Memo Ochoa is the best Mexican goalkeeper in history - Adrián Chávez
The América legend said that there should be no debate on the issue. He can see Memo playing not only a sixth World Cup, but even a seventh.
For Adrián Chávez, one of the legends under the three posts of América, there should be no debate regarding Guillermo Ochoa’s place in the history of Mexican soccer. He considers the current Salernitana goalkeeper the best Mexican player in his position in history.
“Memo is number one, no doubt about it,” he stated, without hesitation.
Above Larios, Campos... et al
For Chávez, Ochoa stands head and shoulders above all of Mexico’s historic goalkeepers - out of whom only one, Jorge Campos, was once considered one of the best keepers in the world - for his performances in two World Cups (1994 and 1998).
In a chat with AS México, Chávez a legend at América, added that the issue over who is the greatest Mexican goalkeeper of all-time should not be considered controversial or a matter for discussion. He feels that internationally, there is no one to match Ochoa, Mexico’s first-choice keeper at three World Cups - Brazil 2014, Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022.
“There’s no need to be asking questions, or discussing anything: Memo is the best in history - the statistics say so,” he said.
Ochoa not getting credit in his homeland
“Give credit where credit’s due,” Chávez continued. “But unfortunately, as always, we Mexicans are our own worst enemies. Since Hugo Sánchez’s time, Mexicans have been responsible for misinforming, giving opinions without knowing and the truth is that it is sad that players who are represented Mexico outside of our country, we do not give them the merit that we should give them,” he said.
“As they say, you can’t please everyone, but it is only a question of watching Memo play in the World Cups that he has starred in. After his performances in 2014 and 2018 World Cups, you didn’t hear the Mexican press calling him one of the best goalkeepers in the world. We Mexicans don’t say it, but the international press says it and for that reason I think they are misinforming people. That’s why I’m sorry that this has turned into a debate - a topic that continues to be discussed. They do not give credit to Memo, for what he has done and continues to do in his career”.
Booing in the last game at the Azteca
Ochoa was singled out by fans during Mexico’s last game, the 2-2 draw with Jamaica at the Azteca - Chávez feels the booing was uncalled for. “Of course, it was undeserved, but these things happen when you are a soccer player,” he said “I mentioned at the time that the only thing Memo would do is change those boos for applause and look what happened - they are applauding him in Italy. Giving him more credit than he gets here in Mexico, it’s incredible”.
Chances of Ochoa appearing at a sixth World Cup
Ochoa was part of the Mexico squad in the last five World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022) and Chávez sees no reason why Memo won’t still be with the national team for the next edition in 2026 when he will be 40. “No problem, I spoke to him six or seven months ago and he said that he is fortunate that first of all he is a professional. Secondly, he has not been injured and thirdly, that mentally he is a goalkeeper who has always that he is very strong and that when he is mentally tired he will stop playing. I told him that he would have to work on that part to continue playing as long as he wanted.
“There is the example of Oscar Pérez, El Conejo (who retired in 2019, aged 46) so why not Memo? But as always, people are going to say I’ve gone mad. But I say why not? He could play at a sixth or even a seventh World Cup,” he said.
Chávez concluded that he has no idea why Ochoa isn’t given the credit he gets outside of Mexico. “I don’t know why, like I say, it’s always Mexicans criticising other Mexicans, sadly, that envy will always be there”.