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César Montes’ numbers in his debut season with Espanyol

The Mexican defender has been one of the Periquitos’ most consistent players. He joined in December 2022 after his participation at the Qatar World Cup.

Ciudad de México
1-3. Cabezazo de César Montes a la escuadra de Grbic tras un centro de Aleix Vidal.
Rodolfo Molina

César Montes is one of a number of Mexican soccer players active in Europe’s major leagues. He is also one of the few whose season has yet to be decided. Unlike compatriots Hirving Lozano, Orbelín Pineda and Santiago Giménez - all champions with their respective teams, or Guillermo Ochoa who has ensured Salernitana are safe from relegation. Andrés Guardado’s Betis have qualified for next season’s Europa League, as have Erick Gutiérrez’s PSV and Edson Álvarez’s Ajax. Not so fortunate is Johan Vásquez and Cremonese, who have already been relegated in Series A. ‘El Cachorro’ Montes could suffer a similar fate with Espanyol who are second from bottom in the Spanish top flight with two games left to play and three points from safety.

Montes joined the Periquitos on an €8 million deal from Monterrey in December 2022 - just weeks after participating in the World Cup in Qatar with Mexico. The Catalan club agreed a long-term contract, signing the defender up until the summer of 2028. The centre-back took no time to settle and fit into the back four with ease. He has missed just three games - two of them due to a head injury and has been one of the team’s most consistent players in the second half of the campaign. But he has been unable to stop Espanyol from sliding into the relegation zone - the team has won just six games this season and now do not depend on themselves to avoid the drop to the Liga Smartbank.

‘El Cachorro’ made his debut with Espanyol in the Third Round of the Copa del Rey on 3 January 2022, celebrating with a 3-1 win over Celta Vigo. Since then, he has played a total of 20 games, 18 of them in the starting XU, more than 1,619 minutes of play, two goals, one own goal (against Villarreal, in Week 31) and has accumulated five yellow cards.

His last goal, in the team’s last game against Atlético Madrid, kickstarted an epic comeback (Espanyol were trailing 0-3 and ended drawing 3-3). That result keeps the Catalans with some options of staying alive. With two games to go to conclude the season, against Valencia and Almería, Espanyol will need to win at least one to remain in the category.

Rendimiento de César Montes.
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Rendimiento de César Montes.BeSoccer

2022/23 LaLiga relegation battle

  • 40 points Valencia 
  • 40 points Celta
  • 39 points Almería 
  • 38 points Getafe
  • 38 points Cadiz
  • 38 points Valladolid
  • 35 points Espanyol
  • 21 points Elche

Espanyol is the club to have spent the most seasons in Spain’s top division without ever having won the title (87). They were promoted back to LaLiga in 2021 after spending a season in the second tier - prior to that, the last time they were relegated was in 1993.

Luis García Fernández’s team have it all to do at Mestalla on Sunday to avoid disaster in the final day of the season, a week later at home to Almería at the RCDE Stadium. Two finals to save the category.