In a Mexican fútbol scene that doesn’t provide many attacking options for El Tri, Santos Laguna’s Julio Furch is one player that has stepped up to voice his desire to one day play for Mexico, despite not being Mexican himself.
“No, truthfully [Mexico] has never approached me. I’ve been here for four years now and I do not know the naturalization process, but if they approached me I would think about it, because it would be a great option. As far as the Argentina national team goes, I see that option very far. Maybe they do not even turn to Mexico, and having another option would be very good for me. I would love to wear Mexico’s jersey,” Furch said in a Wednesday press conference.
The Argentine-born Furch leads Liga MX with nine goals so far this season on a Santos team that are thriving at third place on the table. Furch and Uruguay international Jonathan Rodriguez are the best one-two punch in Mexico, having scored 16 goals between them.
Since his debut in Mexico, Furch has scored 70 goals in 165 official games in all competitions.
Furch has actually been in Mexico for three years, first arriving in 2015 for Veracruz. Furch only holds Argentine citizenship currently, but will eligible to acquire Mexican citizenship in 2020, as he will have lived in the country for five years.
Could Furch actually don a Mexico jersey at some point? It’s no secret that Mexico have a serious lack of quality strikers. After an aging Oribe Peralta, Chicharito and Raúl Jiménez, the depth at the No. 9 position is nearly nonexistant. Chivas players Ángel Zaldívar and Alan Pulido have gotten the nod at striker lately, but with no results. Meanwhile, other young players like Henry Martín, Joao Maleck and Alexis Vega have rarely if ever been utilized by Mexico.
Furch has surely proven himself at the league level, though. He’s been a consistent threat since his Veracruz days, and this season, in addition to leading the league in goals Furch also leads all Liga MX players with a 7.67 average match rating, according to SofaScore.
Still, many fans are hesistant to welcome outsiders to the national team. Not to mention no naturalized Mexican has made an appearance with El Tri since June 2015, when Vicente Matías Vuoso, another Argentine-born striker, made three appearances in the 2015 Copa America. Monterrey forward Avilés Hurtado was rumored to be close to the national team last year before he made his debut with his native Colombia.
Furch also commented on the rumors surrounding former Argentina coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who is being linked to the Mexico job.
“I have had to face Martino in Argentina and he has created very strong teams and he has led Argentina and Barcelona. He has had an important career. He is a great technician who is doing very well in [Atlanta United],” Furch said.
Furch came across Martino between 2012-13 when the striker played with San Lorenzo and Arsenal while “Tata” was managing Newell’s Old Boys.
What do you think? Would you like to see Julio Furch in El Tri? Any other naturalized/foreign players you think should get the nod? Let us know in the comments below!
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