CNNSI.com CNNSI.com's complete coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2002 World Cup


 

Player Team, Age, Caps, Goals
1-Oscar Perez (Cruz Azul) Born: 1.2.73 Caps: 37 Goals: 0.
Short for a goalkeeper at 1.71 meters but makes up for it with excellent anticipation and reflexes. Has spent all his career with Cruz Azul, helping them become the first Mexican team to reach the final of the South American Libertadores Cup in 2001. Dislodged the eccentric Jorge Campos last year.
 
12-Oswaldo Sanchez (Guadalajara) Born: 21.09.73 Caps: 22 Goals: 0.
Agile, superb shot-stopper but prone to the odd mistake which has proved costly as he ventures out of his six-yard box. Likely to be Perez's back-up in the finals.
23-Jorge Campos (Pumas UNAM) Born: 15.10.66 Caps: 123 Goals: 0.
Hugely experienced, though at 35 his best days are probably behind him. Like Sanchez, an eccentric performer who has a liking for garish strips which he designs himself.
 
Player Team, Age, Caps, Goals
22-Alberto Rodriguez (Pachuca) Born: 1.4.74 Caps: 13 Goals: 0.
Right-sided player who was given his chance when Aguirre took over as coach. Played under Aguirre at Pachuca and was in the team which won the club's first national championship in 100 years. Has spent most of his career at the club after starting with the Pumas of UNAM. Played one qualifier plus the Copa America and some friendlies.
 
5-Manuel Vidrio (Pachuca) Born: 23.8.72 Caps: 27 Goals: 1.
Another player brought into the team by Aguirre after playing under his command in Pachuca's historic title-winning campaign of 2000. Helped shore up the defense, playing in Mexico's last four qualifiers during which they only conceded one goal.
 
20-Melvin Brown (Cruz Azul) Born: 28.1.79 Caps: 8 Goals: 0.
Started at Cruz Azul and was in the team which reached the Libertadores Cup final in 2001, he has been brought into the team by Aguirre and has proved an able stand-in for first choice Rafael Marquez.
 
2-Francisco Gabriel de Anda (Pachuca) Born: 5.6.71 Caps: 15 Goals: 1.
Scored his solitary goal for Mexico in the April friendly against Bulgaria. A solid, dependable figure at the back.
 
16-Salvador Carmona (Toluca) Born: 22.8.75 Caps: 56 Goals: 0.
Playing his second World Cup finals in Japan although only returned to the international set-up in April for the Bulgarian friendly. Did enough to warrant his call for the final 23.
 
Player Team, Age, Caps, Goals
4-Rafael Marquez (Monaco) Born: 13.2.79 Caps: 36 Goals: 4.
One of the few Mexican players to have done well abroad, Marquez has huge promise and played in 11 of Mexico's qualifying matches. One of the few players to survive Mexico's disastrous run of early 2001 and be kept on by Aguirre. Began his career with the Pumas of UNAM.
 
7-Ramon Morales (Guadalajara) Born: 10.10.75 Caps: 17 Goals: 1.
One of the new players introduced by Aguirre. Tested in last year's Copa America, he played in the crucial sequence of matches in which Mexico guaranteed their World Cup place, though likely to be mainly confined to the bench. Turned professional with Monterrey and after three seasons there, joined Guadalajara at the start of 1999.
 
8-Alberto Garcia Aspe (Puebla) Born: 11.5.67 Caps: 108 Goals: 22.
Talented midfielder who is playing in his third World Cup. He was controversially dropped under Enrique Meza but has orchestrated the midfield after being recalled by Aguirre. Mexico's revival has coincided with his recall.
 
6-Gerardo Torrado (Seville) Born: 30.4.79 Caps: 28 Goals: 2.
Promising midfielder who has been given his chance by Aguirre. Played in four qualifiers plus the Copa America in Colombia, when he was sent off in the final. Began with the Pumas of UNAM and also played in the Spanish second division for UNAM and Tenerife.
 
18-Johan Rodriguez (Santos Laguna) Born: 15.8.75 Caps: 14 Goals: 1.
Hard-running, attacking midfielder. Has a good right foot shot and cross. Turned professional at Cruz Azul, he moved to Santos Laguna in 1999.
 
3-Rafael Garcia (Toluca) Born: 14.8.74 Caps: 21 Goals: 2.
Joined Toluca in mid 1998 from UNAM and played in several title-winning sides. Given his debut last year. Plays on the right of midfield.
 
13-Sigifredo Mercado (Atlas) Born: 21.12.68 Caps: 18 Goals: 0.
Midfielder on the fringe of being a first team regular. Previous clubs include Puebla, Toluca, Leon and Atlas.
 
11-Braulio Luna (Necaxa) Born: 8.9.74 Caps: 15 Goals: 1.
Started at UNAM (Pumas) where he spent the first five years of his career before joining America. In the squad which won the Gold Cup in 1997 and at France 98 but has had few chances under Aguirre.
 
14-German Villa (America) Born: 2.4.73 Caps: 46 Goals: 0.
Determined, gritty figure in the heart of the midfield. A good tackler and useful distributor of the ball.
 
19-Gabriel Caballero (Pachuca) Born: 5.2.71 Caps: 5 Goals: 0.
Is Argentine-born and only qualifies for Mexico after gaining citizenship in 1995. Hard-running midfielder but his controversial inclusion has sparked criticism from teammate Luis Hernandez and others.
 
Player Team, Age, Caps, Goals
21-Jesus Arellano (Monterrey) Born: 8.5.73 Caps: 49 Goals: 5.
Played at France 98, coming on as a halftime substitute in three of Mexico's four games. Skilful right-sided attacker, at his most dangerous when cutting in from the touchline. Has spent all his career with Monterrey apart from a one-year break at Guadalajara. Played in four of the last five qualifiers after Aguirre took command. Mexico depend heavily on him for creativity.
 
10-Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Real Valladolid) Born: 17.1.73 Caps: 75 Goals: 16.
The team's key player. Almost single-handedly ensured qualification for Mexico, scoring nine goals in the qualifiers despite starting only four and coming on as a substitute in another three. Played in France '98, when he pioneered a unique piece of trickery known as the Cuauhtemoc hop. Threatened to quit late last year in a row over travel arrangements but was persuaded to think again.
 
9-Jared Borgetti (Santos Laguna) Born: 14.8.73 Caps: 29 Goals: 10.
Prolific goalscorer at club level, he scored a hat trick on his debut against Trinidad in July 2000 and has added several important goals since. Despite this, he will have to work hard to dislodge Blanco or Palencia from the starting line-up.
 
17-Francisco Palencia (Espanyol) Born: 28.4.73 Caps: 67 Goals: 9.
Intelligent, unselfish striker who has been a national team regular for several years but appears to have come of age in the last 12 months. Played a large part in Cruz Azul's success last year as the Cement Mixers became the first Mexican team to reach a Libertadores semi-final.
 
15-Luis Hernandez (America) Born: 22.12.68 Caps: 85 Goals: 35.
Returned to the international fold for Mexico for April's defeat of Bulgaria in New York. A familiar face on the international scene with long, blond hair and equally flowing runs.
 

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