Mexico's ageing squad preps for World Cup opener vs. Poland - ESPN

DOHA, Qatar -- What do Mexico's Andres Guardado and Guillermo Ochoa have in typical with footballing greats equivalent to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi?

just like the Ballon d'Or winners, El Tri's veterans at the moment are a part of an exceedingly unique selection of gamers that have been referred to as as much as five World Cups -- a checklist no participant has yet to damage.

along with Ronaldo and Messi, Guardado and Ochoa join the likes of Germany's Lothar Matthaus, Italy's Gianluigi Buffon and Mexican icons Rafael Marquez and Antonio Carbajal, who've all taken part in five tournaments every. For both Guardado and Ochoa, it's an awesome stretch that began with the 2006 World Cup.

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but as Mexico put together to start their World Cup crusade in Qatar on Tuesday, there may be extra ambivalence from lovers and media instead of exhilaration about the two veterans and several different participants of Mexico's historical safeguard.

After the announcement of coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino's remaining World Cup roster prior this month -- with a standard age of 28.5 -- eyebrows had been raised when there changed into now not a single participant under 23, including noteworthy exclusions comparable to Feyenoord's Santiago Gimenez and Braga's Diego Lainez.

There is no lack of journey right through the Mexican squad, however there are lingering issues about even if one of the most players might possibly be past the peak of their potential. Coupled with simply three wins of their previous nine matches in all competitions, Mexico's kind has many fans and pundits wondering how resilient this squad may be in Qatar.

Mexico train Tata Martino selected event over early life for his World Cup squad, mirroring what he prior to now did with Paraguay. Will it work once more? The Tuesday suit in opposition t Poland may additionally come to a decision. Elsa/Getty pictures

someday before Mexico's match opener in opposition t Poland, Martino supported his criticized group of players.

"Like I've at all times referred to, this country wide team, chiefly in the contemporary duration of time, it be very amazing," the instruct referred to Monday during the pregame news convention. "when you consider that the summer time beforehand, the group has all started to basically play respectable games, but the effects in conventional simply haven't followed."

Will the outcomes finally turn in El Tri's prefer all over the world Cup community stage?

besides the fact that children Ochoa looked as if it would spend more time Monday criticizing the coverage from Mexican media than discussing the Tuesday online game towards Poland, the goalkeeper did try to flip the script on one of the most recent talking features of El Tri no longer having satisfactory youthful power within the squad.

"There are lots of younger individuals [in our squad] that do not need World Cup experience," Ochoa pointed out. "the eagerness of that first online game, of that first World Cup, will at all times be there."

There might also even be the equal level of eagerness for the 36-year-historic Guardado, Mexico's new all-time appearances chief (178 caps) who has pointed out that this may be his remaining World Cup, calling it his "remaining dance."

"i'll play on the planet Cup and [then] my participation with the country wide team should be over, it's my ultimate dream," the Mexico captain advised Rondo magazine prior this year. "it be the final probability to obtain whatever thing for the national team."

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    The pressure and motivation could be there from Guardado, Ochoa and a lot of different veterans who were essential avid gamers in Martino's system, but time will inform if it be the correct mix of characters for this World Cup.

    For what or not it's worth, a spotlight on veterans has worked during the past for Martino. again within the 2010 World Cup, the Argentine manager took an underdog Paraguay squad with across the same typical age (28.1) as Mexico in 2022 to the quarterfinals of the tournament. Twelve years later, can Martino recreate a few of that magic?

    On Tuesday, the primary large check for his roster may be towards Poland, a side in order to seemingly be struggling with with El Tri for the 2nd and ultimate spot from neighborhood C into the knockout round, with Argentina the expected group winner.

    traditionally, Mexico have had a greater noteworthy World Cup presence considering 1994 with their constant qualifications into the knockout round in seven consecutive appearances -- in evaluation to just three community stage exits for Poland all over that equal run -- but supervisor Czeslaw Michniewicz wouldn't accept the proposal that Mexico will be the favorites Tuesday within the healthy at Stadium 974.

    "We don't analyze Mexico in this means -- we're all on the World Cup," Poland's train talked about at the news conference. "We do not supply any ranks to our opponents."

    Andres Guardado, left, is 36 years historic and Guillermo Ochoa is 37. each are taking part in of their fifth World Cups, however some critics would have liked to have seen Mexico container a younger squad in Qatar. Doug Zimmerman/ISI pictures/Getty pictures

    Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny additionally agreed with the thought that El Tri aren't above them.

    "I believe that the Mexican crew is at an identical degree that we are," the Juventus goalkeeper observed. "or not it's going to be an interesting game."

    Assuming Argentina won't have too much concern in group C and that Saudi Arabia do not control any upsets, the three aspects obtainable Tuesday will greatly raise the chances of either Mexico or Poland making it into the round of 16.

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    If El Tri are capable of get three features, it may well be enough for a complete one hundred eighty-diploma switch on the poor highlight that has been placed on Martino and his growing older squad. trust in his veterans, on the largest stage within the sport, would once again prove to be on the direction to success.

    And yet if Mexico lose, or perhaps even draw, it wouldn't be challenging to paint Martino's roster alternative as a dangerous gamble. On a group that appears to have obligatory adolescence replacements and a generational change, there would be a way of a painful regression all over the area Cup.

    in the meanwhile, Ochoa and Guardado will share the realm Cup record for probably the most World Cup call-ups, but when things do not work in their prefer, that should be would becould very well be all that they're going to head home with in an early and probably disappointing exit from the area Cup.

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