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Camilo Sanvezzo’s exit from Xolos comes as no surprise

The Brazilian striker was not summoned toward the end of the Clausura 2020 and his numbers were well in decline

Queretaro v Tijuana - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

After becoming a star with the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS and living up to the expectations in Liga MX with Gallos Blancos following his arrival in 2014, Camilo Sanvezzo appeared destined to for great things in Mexican Football. Unfortunately, a torn ACL prior the start of the Clausura 2015 season held the Brazilian out for the next year and half, as he suffered a relapse in the same knee in his first game back.

Although he never appeared to regain that same lethal quality he possessed before his injury, Sanvezzo was certainly back to a dangerous goal-scorer status, as he scored 13 league goals in 28 games during the 2016-17 campaign, followed by 11 league goals in 28 matches as well during the 2017-18 seasons. And in his final year with Querétaro, the Brazilian piled on 13 more goals in 31 league matches in 2018-19. So while he may not have been in the golden boot conversation, he certainly proved he still had the ability to score. Not to mention, he was capable of scoring on some pretty talent-deprived Gallos Blancos squads.

A year ago, he was transferred to Tijuana in what was a striker exchange, as Xolos sent Fabián Castillo to Querétaro. Sanvezzo played a total of 20 league games in 2019-20, totalling only 6 goals, by far his worst tally since arriving to Mexico. To add insult to injury, he wasn’t summoned for three out of the final four games for Xolos before the COVID pandemic struck, appearing to already be cast aside from the club.

Over the summer, Grupo Caliente sold Gallos Blancos to a group of investors les by Gabriel Solares and Manuel Velarde, in which Grupo Caliente held on to 11 Querétaro players, a handful of them being offensive-minded ones. So, considering Nahuelpán’s resurgence last season with Querétaro, coupled with Fabián Castillo’s speed, and the addition of Marcel Ruiz and Jordi Cortizo, it’s no wonder declining Sanvezzo’s services were no longer needed.

Finally, after months of speculation, Tijuana head coach Pablo Guede announced a couple of days ago that the club would be moving forward without Camilo Sanvezzo. Now at age 32, the Brazilian won’t see as many offers as he would’ve a couple years back. But he has proven he still has something left in the tank. A center forward who is always lurking, can beat his marker to a spot, can get open, and has shown he can score both on the ground and airborne, Sanvezzo still brings important elements to the table for any First Division club in Mexico. And he doesn’t necessarily have to be a starter; he could embrace a new role coming off the bench, providing a refreshing change of pace on offense for any club.

The Brazilian has been linked with moves to a few clubs, primarily a move back to Querétaro, considering the lack of talent they’ll have for this upcoming season, as they were mostly downgraded with Second Division Atlante players. That sounds like the most reasonable move, as he is already familiar with the city and the club. However, reports have surfaced in the past days linking him to Mazatlán FC and León. Out of those two, León makes the most sense to me, considering he would be reunited with “Nacho” Ambriz, the head coach responsible for his arrival to Mexico, as Ambriz coached Gallos Blancos back then.

Whichever club ends up claiming Sanvezzo (and I believe a club will claim him, as he is still too good to be left a free agent), will be greatly benefited, as they will add a natural-born goal-scorer who still has the ability to move off the ball, get free, and take advantage of his opportunites. More importantly, he adds firepower to any offense, as he has been productive everywhere he’s gone. Expect Sanvezzo to be signed shortly.