Mexico are coming to the World Cup as the reigning CONCACAF champions, and confidence is at an all time high thanks to the tactical acumen of their mentor Javier Aguirre. He came into the fold when Mexico's fortunes were waning and managed to transform the El Tri squad. In June they'll engage the likes of South Africa, France, and Uruguay in Group A.
The nation of Mexico have qualified for their fourteenth WC since 1930 (i.e, 1930, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1978, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, and now 2010). The players to watch in this year's team are Carlos Vela and Giovanni dos Santos who'll be taking part in their first World Cup. 'El Tri' as their millions of fans call them qualified at the back of a rigorous campaign involving the United States, Honduras, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago and El Salvador.
At the 2010 World Cup they'll kickstart their campaign against South Africa at the Soccer City Stadium (above) in the opening match of the tournament. Mexico will go on to meet France in Polokwane followed by Uruguay in Rustenberg. Their best chance to snatch maximum points lies with the opening encounter against the hosts who are languishing at 90th on the FIFA rankings, and they are second lowest ranked team at the tournament. However, Mexico will have to contend with up to 80 000 vuvuzela (high pitched trumpets) wielding host team fans.
Mexico Provisional World Cup squad (May 2010 Update)
Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (America), Luis Michel (Chivas), Oscar Perez (Jaguares)
Defenders: Rafael Marquez (Barcelona), Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven), Francisco Rodriguez (PSV Eindhoven), Hector Moreno (AZ Alkmaar), Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart), Efrain Juarez (Pumas), Paul Aguilar (Pachuca), Jonny Magallon (Chivas), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (America), Jorge Torres (Atlas)
Midfielders: Andres Guardado (Deportivo La Coruna), Jonathan Dos Santos (Barcelona), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Israel Castro (Pumas), Pablo Barrera (Pumas), Adrian Aldrete (Morelia)
Forwards: Carlos Vela (Arsenal), Giovani Dos Santos (Galatasaray), Guillermo Franco (West Ham), Alberto Medina (Chivas), Adolfo Bautista (Chivas), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Veracruz), Javier Hernandez (Chivas)