Just one year ago, Mexico faced Germany in the Confederations Cup held in Russia, a tournament in which several of the top stars did not appear. However, when both teams meet again on Russian soil for the 2018 World Cup, the Tricolor will line up against 12 well-known faces, those who were part of the resounding 4-1 victory for the Europeans.
Germany: Confederations to World Cup
In goal back in the summer of 2017 was Marc-André Ter Stegen, a player who has since shone in the colours of FC Barcelona - a team that picked up LaLiga and Copa del Rey titles this past season in Spain. Although usual number one Manuel Neuer has now recovered from an injury that kept him out for the majority of the Bundesliga campaign, Ter Stegen will battle it out for the honour of standing between the posts at the World Cup. Another stopper who got a ticket back to Russia after the Confederations Cup is PSG's Kevin Trapp.
Defenders to make the return trip to the land of vodka and the Kremlin include Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea, Jonas Hector of Cologne and Matthias Ginter of Borussia Mönchengladbach. The first two could well find themselves in a starting berth against Mexico, while Ginter will surely see some action from the bench along with Marvin Plattenhardt, another Confederations Cup inclusion. Another special case is that of Niklas Süle, who did not play a single minute against Mexico a year ago, but could face the 'Tri' in his World Cup debut.
Mexico seek revenge 12 months on
Across the midfield the familiarity continues. Julian Draxler will captain of the team, while young sensation Leon Goretzka, the very solid Sebastian Rudy and the talented Joshua Kimmich will all play their part, likley in the Luzhnikí stadium. In the forward lines Mexico will see changes from last year, with only Julian Brandt doing back-to-back Russian adventures.
So there you have it. Almost half of the players being taken to Russia aiming to retain their world title by Joachim Löw have very recent experience of competing against the Mexican national team... and also of convincingly defeating them.