WORLD CUP XIs: Mexican Heroes (and Villains) of the Revolution

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Given that the World Cup is all about drama, a proper XI should consist of a cast of characters. I tend to root for teams where this is the case, rather than having one star, or one manager to cling on to, but many figures to catch my interest. In Mexico, a country of characters, the finest cast is that of the Revolution. In my Latin American history classes in high school and college, the Mexican Revolution was always the most exciting topic. Not because I identified with any particular ideologies, had interest in military tactics or cared much about the outcome. But rather, because the revolving door of figureheads, heroes, and villains and their constant antics was far more amusing than anything I learned about World War II, Rome, Soviet Russia, etc. So here are eleven men who will inspire you, confuse you, sing to you, and 10 years later leave you wondering exactly what on earth happened.

 

ST: Plutarco Elias Calles

ST: Lazaro Cardenas

CM: Pascual Orozco

LM: Emilano Zapata

RM: Pancho Villa

DM: Francisco I. Madero

LB: Venustiano Carranza

CB: Enrique Creel

CB: Victoriano Huerta

RB: Álvaro Obregon

GK: Porfirio Diaz

 

Poor old Porfirio. All alone between the sticks and having to put up with constant attacks. This may well be his last World Cup, and given recent interviews he seems for the most part disinterested.

In defense, Creel is simply there to follow his keeper’s orders, while for Huerta, a true centre-half, the term “hack” isn’t simply a polite kick at the shins. At left back, Carranza, loves making forward runs. But with the selfishness of so many surrounding players, don’t expect to see him putting in too many crosses. Óbregon is a fairly steady one-on-one defender, but misalignment with Carranza has seen opponents exploit the offside trap on more than one occasion.

Zapata has much to prove this tournament, but his passion and motivation could well be haunted by his inability to read opposing defenders. Villa and Orozco once formed a formidable midfield partnership but recent quarrels leave many question marks. Playing slightly behind, Francisco I. Madero must be careful as his distributive abilities are often hampered by poor discipline. A premature expulsion is not unlikely. In a side where most attacks are unpredictable, it often appears that strikers Calles and Cardenas are simply there to finish the job. It’s on the wings where Mexicans hold the greatest hope.

 

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