Mexico have announced the return to action with a friendly on October 7th against the Netherlands to be played in Johan Cruyff Stadium in Amsterdam. If it gets to be played, it would be Mexico’s return to action in the first game of 2020. Mexico was forced to cancel the March friendlies against Czech Republic and Greece as well as the May game against Colombia because of the COVID-19 emergency. No word yet from the Mexican federation about how will this game take place if the current travel ban against people from Mexico is still in place in October. Also there is no word yet if the game will be played with fans in the stadium or not.
Mexico will return to play in Europe for the first time during the tenure of Gerardo Martino should this friendly take place. Mexico last played in a friendly in Europe against Denmark in the last game before the 2018 World Cup. Denmark won by a score of 2-0. Of course, one of the last times Mexico played in Europe was a friendly against the Netherlands in 2014 way back during Miguel Herrera’s time at the helm. The match marked the return of Carlos Vela, who scored twice in the 3-2 victory over the Dutch. It was kind of a little revenge from the elimination of the 2014 World Cup by the Netherlands, although it was minuscule consolation. Since there will not be any public matches in the United States due to the COVID-19 emergency, a friendly against a European power in Europe is now possible. There were strong rumors that Mexico was going to play against the Dutch in March, but the fact that the games were to be held in the United States meant that the KNVB (Dutch Football Federation) would decline, and Mexico had to settle for the Czech Republic and Greece as the opponents before the match got cancelled.
A return to play against the Netherlands would be a great start for the Mexican National team. Yet the big question that arises is how would the Mexican National team be able to play if there is still a travel ban by the European Union against people from Mexico because of the COVID-19 emergency. While there are a number of Mexicans playing in Europe, the fact of the matter is that an “All European clubs” Mexican National team can’t be made. The main problem of that is that no Mexican goalkeeper is playing in competitive European leagues if any but it also continues through various positions. Still while the authorities could probably get around this, a very Euro-centric friendly might open itself to various players that haven’t been called up, most notably Omar Govea who is doing well in Belgium and who had a spell in the National team under Juan Carlos Osorio. October is still far enough away, and if we know anything during this COVID-19 emergency, it’s that you can never be sure what will happen up until the day arrives.