The Mexican national team begins its preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with a friendly against Nigeria, a team that did not qualify for the World Cup and that will appear on Saturday at AT&T Stadium with a squad that includes nine players who have never played for their country before.
El Tri’s coach, Gerardo “Tata” Martino, already has a well-defined roster for the World Cup with players he has constantly repeated during his three years at the helm of the team.
Saturday’s meeting lends itself so that the coach of the Mexican squad can observe players who at some point could find a last-minute place on the final list that will travel to Qatar.
Martino summoned 36 players to face the three exhibitions that he will have to solve on his tour of the United States.
n addition to facing Nigeria, Mexico will face Uruguay in Glendale, Ariz., on June 2, and will meet Ecuador in Chicago on June 5.
For the game against Nigeria, it is possible that El Tri will jump onto the field of the Dallas Cowboys home with a team that mixes established players with young elements that seek to leave a good impression on the coaching staff.
One of them will be the attacker Marcelo Flores, the 18-year-old who plays for English Premier League giant Arsenal.
The setting will also be perfect for Martino to give minutes to Diego Lainez, who has seen very little action with Spain’s Real Betis.
Defender Gerardo Arteaga, who plays in Belgium, midfielder Erik Gutiérrez from PSV of the Netherlands, defender Israel Reyes from Puebla, and Erik Lira from Cruz Azul, would be in Martino’s sights for the game against Nigeria.
For their duel against El Tri, the African squad assembled an alternative team without some of its main figures, such as Hirving “Chucky” Lozano’s teammate at Napoli in Italy, Victor Osimhen.
Another big absentee for the Super Eagles will be Kelechi Ihenacho from Leicester City in the Premier League.
Nigeria missed out on the World Cup for the first time since 2006.