Mexico not afraid of 'Group of Death'

An inside look at 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup champion Mexico ahead of the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. The Mexicans will square off against Brazil, Japan and Italy in Group A.

CONCACAF powerhouse has won 9 Gold Cup titles

Mexican players participate in a practice session in Mexico City in August 2012. Mexico will play Brazil, Japan and Italy in Group A of the Confederations Cup. (Henry Romero/Reuters)


Quick facts

Group: A (BrazilJapanItaly)

FIFA ranking: 17

Confederation: CONCACAF

Head coach: Jose Manuel de la Torre

Best result: Champion in 1999

Qualification method: 2011 Gold Cup champion

First-round schedule: Italy (June 16 @ 3 p.m. ET), Brazil (June 19 @ 3 p.m. ET), Japan (June 22 @ 3 p.m. ET)


  • Best of both worlds. Finding the balance between youth and experience has always been a difficult task for coaches. A young team performs well on the pitch, but lacks that knowledge necessary to win games the experienced groups have. Mexican head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre has been blessed by the soccer gods with a squad in possession of both attributes. Mexico’s average age for the Confederations Cup is just over 26 years, but don’t let this number fool you as the majority of these "kids" have been playing in the intense Mexican league for years, while others are already established veterans in Europe.
  • Dangerous trio. Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez, Mallorca midfielder Giovani dos Santos and Valencia winger Andres Guardado are the perfect mix of speed, power and technique, a combination envied all around the world. Leaders on their respective European clubs, the trio’s communication on the field will be a decisive factor in Mexico’s success.
  • Golden team. Nine champions from the 2012 Olympics will join Mexico for the tournament in June. El Tri stunned Brazil in the final last year to win gold in London, a factor that brings confidence to the team when it’s time to face the host nation in Group A. Mexico also defeated the Brazilians in 1999 to win its first and only Confederations Cup.

Key player

Javier Hernandez arrives in Brazil as the CONCACAF Gold Cup scoring leader and tournament most valuable player, achievements that gives the Mexican a boost in confidence ahead of the Cup. Chicharito has established himself as one of the most reliable forwards in Europe with English Premier League champion Manchester United. Either as part of the starting 11 or coming off the bench, the Mexican can find a way to make an impact in the game. 

Expect everything from Hernandez, who is able to adapt perfectly to any game situation; from midfield domination to injury-time shockers. He’s done it before and will most definitely do it again.


  • Goalkeepers: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul-MEX), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca-MEX), Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio-FRA)
  • Defenders: Francisco Rodriguez (America-MEX), Diego Reyes (America-MEX), Hiram Mier (Monterrey-MEX), Severo Meza (Monterrey-MEX), Jorge Torres (Tigres-MEX), Hector Moreno (Espanyol-SPA). 
  • Midfielders: Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul-MEX), Pablo Barrera (Cruz Azul-MEX), Jesus Molina (America-MEX), Jesus Zavala (Monterrey-MEX), Hector Herrera (Pachuca-MEX), Angel Reyna (Pachuca-MEX), Carlos Salcido (Tigres-MEX), Andres Guardado (Valencia-SPA), Javier Aquino (Villarreal-SPA). 
  • Forwards: Raul Jimenez (America-MEX), Aldo de Nigris (Monterrey-MEX), Oribe Peralta (Santos-MEX), Giovani dos Santos (Mallorca-SPA), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United-ENG).