FIFA World Cup: Mexico’s Roster Leaves Fans Crying Foul

Posted on: November 16, 2022, 10:48h. 

Last updated on: November 16, 2022, 12:04h.

With the exclusion of players like Diego Lainez and the inclusion of players like Raul Jimenez, Mexico presented its final roster for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Not included on the roster were Jesus Angulo of Tigres and Erick Sánchez of Pachuca, causing something of a revolt in Mexico.

Mexico national team head coach Gerardo Martino
Mexico national team head coach Gerardo Martino reacts during Mexico’s 1-0 victory over Peru in September. He’s in the hot seat for some of the decisions he made in creating the roster for the World Cup. (Image: Getty Images)

Coach Gerardo Martino revealed the final list of players for Qatar 2022 on Monday. It’s made up of players he believes are “optimal” and suitable for what lies ahead.

The Mexican team will be playing in its eighth consecutive World Cup, but the roster is bringing more concern than joy to fans. And with Mexico facing Poland on November 22, Martino hopes he made the right calls.

Mexico Calls in the Big Guns

Martino hasn’t impressed fans since he took charge of the Mexican team in January 2019. His beginnings were very promising, as he led the team to several titles. But things have gone downhill since.

The starting goalkeeper will likely be Guillermo Ochoa of Club America, followed by Alfredo Talavera of FC Juárez and Rodolfo Cota of León. The goalkeepers who were left out are Carlos Acevedo of Santos Laguna, Luis Malagón of Necaxa, David Ochoa of D.C. United, and Jonathan Orozco of Club Tijuana. 

On defense, Jesús Gallardo, Héctor Moreno, and Monterrey’s Cesar Montes will join Ajax’s Jorge Sánchez, Gerardo Arteaga, Johan Vasquez, Nestor Araujo, and Kevin Alvarez. In the midfield lineup, Real Betis’ Andres Guardado, Ajax’s Edson Alvarez, and Houston Dynamo’s Hector Herrera are the starters.

Raul Jimenez is on Martino’s final World Cup roster as well. His presence stands out for one particular reason. The Wolverhampton striker is still recovering from an injury and hasn’t played soccer in months. When he was healthy, Jimenez was solid. It isn’t clear what his status will be going into the single most important soccer tournament in the world.

Jimenez might get a chance to prove himself before the big games. Mexico will take on Sweden in a friendly match on Wednesday in which Sportium is leaning toward the Latin American squad. Mexico is in front, -105 to +290, on the moneyline.

For Jimenez to be brought into the match, someone had to go. That someone was Feyenoord striker Santiago Giménez. This decision hasn’t pleased Mexico’s diehard fans.

No Expense too Great

To host this year’s FIFA World Cup, Qatar is reportedly spending around $220 billion. All World Cup hosts have paid significant money, but this is the highest amount yet. Russia previously held the record for its 2018 games, for which it spent $16 billion, according to several media outlets at the time.

The exorbitant increase is unfathomable to everyone, though Qatar’s out-sized spending is about more than just the games.

Qatar wants to prove to the world that it deserves a place at the international table, and it needs people from all backgrounds and cultures to visit the country for that to happen.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, owns Paris-Saint Germain. The small emirate also owns London’s The Shard skyscraper. As it continues to find new financial targets around the world, Qatar hopes to gain favor along the way.

Some people are accusing Qatar of spending so much in order to “whitewash” its image. They say it’s covering up the true nature of daily life in the country in order to make a good impression, but will revert to its old ways once the tourists leave and the streets are cleaned.

Allegations of corruption and human rights violations overshadow the image Qatar wants to project. Whether its massive investment will produce the results it wants will only be revealed with time.