On paper, the Confederations Cup looks like a nuisance for the Mexican national team, falling as it does in the middle of a busy period of World Cup qualifiers and the commencement of the Gold Cup. In reality, the tournament provides a welcome opportunity for the country to measure its progress against some of the best teams in the world.

With a number of young Mexican players attracting the attention of European clubs in the wake of the country’s success in the 2012 London Olympics, a strong performance in the Confederations Cup would crystallise Mexico’s standing as an emerging power in world football.

Coach: Jose Manuel de la Torre

De La Torre assumed the position of Mexican national team coach in early 2011, having impressed in leading Toluca to two Primera Division titles. He tasted instant success at the 2011 Gold Cup, leading Mexico to a 4-2 victory over the United States in the final, and has generally performed well in his time in charge to date.

There have, however, been rumblings of discontent within Mexico following the country’s first ever home defeat to the United States in an August 2012 friendly and a succession of below par displays in World Cup qualifying in which Mexico have struggled to break down inferior opposition. De La Torre needs a summer of strong results to solidify his position.

Key Player: Giovani dos Santos

He has often flattered to deceive at club level, but there can be little doubt as to Giovani’s importance to the Mexican national team. He is not always the most consistent or hard-working player, but his close dribbling skills and inventive touches are frequently the key to unlocking opposition defences.

Dos Santos has scored in each of Mexico’s last two Gold Cup final victories and scored three times during their successful Olympic campaign, although he did miss the victory in the final through injury. Mexico will need him to have another strong tournament if they are to impress in Brazil.

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View from Mexico

Mexicans took great pride in winning the 1999 Confederations Cup – the country’s first international trophy outside of CONCACAF – and the competition will certainly be taken seriously by the country’s football loving populous. The chance to see how their national team stack up against the likes of Brazil and Italy is an exciting prospect.


Mexico have been drawn in the tougher of the two groups, alongside the aforementioned Brazil and Italy, as well as Asian champions Japan. Mexico have defeated Brazil twice in the last year and are certainly unlikely to be a walkover for any of their opponents, but it would be a surprise if they were able to progress to the semi-finals.

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