Who? Mexico - Scotland
Where? Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
When? June 3, 02:00 (CET local time)
August 11th, 2012, Wembley Stadium. Oribe Peralta just became a national hero in Mexico after scoring twice against Neymar & Brazil and led Mexico to the gold medal. Two years later, he was Mexico's starting XI striker at the World Cup, ahead of Chicharito. Rafa Marquez is a Legend and trying to find a highlight point in his career with Mexico will be a debatable topic that can take for the whole World Cup. Alongside to Peralta and Marquez, there is another veteran player, the goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona.
What is the common between these players? They will all retire from the national team at the end of the World Cup. For Rafa Marquez it will be also a retirements from football. The two others two will probably play one or two more years before the end of their career.
Before they will retire and pass on the team to the next Generation, they have one last objective: to lead Mexico to a successful tournament in Russia and to show for the youngsters in the team that they can achieve things against all the odds. Mexico is about to change and this World Cup will probably be the last one for a some of the players in the current roster. Several veteran players like Guardado, Ochoa and more might play at the next Copa America or Gold Cup tournament, but it is unlikely that they will “survive” until Qatar 2022. On the other hand, several youngsters are already an integral part of the team such as Hirving Lozano, Jesus Gallardo, Erick Gutiérrez and Edson Alvarez.
Back to Marquez, Peralta & Corona. In contrary to Carlos Vela’s story, they will have one last time to show their ability after a long service to their country. Tonight, Mexico will host Scotland in front of a sold-out Estadio Azteca. It will be a farewell match from the fans in Mexico before departing to Europe. For these three players, it will be also a farewell from the Mexican fans.
Those legends might retire from the pitch, but a successful World Cup in Russia will keep them in the Mexican hearts forever.