Hector Moreno Mexico World Cup 2018Hector Vivas

Mexico star Moreno reveals how close he was to joining Barcelona

Mexican defender Hector Moreno has revealed he nearly joined Barcelona in 2014 before his catastrophic injury at the World Cup derailed the move.

Moreno was a member of Espanyol at the time and was a key figure for Mexico heading into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The defender had been linked with a number of clubs in the leadup to that World Cup, with Tottenham and Manchester United also reportedly among the suitors.

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But Barcelona was the standout, and Moreno was close to sealing a move before fracturing his leg against the Netherlands in Mexico's eventual 2-1 loss.

"Things surely would've been different [without the injury] because there weren't only talks with Barcelona, but I had the possibility of signing before the World Cup," Moreno told TUDN.

He added: "Even when I was injured I had the chance to sign for another team and also when I returned, but I didn't think I was prepared to leave, it was difficult, but I wouldn't change it for anything."

Moreno's injury occurred during a tackle on Arjen Robben, who controversially drew the game-winning penalty for the Netherlands after being fouled by Rafael Marquez.

The broken leg helped pave the way for Mexico's World Cup exit as well as a challenging period during Moreno's club career.

"I felt really good in all aspects, the tactical layout and my teammates helped me stand out. What happened, happened, it was tough, I had to put my life on pause."

Moreno ended up sealing a transfer in 2015, moving to PSV, where he won an Eredivisie title.

In the years since, he moved to Roma and Real Sociedad before joining Qatari side Al-Gharafa in 2019.

The move has been criticized for taking Moreno out of the European spotlight, but the El Tri defender says he has no regrets about his latest career decision.

"I think I could've stayed and been able to compete in any part of Europe," Moreno said. "[The move to Qatar] was for a thousand reasons, obviously the economic element was also an influence, thinking about the future for my family and for me."