredo Talavera (Juarez) Rodolfo Cota (Club Leon)

Defenders: Jorge Sanchez (Ajax) Nestor Araujo (Club America) Gerardo Arteaga (Genk) Kevin Alvarez (CF Pachuca) Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey) Cesar Montes (Monterrey) Hector Moreno (Monterrey) Johan Vazquez (Cremonese)

Midfielders: Orbelin Pineda (AEK Athens) Carlos Rodriguez (Cruz Azul) Uriel Antuna (Cruz Azul) Roberto Alvarado (Guadalajara) Hector Herrera (Houston Dynamo) Erick Gutierrez (PSV) Luis Chavez (Pachuca) Luis Romo (Monterrey) Andres Guardado (Real Betis) Edson Alvarez (Ajax) Hirving Lozano (Napoli)

Forwards: Henry Martin (Club America) Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey) Raul Jimenez (Wolves) Alexis Vega (Chivas)

 

Coach: Gerardo Martino

 

Jesus Corona was surprisingly included in the provisional squad list even though he was ruled out of the tournament with a ligament tear. Logically, he missed out on the final list because he would not be fit until next month. Martino did not call Javier Hernandez what could have been his third consecutive World Cup irrespective of his excellent form with his club LA Galaxy. Despite winning the MLS Cup for Galaxy’s city rivals Los Angeles FC, Carlos Vela is also not included in his second World Cup for tactical reasons as well. Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Moreno, Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado and Raul Jimenez are the only players remaining from the previous tournaments while Chucky Lozano has been on the 2018 roster. The rest of the squad is making their debut on the World Cup stage.

 

Strength

The strength of the squad will be the vast World Cup experience the star players of the squad have. They are ageing like fine wine and want to deliver the teachings of their legacy to the upcoming stars in the team. Regarding talents, Mexico are laden with them in the midfield which could be the strongest area of the pitch. Edson Alvarez of Ajax, PSV’s Erick Gutierrez, Carlos Rodriguez and veterans, Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado should construct the middle of the park for the team. Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is the biggest strength the North American outfit possesses for another World Cup.

 

Weakness

The round of 16 stage hoodoo has been haunting the nation for 28 years now and they haven’t overcome it yet. Mexico have always been exciting in the group stages but has not translated that to the knockouts. El Tri have lacked the mentality to fight against superior opposition at this period of the competition and although Ochoa has performed his duties elegantly in recent editions, others have failed to step up. It will be detrimental to this squad if they finish the same again.

  

Star Player: Guillermo Ochoa

Mexico have an abundance of players who can make the nation flourish in Qatar. El Tri has game-changers like Hirving Lozano who can trouble the opposition with his speed and trickery creating the attacks. The Napoli man is a crucial figure as are other veterans in the team but it will be the goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa who will be grabbing the headlines again. Fans are often drawn towards the best strikes on a World Cup stage, however, Ochoa’s saves will be no less than a spectacle for Mexican support as well as the neutrals. The Club America man’s extraordinary stuff in between the stick for El Tri is well documented in the past editions of the tournament. Even at the age of 37, his reflexes are as good as in his prime. Ochoa will be the man Mexico will turn to for brilliance in the group stages and making that one definitive save in the last 16 which will help El Tri advance from it finally.   

    

How will Mexico lineup at the World Cup?

Gerardo Martino will stick to the 4-3-3 formation Mexico is known for with Guillermo Ochoa starting a third consecutive World Cup of his career. Cesar Montes and Nestor Araujo are both optimum options alongside the experienced Hector Moreno in the center-half but the Monterrey player could edge it for starting more games for the nation lately. Jorge Sanchez of Ajax will slot in the right-back spot while Jesus Gallardo is placed on the left flank. Edson Alvarez will be pushing for a place in midfield with Tata Martino using the other two veterans in midfield namely Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado. Up front, Raul Jimenez could only start if he is fully fit, otherwise Rogelio Funes Mori is set to make the striker position his own. Ernesto Vega and Hirving Lozano will try to disassemble defenses from the wings.

    

Opponents & Fixtures

Mexico vs Poland - 22 November 2022, Stadium 974 (9:30 PM)

Argentina vs Mexico - 27 November 2022, Lusail Stadium (12:30 AM)

Saudi Arabia vs Mexico - 1 December 2022, Lusail Stadium (12:30 AM)

 

El Tri takes on Poland to begin their 2022 World Cup campaign, a game which could fall in anyone’s favor. A draw would be necessary if they can manage Robert Lewandowski from hitting blows before taking another captivating name in Lionel Messi and a force in Argentina. Even Saudi Arabia could spring an upset in the last group stage game at the start of December. Mexico has to be careful in what they do as they cannot take any misstep in this group.      


Prediction 

Mexico has the mindset to get away from the toughest groups as they have done over the years slotted against defending champions or competition favorites. However, losing in the very next round of the contest is a weird culture they have adopted irrespective of the quality or the opposition they face. El Tri may snatch the second place in their group, considering Argentina comes first and Poland fumbles, but Tata Martino’s men will make history if the last 16 jinx is broken in Qatar.

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