Mexico City, Mexico (4E Sports) – Mexico national team coach Miguel Herrera bared his 23-man cast for the World Cup that included Manchester United striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.
“This list was made with my head and not my heart,” Herrera said. “I am looking for a team that has ball possession and is physically powerful. These 23 players know what it means to be champions.”
Herrera is hoping that Mexico’s seven European players will be healthy in time for the World Cup, including Villarreal’s Giovani dos Santos and Bayer Leverkusen winger Andres Guardado.
Herrera had four choices at goalkeeper and opted to leave out Moises Munoz in favor of Alfredo Talavera while including Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona and Ajaccio’s Guillermo Ochoa.
Herrera also left off Villarreal midfielder Javier Aquino and Juan Carlos Valenzuela in favor of Club Tigres midfielder Carlos Salcido, a 2006 and 2010 World Cup veteran.
The seven European-based players, who will join training on May 18, will team up 16 players from Mexico’s Liga MX. Club América, Herrera’s former club, has the most players in the squad with five.
If Marquez be named captain, he would be the first player in Mexico history to captain his team at four different World Cups.
Mexico will play friendlies vs. Israel on May 28 at Estadio Azteca; vs. Ecuador on May 31 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina June 3 at Chicago’s Soldier Field and vs. Portugal on June 6 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Mexico is in Group A and will open play against Cameroon on June 13 before taking on hosts Brazil on June 17.
Mexico’s complete roster:
Goalkeepers: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
Defenders: Paul Aguilar (America), Andres Guardado (Bayer Leverkusen), Miguel Layun (America), Rafa Marquez (Leon), Hector Moreno (Espanyol), Diego Reyes (Porto), Maza Rodriguez (America), Carlos Salcido (Tigres)
Midfielders: Juan Carlos Medina (America), Gallito Vazquez (Leon), Hector Herrera (Porto), Carlos Peña (Leon), Isaac Brizuela (Toluca), Marco Fabian (Cruz Azul), Luis Montes (Leon)
Forwards: Oribe Peralta (Santos), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United), Raul Jimenez (America), Alan Pulido (Tigres), Giovani Dos Santos (Villarreal)