The return of the European season is upon us. While Mexican soccer fans have been able to enjoy nearly a month of domestic action, fans of El Tri will welcome the return of the the Premier League, the Bundesliga, La Liga and other leagues with open arms.
The national team's roster for the 2018 World Cup included more Europe-based players than ever before and with players like Nestor Araujo making the jump across the Atlantic Ocean, there will continue to be plenty of reasons for Mexican fans to wake up early and tune in.
El Tri has a pair of players based in the Premier League, both of whom play up front. The first, and most famous Mexican playing abroad, is Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez. Chicharito had a frustrating season at West Ham United last year but is back with the Hammers and full of optimism that he'll have more playing time and opportunities under new coach Manuel Pellegrini.
Chicharito's fellow central forward Raul Jimenez completed an offseason move from Benfica to Wolverhampton Wanderers. He'll be eager to break into Wolves' starting XI after several seasons as a supersub in Portugal.
Mexico players in Spain
Andres Guardado is looking for another big year with Real Betis. Last season, he was a key part of Quique Setien's squad and helped get the Seville side back into the Europa League.
He'll have company in Spain, though Miguel Layun no longer lives in the same city. After spending six months with Sevilla, the versatile defender signed a permanent deal to join Villarreal from Porto. At the same time Layun went to Spain, Hector Moreno made a move to Real Sociedad. He played more frequently than he had at Roma, but transfer rumors continue to swirl about a potential move to Turkey.
Spain also is the new home of Nestor Araujo, the center back who has joined former Monterrey manager Antonio Mohamed at Celta de Vigo. It's the first move outside of Liga MX for the former Santos Laguna defender. Ex-Chivas defender Oswaldo Alanis also left Mexico for the first time but Getafe's new sporting director has said he doesn't figure in the club's plans and may make another move before the transfer window closes.
Mexico players in Europe's other big leagues
The Bundesliga is home to a pair of Mexican players, both of them teammates at Eintracht Frankfurt. Center back Carlos Salcedo finished last season strong, coming off an injury suffered with the national team and getting back into the starting lineup to help the club to a win over Bayern Munich in the cup final. Marco Fabian saw fewer minutes in the starting lineup last year, even after returning from injury. He's hoping for more time this season, something that should be facilitated should Croatia World Cup breakout Ante Rebic move on from the team.
While he's still on the books with Standard Liege, goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is reportedly set for a move to Napoli which would make him the fifth Mexican to play in Serie A.
There are no Mexican players currently playing in France's Ligue 1.
Other Mexico players to watch in Europe
After a stunning debut season with PSV, Hirving Lozano is back for another season in the Eredivisie barring a late transfer for the 22-year-old. He's not the only Mexican who saw time in the Netherlands last season, though Uriel Antuna will hope for more than the 437 minutes he earned with Groningen.
Hector Herrera and Jesus Corona remain at Porto and hope to have another deep run into the Champions League while defending their title. Joao Maleck moved to Porto on a long-term deal after spending last season on loan with Porto B from Santos Laguna. Antonio Briseno also remains in Portugal, where he helped Feirense avoid relegation by a point last season.
Omar Govea still is technically with Porto but didn't go through the preseason in Porto B and is likely to make a move back to Belgium, where he spent last season on loan with Royal Excel Mouscron.
Diego Reyes, currently a free agent, is expected to land in European football again as well with interest reported from a number of countries on the continent.