Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio again has backed several of his domestic-based players to go abroad, saying he has four regulars who would succeed in a higher-quality league.
"Nestor Araujo, Hirving Lozano, Orbelin Pineda and Jesus Molina, the four could play, for example, in Spain without a doubt in the teams from the middle of the table going up and indisputably in the teams at the middle of the table going down," Osorio told ESPN Mexico. "They also could play in Holland, in Portugal as well. I don't want to say they could go to play at Barcelona, but that there's a process to arrive there. I'm sure a lot pf players have a chance and the only way we're going to realize if they're ready to play there or not is being there."
But while Osorio has spoken about the desire to have more players move abroad, he also sees those who are part of the national team setup and playing domestically work to raise their game and make sure they are in the mix for starting roles.
"I think the guys are taking on this great responsibility. We see those who play locally in a really good way, that every time that group is getting closer to those who are in Europe, and that puts competition for spots in place, as it should be," Osorio said.
With several key players injured, including Lozano from his list and Andres Guardado of the European contingent, Osorio likely will play a starting XI that blends Europe-based and domestic-based players in March's World Cup qualification matches. Mexico hosts Costa Rica on Friday before traveling to meet Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday.
Despite that and the Liga MX players continuing to improve, Osorio highlighted Celso Borges, who left Costa Rica for Scandinavia and then made the jump to La Liga as an example of a player who has raised his level by being able to go abroad.
"Mexican football has to facilitate the exit of more players because, with all respect, when I see Borges, who we're going to face very soon, and he's an influential player with Deportivo La Coruna, I see Jesus Molina and Jesus Duenas at the same level," Osorio said.