Mexico kick off the World Cup in less than 20 days and there’s no doubt the final roster will have everyone talking, especially regarding the striker position. It’s obvious who should and who shouldn’t be going to Qatar. Well, it’s obvious to everyone but Tata Martino, who looks like he’s set on taking players who aren’t 100% healthy and who have not had a great season with their club. While we’re all crossing our fingers and hoping for the best, I don’t think we’ll be very happy once the final roster drops.
The 26-man roster for Qatar has to be submitted by November 14th latest and there’s already so much controversy surrounding Mexico and who will be on that final roster. El Tri announced a preliminary 31-player roster, and even that list had some scratching their heads, specifically as to why Raul Jimenez and ‘Tecatito’ Corona were on the list. Both Jimenez and Corona suffered injuries with their clubs back in August and while they are working hard to make it back in time for the World Cup, it just isn’t looking good for them. Even if they were healthy enough to make the final roster, they still wouldn’t be a 100%. Maybe if they were closer to 80% healthy you’d understand their inclusion, but anything less than that is not good enough. Why take two players who aren’t there healthwise over players who are healthy and have been remarkable for their clubs?
Tata will only be taking three forwards to Qatar, and if Jimenez is chosen, that leaves three more players fighting for two spots. Rogelio Funes Mori, Henry Martin and Santiago Gimenez are all vying for the last two spots. Well, more like Santi and Martin are because it looks like Jimenez and Funes Mori have their spots secured. Funes Mori hasn’t had the best season. He essentially disappeared. Just this year, Funes Mori has only scored nine goals for both club and country while Santi and Martin have scored a combined total of 35 goals this year. That’s 16 goals for Santi Gimenez and 19 goals for Martin. On top of his 16 goals, Gimenez is the leading scorer in the UEFA Europa League with four in 172 minutes. Then there’s Raul Jimenez who has seven goals this year. The last time he scored a non PK goal for Mexico was back in 2020. The two strikers who are the strongest contenders in Tata’s eyes have only scored a combined 16 goals. Meanwhile, Santi Gimenez has the opportunity to surpass that combined total of 16 goals since his club team Feyenoord have a few more games left before the World Cup break.
I, along with every other El Tri fan out there, hope that Tata will do the right thing and take players who have earned a spot. There was some relief when reports emerged that Raul Jimenez, Tecatito Corona, Diego Lainez, and Jesus Angulo would not be included on the final roster. Lainez is the only player of the four who is a bit of a surprise, but at the same time has not gotten consistent minutes overseas, so it honestly wouldn’t be a total shock. After these reports emerged, a tweet from journalist Martin del Palacio Langer then said to “not believe what is currently being said about the national team.”
Un consejo. No crean nada de lo que hoy se dice de la selección, incluido a mí jaja. Es el momento de mayor secretismo y, más allá de los posibles inventos por clicks, no me sorprendería nada que las fuentes estén dando información falsa para despistar.— Martín del Palacio Langer (@martindelp) November 4, 2022
Now, ultimately what reports he’s referring to we probably won’t know. Either way, when the final roster drops, not everyone will be happy. No one ever is, but hopefully everyone on that roster actually earned their spot, because if not, Mexico is going to have a tough time making it out of the group stage.
What are your thoughts on the final roster situation?