MEXICO IS SET FOR THEIR GOING AWAY GAME this week as they play Israel at the Azteca before 3 more friendlies in the US. The game will also pay tribute to the player who wore the green jersey best: Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
Blanco is not the best player Mexico ever produced. That honor goes to Hugo Sanchez. Rafa Marquez distinguished himself with a fine career in Europe as well. But neither of those two can match Temo when it comes to National Team.
No one can.
The Club America product first made his mark for Mexico at the 1996 Gold Cup Final. The field at the LA Coliseum was a soggy mess, yet he managed to scoot the game winner past the Brazilian goal keeper. It would be the first of many huge goals that he would score for the National team.
Temo would propel Mexico to a 1999 Confed Cup championship, several Gold Cups,and a handful of trophies with Club America. He is the only Mexican player to score in 3 World Cups.
He greatest accomplishment, however, was his incredible return from a devastating knee injury to pull Mexico out of the 2002 qualifying hole with massive goals in Jamaica and at the Azteca vs Honduras. And while his teammates were running off the pitch like little bitches, Blanco was the only Mexican player to congratulate the US on advancing to the quarterfinals in Korea.
He was not chosen to play in the 2006 World Cup by Ricardo Lavolpe. And when he left Club America to play with the Chicago Fire, a lot folks (including me) thought he was just heading Stateside for the big payday, Marquez style.
He didn't. Temo found new life in his old legs and played well enough in Illinois to merit a call up from SGE. And then was summarily put to pasture by the Swede after an all-night bender. And after yet another slow start in the qualifying campaign, Cuauh was called on yet again.
And again he delivered.
And that is his legacy. The mercurial one from Tepito seemed to always find a way. He would score nearly 40 goals for Mexico. Here are 10 of his best.
There will be a sellout crowd to at the Estadio Azteca to give Cuauh the tribute he deserves. And I expect there will be quite a few of these shirts sold in and around the stadium.