Mexico’s Carlos Vela will once again not appear on the World Cup stage with his national team, revealing that he wishes to pass the torch to other players.
Vela has voiced his wanted absence all summer and is determined to be on the sidelines during Mexico’s campaign at Qatar’s World Cup despite the team requiring support after the loss of Jesús Corona.
“When I was available and played for Mexico, I was excited to play in a World Cup and defend my country. But there are stages in football and in life. When you close a chapter, you have to let the others do their job,” said Vela in an interview with media outlet SDP Noticias.
The 33-year-old is known for his versatile playing style and would be the best replacement for Corona, as he could cover the forward’s spot.
After refusing to participate in the 2014 World Cup for wanting to focus on his club career, Vela last returned to the international stage at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he scored one goal.
Since then, the LAFC captain has continuously declined invitations to compete with his country.
However, several media reports speculate that there is more to the story than Vela’s said, as many point to the relationship he shares with Mexico’s manager Gerardo Martino.
According to El Futbolero, Vela was considering returning, but conditions set by Martino discouraged the footballer from joining his national team.
Martino has ordered strict guidelines, which go against the personal preferences of Vela, who has apparently asked for more flexible limitations.
It’s a well-known fact that Mexican fans and his own squad severely dislike Martino, as he has been booed on several fronts during matches.
At a friendly against Paraguay last month, over 50,000 Mexican supporters heckled the manager at the match.
In fact, Martino acknowledges the hatred towards him, calling himself “public enemy No. 1” in a press conference after the match.
Mexico ranked 12th on the FIFA ranks, has struggled to perform in their top tier level, as they have had a poor showing against the United States and Canada during the World Cup qualifiers.
Fans blame Martino for his lack of organisation and worry that Qatar’s battle will break their World Cup traditions of qualifying to the Round of 16.
Mexico has made the rounds for seven consecutive World Cups, but this year’s tournament might push the team to an early exit as they face a challenging road.
Mexican fans will be on the edge of their seat as their country will play against Poland, Saudi Arabia, and their opponents in the South, Argentina.
The match against Messi’s Argentina will be demanding for the Mexicanas as they were swept 4-0 during the qualifiers.
With less than 70 days to the World Cup, the Gerardo Martino-led team will rush their preparations as they ready their squad to fight for the gold trophy.