Carlos Vela is Mexico's answer to Lionel Messi and should be persuaded to be a part of El Tri's World Cup squad, according to former striker Hugo Sanchez.
The Real Sociedad marksman met with federation officials earlier this month and informed them that he is still not 100 per cent emotionally ready to return to the national fold after a three-year absence, but Mexico legend Sanchez says the magnitude of that decision is almost immeasurable.
"Carlos Messi is to Mexico what Lionel Messi is to Argentina or Cristiano Ronaldo is to Portugal, and we cannot afford not to have our best player in the team right now," Sanchez told Mexican media.
"Imagine if Messi did not want to play for Argentina. He would have coaches and administrators begging him to play. The same goes for Ronaldo if for some reason he wasn't playing for Portugal."
The 24-year-old has been one of the best Mexican players in Europe for the past two seasons but has not featured in the national set-up since 2011 due to a fallout with then-coach Jose Manuel de la Torre and criticism in the press.
And despite recent hope in the country that he would now be willing to return under current boss Miguel Herrera, the Mexican FA have admitted defeat in their bid to persuade, admitting in a statement: "Carlos Vela definitely will not be selected in the course of this World Cup process."
However, Sanchez believes that the federation could have done more to persuade Vela to return to the national side.
"This is an administration that did not pull out all the stops," claims Sanchez. "When you're attempting to convince a person, you bring four aces up your sleeve. You come up with lots of different ways to convince him to return. Carlos Vela is a necessity for the national selection."
Vela has scored nine goals in 35 appearances for Mexico before his current spell away from the national set-up.