(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
His name is Víctor Mañon, a player last seen winning a Segunda División (Mexico's third tier) championship in the spring with the Titanes de Tulancingo. While the team could not meet the requirements to join the Ascenso MX, Mañon was given a last-minute roster spot this season back at Pachuca. It was during a previous stint with the Tuzos that Mañon saw his first action in the top division. Back on September 8, 2007, Enrique “El Ojitos” Meza decided to debut the young Mañon against Cruz Azul. Mañon was 15 years and seven months old, becoming the youngest footballer to debut in Mexico’s Primera División.
Sergio “El Kun” Agüero made his Independiente debut against San Lorenzo de Almagro, in Argentina’s Primera División, at the age of 15 years, one month, and three days (Diario Olé). The Manchester City star forward became the youngest player to ever play amongst Argentina’s top-flight players.
In his Liga MX managerial debut, John Van’t Schip opted to insert two 17 year olds into his starting eleven: Carlos Fierro and Octavio Villanueva. Both players finished the game with satisfactory notes, but it was the kid from Ahoma, Sinaloa, who left the best impression. On more than one occasion Fierro caused a scare in El Ojitos’s Toluca during the Primera Jornada match, one ultimately finishing 2-1 in favor of the chorizeros.
It is not normal to see 15-year-olds participate in the world’s top leagues, but it is becoming more common to see 17-year-olds raising their hand and delighting the football world with their prodigious skills.
El Kun Agüero’s story is exceptional if not remarkable. That is not the case for Mañon, who played last year for a third division team in Mexico. The progression and attention a young “different” native player receives in Mexico is not the same as in Argentina.
Carlos Fierro won the football world's attention thanks to his excellent participation in Mexico’s 2011 U-17 World Cup. Fierro scored four goals and finished the tournament with the FIFA Bronze Ball, awarded to the tournament’s third best player. That same year, on August 20th, he made his Primera División debut against the Rayados.
Chivas’ number 21 turns 18 this Tuesday, but at this young age he is managing to transmit confidence to his new coach. He is not scared to make the through pass behind defenders with the experience of Edgar Dueñas, and is relentless when he receives the ball inside the box and immediately takes a shot.
The team composed of all Mexican talent is the only team in this Liga MX that is willing to take the risks and give players like Fierro the opportunity of a lifetime. This Liga MX will be successful depending on how the players play, and how the fans respond to the players’ acts on the pitch. There are many foreigners who will steal the show in the upcoming months, but the progression of young Mexican players such as Fierro will give positive dividends to both La Liga MX and the nation.