Next summer, Diego Reyes will become the first Mexican player to join FC Porto. His name now joins those of Kikin Fonseca, Manuel Negrete, and Edson Rivera as players in the Portugese top flight, the Primeira Liga, also known as Liga ZON Sagres.
Mauricio Cabrera, director and co-founder of La Ciudad Deportiva, an all sports news website, with a detailed following for breaking football news, tweeted Monday night: “The Reyes story sounds like a replica of Rafael Márquez, even I dare to say that Diego’s has more media charisma.”
Not long ago, April 2010 to be exact, Diego Reyes made his professional debut with Club America. His tall, lanky figure was the first indication that he was an atypical Mexico football player. Once on the pitch where he was able to showcase his passing skills and accurate slide tackles, Reyes received immediate notoriety at age 17. The rest is history – a Toulon championship, a third place finish in Colombia’s U-20 World Cup, and a gold medal in London’s Olympics. His winning mentality has complimented well with his respective teams. His attitude is highly contagious and is capable of enlightening even teams with a sombrous present such as his beloved Club America.
Aquivaldo Mosquera was named Club America captain for the upcoming season, but the 20 year-old Reyes also had all the capabilities to be America’s captain. Reyes is the face of one of America’s most successful youth ranks, which managed to consecutively win three U-20 tournaments, the last one in the Apertura 2011. Reyes is capable of playing both at central defender and the holding midfielder position, but after the Olympics and Apertura 2012, he has mastered the central defender role.
Diego, Mexico’s very own Sergio Busquets, now heads to his new home, FC Porto, with the firm intention of making history. Reyes embodies the perfect Mexico player. As a teenager, he lived Mexico’s first World Cup title in 2005. During his early teens he saw Rafael Márquez winning every single club title in Europe. He saw how Chicharito Hernández became Manchester United’s surprised signing in 2010 (Javier was one of the first TRI players to congratulate Diego on his new adventure, via Twitter). Reyes and Márquez are different people who play in the same area of the pitch. What makes Reyes different from Márquez is the fact that he represents a different Mexico footballer generation, a generation that does not fear taking huge risks or making grandiose claims. Reyes heads to Portugal as an Olympic gold medalist and with over 100 games representing the Mexican national team under his belt. The only question is what additional success the future holds.