Europe’s Mexican connections shine

VfB’s captain Fernando Meira celebrates the clubs win
The Mexican national team and their overseas transfers have helped win the Greek Championships, Eredivise, and now the Bundesliga. And when we say helped, it is by actual contributions becoming important members of the first team and pivotal in their club’s success.
Ricardo Osorio and Pavel Pardo joined up VfB Stuttgart after showing impressive form in the 2006 World Cup. Osorio was outstanding in defense with his solid tackling and speedy clearances. I remember that he and team mate Carlos Salcido kept the potent Argentine attack at bay for lengthy periods of time, enough for Mexico to make some fruitful counterattacks, one of which led to captain Rafael Marquez’s goal. The Mexico- Argentina match was one of the more entertaining matches with Mexico’s defensive resilience spearheaded by Salcido, Osorio, and Torrado.
Osorio joined up VfB for 4m euros from Cruz Azul and has become an important member of the first team. He headlines a very strong VfB defense with Markus Babbel, Fernando Meira, and Matheiu Delpierre. Osorio started all 34 matches.
Pavel Pardo attracted VfB’s attention with his skillful passes and potent free kicks. He transfered from Atlas for 1m euros. VfB’s midfield with Pardo Thomas Hitzlsperger and Roberto Hilbert was outstanding. They supplied VfB’s hungry striker corps led by Mario Gomez and Cacau with enough passes to tot up an impressive 31 goals. Pardo started all 34 games.
Carlos Salcido left for PSV from Chivas where he helped the Dutch team win its third Eredivisie title starting all 34 matches. He was probably one of the best defenders on display in the 2006 World Cup with the added threat of foraying upfront with quick counterattacks. Salcido along with team mates Manuel Da Costa and Alex formed an impressive back line that gave PSV its success in the Eredivisie and helped them reach the quarterfinals of the CL.
Nery Castillo has long been a staple of Olympiacos and is a fan favourite. His nationality has been a subject of conjecture for many years being born in Mexico, raised in Uruguay, and having played in Greece for seven years, therefore eligible for citizenship. He flirted with the idea of playing for Greece but under Hugo Sanchez, Castillo’s place in the Mexican national squad seems more assured. Castillo’s talent has been undermined by having Rivaldo as a rival, streaks of bad luck, poor decisions, and a problematic attitude towards his coaches. But this year Castillo seems to have put all that aside, and has impressed leading Olympiacos to their 35th Greek championships. He and Rivaldo seemed to have formed quite a tandem with Rivaldo scoring first and thereafter Castillo. The last game against Kerkyra that Olympiacos won, 3-1 gave them the championship with Rivaldo scoring in the 3rd minute, bookended by Nery Castillo’s 53′ minute goal.

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