Mexicans Abroad Best XI: The top El Tri players in Europe in the 2018-19 season

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While Mexico national team players continue to return to North America, some are still standing out in Europe's top leagues.

With many Mexicans returning to Liga MX or joining MLS, times are lean for Mexicans Abroad.

Diego Lainez joined the contingent this season, moving from Club America to Real Betis, but most ofthe players who stood out this year are familiar faces.

Some of them, like Raul Jimenez, had career years with the forward standing out at Wolves in a way few fans thought possible. Others, like Diego Reyes, took a step or two back and were unable to find consistency.

Which Mexicans enjoyed the best seasons on the Old Continent? Here are Goal's selections for the Mexicans Abroad Best XI for the 2018-19 season:

  1. Getty Images

    #1 GK | Guillermo Ochoa | Standard Liege

    The shot-stopper once again had a quality season in Europe, being named the Reds' Player of the Season as they worked their way back into the Europa League. Ochoa was largely quality in that tournament as well, with the biggest question for him to answer this offseason whether or not he'll take the jump back into a top four league.
  2. Ander Gillena

    #2 CB | Hector Moreno | Real Sociedad

    The defender was in and out of the lineup for La Real during the campaign but won the spot back down the stretch and ended the season with nearly 2,000 minutes. While his future in Spain is uncertain, his place on the national team looks sure. Tata Martino started Moreno in his first match as El Tri coach, a signal the veteran has a big part to play this summer.
  3. Alex Caparros

    #3 CB | Nestor Araujo | Celta de Vigo

    We didn't talk about Araujo enough this season. By some distance the best Mexican defender in Europe this year, Araujo went to Celta and did exactly what he did with Santos. The right-footed player slotted into the left center back spot, started nearly every game and did his job. He did this despite the coach who brought him to Spain, Antonio Mohamed, getting fired less than halfway through the campaign and despite another injury suffered with El Tri. If he can stay healthy, the 27-year-old is a big part of Mexico's future.
  4. Miguel Riopa

    #4 CB | Antonio Briseno | Feirense

    It was a miserable season for Feirense, which got just three victories and finished rock bottom of the league in Portugal. That said, Briseno started every single league game for the club and did what he could to keep the team up. He even added a pair of goals. Now that the club is headed for the second division, "Pollo" may be on his way back to Mexico, with links to Chivas and America emerging recently. His decision to cross the Atlantic, though, looks to have paid off.
  5. Jorge Guerrero

    #5 M | Andres Guardado | Real Betis

    Guardado was perhaps the most consistent Mexican player in Europe this season, starting each week for Real Betis as the club made a run at the Europa League, La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Those of those runs eventually fell short, it was another strong season for the veteran interior midfielder. While already 32, Guardado may be at Betis for a few more seasons, though suitors in North America may be able to sway him after Quique Setien's sacking.
  6. Jasper Jacobs

    #6 M | Omar Govea | Royal Antwerp

    After seeing little time at the start of the season, Govea earned a starting role for Antwerp down the stretch and could still help the team qualify for the Europa League group stage next season. It may not be long until Tata Martino gives the central midfielder a look. His club future also is up in the air. While Porto retains his contract, Antwerp has an option to buy. If they don't trigger the clause, there will be interest in Belgium and other similar leagues.
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    #7 M | Hector Herrera | Porto

    Whether it was Champions League, domestic league play or the cup, Herrera was there for Porto, wearing the armband, setting up teammates and getting back to protect the back line. It took such a strain on him, apparently, that he won't play at the Gold Cup for Mexico. He does seem set to play for Atletico Madrid, a big move for a player that has deserved one for several years based on his form. El Tri will miss him this summer.
  8. Getty Images

    #8 M | Miguel Layun | Villarreal

    While Layun only played half the season in Spain, he amassed more minutes than many of the other contenders to make the Best XI. Frankly, Layun being in the best XI over players like Erick Gutierrez or Diego Lainez says more about what they weren't able to do than what Layun was before he decamped for Rayados. Still, his 500+ La Liga minutes plus three Europa League appearances are nothing to sneeze at.
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    #9 F | Hirving Lozano | PSV

    Lozano's sophomore season didn't get as much buzz as the first one. Instead of ending with "Chucky" lifting the trophy, it ended up with him getting stretchered off the field. Yet the 23-year-old matched his goal total from last season with 17 goals in 30 matches played - one more than last year. He also added the challenge of Champions League games, netting four goals in the continental tournament. If he's played his last match with PSV, he had an amazing two years with the Dutch side.
  10. Catherine Ivill

    #10 F | Raul Jimenez | Wolves

    Raul Jimenez moved to Wolves, got into the starting lineup and quickly made clear he wasn't going to give up his place any time soon. What followed was one of - if not the best - seasons for a Mexican player in the Premier League. He matched Chicharito's record of 13 goals in a single Premier League season, earning the 10th spot on the scoring charts and helping Wolves to a spot in the Europa League. He also added seven assists, plus four goals in the FA Cup. There seems to be little doubt that Raul is the forward of the present and the future for El Tri.
  11. Miguel Riopa

    #11 F | Jesus Corona | Porto

    His days with the Mexico national team look to be over, but Corona had a quality season in Europe. He was active in Porto's UEFA Champions League run and a regular in league play. He also flashed his versatility, playing some right back when the team had a bit of a defensive crisis because of injury midway through the year. It's the ability to get behind the back line and make something happen that El Tri will miss as the dispute between him and the coach continues.
  12. #12 The Mexicans Abroad Best XI 2018-19

    Guardado and Layun would have to play slightly out of position, but this team could work together.