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Barcelona prospect Jonathan dos Santos will be sorely missed, but older brother Giovani is still around and will hope to give an excellent account of himself in Argentina. Overseeing everything will be Under-23 coach Luis Fernando Tena, a championship winner with both Cruz Azul and Morelia and a man who will hope to restore the North Americans' recently tarnished reputation with success on the pitch.
Giovani dos Santos'Gio' hopes to confirm his comeback with El Tri. The player was cleared by Tottenham to play in the competition, and will be the only Mexican to feature in the Gold Cup and Copa America.
The level he has reached now reminds observers of those fleeting, golden moments in the Barcelona cantera. This continental extravaganza gives him another window to move to one of Europe's most prestigious institutions.
COPA AMERICA HISTORY
- Best finish: Runner-up (1993 & 2001)
- Biggest victory: 6-0 vs Paraguay, Copa America 2007
- Biggest defeat: 4-0 vs Brasil, Copa America 2004
HOW THEY PLAY
Under-23 coach Tena and senior trainer Jose Manuel de la Torre use the same tactical idea: 4-2-3-1. The four at the back are fluid, given that the two centre-backs play deep in order to facilitate attacking surges from those outside them. The two central midfielders, meanwhile, have less freedom, obliged to anchor the heart of the pitch with limited attacking potential.
The line of three midfielders ahead is slightly misleading, as the two wide-men move up and down the pitch while the No. 10 roams the opposition half. Depending on the game, Mexico are also happy to adopt a more rigid 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 set-up.
|Oswaldo Alanis||Defender||22||Estudiantes Tecos|
|Nestor Araujo||Defender||20||Cruz Azul|
|Diego de Buen||Midfield||22||Jaguares|
|Giovani dos Santos||Midfield||22||Tottenham (England)
|Javier Aquino||Forward||21||Cruz Azul|
|Rafael Márquez Lugo*
*Five players included over the age of 22
Not even the prolific Hugo Sanchez could do what this midfielder managed. Not happy with being the only Azteca to score in three different World Cups, the American idol brought the nation their first-ever Fifa recognised trophy; the 1999 Confederations Cup. 'El Temo' starred in that tournament with goals and assists alike, most notable in the 4-3 final victory against Brazil in an Estadio Azteca filled to bursting point.
As well as this, the No. 10 was a success in the 1997 and 1999 editions of the Copa America, scoring one and two goals respectively to help his side to two consecutive third-placed finishes.
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