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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
Mexico team guide

A one-stop guide to all you need to know about Mexico ahead of the 2006 World Cup.

Fixtures (Group D):

  • v Iran - 11 June, 1700 BST, Nuremberg
  • v Angola - 16 June, 2000 BST, Hanover
  • v Portugal - 21 June, 1500 BST, Gelsenkirchen

    How did they get to Germany: Very comfortably from a weak group, as per usual. Mexico finished second behind the USA in the Concacaf group, seeing off the likes of Panama and Guatemala.

    Qualifying star: All-action midfielder Jaime Lozano is more concerned with getting goals than stopping them and he struck 11 times during qualification.

    Manager: The Mexicans have only lost twice since Ricardo La Volpe took over in October 2003 and the Argentine predicted his side would qualify with no problems.

    Rafael Marquez

    Captain: Rafael Marquez is the only player in the team who could argue to be genuine world-class. Marquez plays just in front of the back four for country and club, Barcelona, and helped the Catalans to their Champions League success.

    World Cup pedigree: Pretty good. They have appeared in 12 World Cups and reached the quarter-finals in both 1970 and 1986 when playing on home soil.

    World Cup high: A fine 2-0 win over Bulgaria that propelled Mexico into the last eight in 1986.

    World Cup low: Being hammered 4-1 in their own backyard in the quarters in 1970 by Italy.

    World Cup legend: Hugo Sanchez. The somersaulting Real Madrid striker only bagged once at the World Cup finals, but he played in three tournaments and remains comfortably the country's best ever player.

    Cuauhtemoc Blanco

    Present star man: With fiery striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco not selected there will be increased pressure on Bolton's non-scoring, non-playing striker Jared Borgetti in front of goal.

    Strengths: The goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez is in the form of his life and along with the solid defence and presence of Marquez, Mexico should be able to keep it tight at the back.

    Weaknesses: Scoring against Dominica is slightly different to scoring against Argentina. Of the two who could hit the back of the net, Blanco has not been selected and Borgetti has spent more of the season picking splinters from his bum than the ball from the net.

    Did you know? The first substitute to score a goal in the World Cup finals was Mexico's Juan Basaguren against El Salvador in a 4-0 victory in 1970. They have lost more games than any other nation in World Cup finals history (22).

    World ranking: 4

    Odds: 50/1

    Local view: "We haven't ever got to the semi-finals and the only times we reached the last eight the tournament was in Mexico, so we are not hoping for much. But they will qualify from their group." Pedro Ivan Santana, Servicio Universal de Noticias news agency.

    Our verdict: As per usual, just outside the group of five or six teams who can realistically win the tournament, despite the helping hand of being seeded.

    Ranking and odds correct at 22 May. Odds supplied by William Hill.



  • 2006 WORLD CUP TEAM GUIDES
     

    SEE ALSO
    Pick your Mexico XI
    27 Apr 06 |  Squad selectors
    Country profile: Mexico
    31 Aug 05 |  Country profiles


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