Since Guillermo Ochoa became the goalkeeper of the Mexican national team prior Brazil 2014, when he won the race to José de Jesús “Chuy” Corona thanks to Miguel Herrera, he hasn’t lost the starting role ever since, closing the doors for other goalkeepers.
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But the 2014 FIFA World Cup was the third World Cup he attended, as Ricardo La Volpe gave him his first call just a year after he debuted with El Tri, for Germany 2006, and then Javier Aguirre also had him on El Tri’s roster that played in South Africa 2010.
For Russia 2018 he didn’t have competition, as Juan Carlos Osorio never doubted on having him as the starting goalkeeper, and it seems like with Gerardo “Tata” Martino things will remain the same, as he has kept him in Mexico’s goal since his arrival.
The 36-year-old goalkeeper is ready to play his fifth World Cup, one that seems to be his last big international participation, and even the Mexican Football Federation and Gerardo Martino are already looking to prepare his replacement: Carlos Acevedo.
Why will Ochoa block Acevedo’s growth?
During an interview with W Deportes before the FIFA match window, Ochoa had stated that Qatar 2022 was going to be his last World Cup, as he knew that his time is coming to an end, and it was moment for him to step down and give the chance to the younger generation.
But a couple of days ago, in another interview, this time with Diario Récord, while he was part of El Tri’s camp, he said that he’s not planning to retire anytime soon and that is focused on reaching the 2026 World Cup that will be played in Canada-United States-Mexico.
His change of heart arrived after he saw how hard Carlos Acevedo is training and that he has the talent and the skills to be the next goalkeeper of El Tri, although he knows that as long as he keeps playing, he won’t lose his starting role thanks to the sponsors of the Mexican team.
Why FMF doesn’t want to stop calling Ochoa?
In the Mexican Football Federation, they know that even if Ochoa is not the best goalkeeper, he’s a magnet of for sponsors, as he even is a sponsor himself via Kavak, which is why they have decided to keep calling him, prioritizing the economical side instead of the sporting one.