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SOCCER

Gallardo, Edson and Rodríguez - Martino’s trusty stalwarts

The Monterrey full-back has racked up 45 games, the Ajax midfielder 39 and the Cruz Azul midfielder 34 games under the coach.

Edgardo Avelar
Ciudad de MéxicoUpdate:
Mexico players celebrate teammate Hirving Lozano's goal (not in picture) during the international friendly football match between Mexico and Peru at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on September 24, 2022. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)
ROBYN BECKAFP

With almost sixty days to go before Mexico make their debut at the 2022 World Cup against group rivals Poland, we take a look at that players who have played the most games during Gerardo Martino’s time at the helm. Monterrey wing-back, Jesús Gallardo tops the ranking with 45 games, Edson Álvarez follows with 39 and Cruz Azul midfielder Carlos Rodríguez comes behind him with 34 games

Among the top three most-used players, Gallardo’s continued inclusion has caused the most debate. Doubts have arisen among pundits and fans about the true level of the defender who was given his first senior call-up by Juan Carlos Osorio in 2016 and starred at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The same cannot be said about Ajax midfielder Edson Álvarez or América’s goalkeeper, whose performances are beyond doubt. Álvarez’s market value continues to increase as a results of his performances in the Eredivise and especially for his contribution to the national team, who he has carried on many an occasion.

Also in the list of Martino’s 10 most dependable players are AEK Athen’s Orbelín Pineda with 34 games undre the coach, Cruz Azul’s Uriel Antuna and Sevilla’s “Tecatito’ Jesús Manuel Corona, who remains doubtful for the World Cup after undergoing surgery on a fractured shin bone and damaged ankle ligaments. His presence in Qatar will depend on his rehabilitation between now and November.

Under Tata, Corona has played 23 games, bringing to a close the group of the ten most active players from March 2019 when the Argentine coach made his debut in a friendly against United States.

Ochoa, sixth player with most appearances for Mexico

The list also includes América defender Néstor Araujo 31 appearances, Guillermo Ochoa, whose level is beyond doubt on the cusp of his fifth World Cup. The veteran keeper has notched up 30 games under Martino and has been playing at a preponderant level and where hopes will be on him to help the team advance past the quarter final stage for the first time in history.

Then comes Houston Houston midfielder Héctor Herrera and Héctor Moreno with 30+ games played, which undoubtedly shows the great contribution which they have made during the Argentine coach’s tenure. In the run-up to the World Cup finals, there are more doubts than certainties about how far Tata’s Mexico can go in Qatar.

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