No event defines an athlete’s career quite like the World Cup. It’s why people still look at Lionel Messi like he’s got something to prove (he doesn’t) and why the name Chris Wondolowski still brings a tear to the eye of many Americans. The 2014 World Cup made Mario Gotze an international icon, turned James Rodriguez into the hero of Colombians everywhere and earned DeAndre Yedlin a Spurs contract.
There's something tragic about each of Mexico's six-straight World Cup Round of 16 eliminations — being unable to reach the quarterfinals has become a haunting nightmare for El Tri. However, it doesn't detract from the country's long and rich history of playing in the world's greatest competition.
In fact, Mexico is one of the national teams with the most World Cup appearances. El Tri have been present at 15 World Cups, only trailing Argentina (16), Italy and Germany (17), and Brazil (20).
When outgoing U.S.
Less than a year after being hired by the Canadian Soccer Association, Ecuadorian manager Octavio Zambrano has been replaced by the hugely successful coach of the Canadian women’s team, 42-year-old Englishman John Herdman. Former Herdman assistant Kenneth Heiner-Møller will now take charge of the side ranked fifth in the world with the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup just 17 months away.
Aged 31, Mexico international Andres Guardado recently told FIFA.com that he now prides himself more on bringing “balance to the team” rather than being the “box-to-box player” of old, so the Real Betis midfielder is probably less than pleased with the club’s defensive record this season — they’ve allowed 34 goals in 18 matches, third-worst in La Liga.
Lionel Messi is probably the best soccer player of all time, and one of the reasons for that is he never stops trying to improve himself. Even though he's a world-class passer, dribbler and finisher, Messi told a Russian outlet his goal now is to be a better penalty-taker.
Much of the discourse currently surrounding Arsenal revolves around whether superstar Chilean attacker Alexis Sanchez will still be there at the end of January. We can say two things about Sanchez with a reasonable amount of certainty: he is Arsenal's best player by some distance, and he cares deeply about playing for his country.
That is why it's probably a bad idea to send tweets like this: