Skip to content

World Cup 2022: Hector Moreno explains why Mexico national team ‘don’t have the luxury’ of leaving Chicharito

The Mexican national team is in a complex situation ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. While they qualified as the second-best team in Concacaf, during qualifying there were some tough times, including chants to sack head coach Tata Martino as the team struggled with a lack goals as well as disappointing results against the United States and Canada. When El Tri are used to dominating the continent, it can be hard to get along with improving other teams, especially when it’s now costing them trophies they’d be meant to win. Last year, they lost to the United States men’s national team in the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup finals.

Those expectations are something Mexico international Héctor Moreno spoke about on CBS Sports Podcast. In football we trust as he looks to head towards his fourth World Cup. When asked how he handles the pressure after a loss to the media, Moreno started by simply stating that it’s important to disconnect from social media because people don’t say the things they would say. on social media when he goes out with his family.

“The Mexican media always tries to put pressure on it, but that’s part of being able to play with the national team,” Moreno said. “It’s been a long time, I’ve been there but sometimes it’s hard because they go beyond football and [into] our lives. They start talking about personal life and stuff like that that I don’t like. I understand that you can criticize if I play well,” he continued. “But when people talk about family things or other things unrelated to football, I don’t understand it. It’s part of the football business but it’s not cool. It’s not cool to end up in this situation because at the end of the day everyone wants to win and you have an opponent in front of you who is the same. »

Listen below and follow In Soccer We Trust: A CBS Sports Soccer Podcast where three times a week your three favorite former USMNT players cover everything you could want to know about the beautiful game in the United States.

The pressure to succeed is immense, and that’s especially true when there’s added drama like Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez being left out of the squad despite El Tri’s scoring issues. Chicharito has not been capped since 2019 despite Mexico scoring just 17 goals in 14 World Cup qualifying appearances as striker Raul Jimenez tried to regain form after a frightening fractured skull who ended his 2020/21 season with Wolverhampton.

At the time Chicharito was dropped he was struggling to play for Sevilla, but things have been different since joining Major League Soccer. After only scoring two goals in 12 games in a Covid-shortened 2020 season, Chicharito broke out in 2021 scoring 17 and assisting three more. He has maintained that form this season with five goals in nine games and hasn’t closed the door on a return to the national team either. Listening to Moreno, it also doesn’t look like the players have closed the door on Chicharito if Martino is ready to call him.

“I think Mexico doesn’t have the luxury of leaving out this kind of player, who can give you something. I don’t know if as a starter or not, it’s not my job but I just want him to be able to compete with us, to be part of the last 26 players who will participate in the World Cup. Said Moreno, “I believe everyone who is Mexican hopes to play for us in the final roster, so I hope he gets that opportunity and the last time I spoke to him he was ready to do that. , he wants to do this. »

Moreno is right. El Tri doesn’t have the luxury of leaving Chicharito’s home as their top scorer in qualifying was Jimenez with just three goals. No other Mexican striker has scored more than two goals and you know what you’ll get from someone who’s seen it all and done it all like Chicharito. The lack of goals has already hurt Mexico in the big places as the team create good chances but the strikers didn’t finish them which is why their expected goals scored in qualifying was 22.45 from five from more than their actual goals scored.

But Chicharito is not the only player Moreo would like to see in the World Cup squad. Marcelo Flores also catches his eye. Although Moreno hasn’t trained much himself with the 18-year-old midfielder in Arsenal’s youth system, he says he’s heard good things and hopes he’ll be able to build on that. its potential. The attacking midfielder is also eligible for Canada, but has been involved with Mexico at youth level and worked his way up the ranks for Mexico’s youth teams ahead of his debut against Chile in 2021. He’ll likely get more minutes during the nations league game and with a strong enough performance, Flores could also make the trip to Qatar.

Hopefully things can fall into place for Mexico to have a good performance in the World Cup, but it won’t be easy as they face Argentina, Poland and Saudi Arabia in Group C. There’s a lot to do for Moreno and the Mexico defense. I feel good about going to Qatar but it will be up to Martino to make sure he gets the most out of his attack because if they struggle and Chicharito is left at home it could be a monumental moment in his tenure.

Be sure to check out Moreno’s full interview where he dwells on the state of Mexican football as well as the Concacaf Champions League final.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.