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Team Widget

Team Profile: Mexico

GettyImagesMexico qualified for the quarter-finals as hosts in 1986

Appearances at finals:
1930 - First round
1950 - First round
1954 - First round
1958 - First round
1962 - First round
1966 - First round
1970 - Quarter-finals
1978 - First round
1986 - Quarter-finals
1990 - Qualified but suspended by FIFA
1994 - Second round
1998 - Second round
2002 - Second round
2006 - Second round

Overall record at finals: Played 45 games, Won 11, Drawn 12, Lost 22.

Best performance: The quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986.

Most appearances at finals: Antonio Carbajal (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966) - 10.

Most goals at finals: Luis Hernandez (1998) - 4.

World Cup high: Reaching the quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986, both as the host nation.

World Cup low: Defeat against West Germany in the quarter-finals of 1986 created a stigma for the Mexican national team. They were also eliminated by penalty kicks in 1994 by Bulgaria.

World Cup legend: Goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal was known as 'Five Cups', because he became the first player to participate in five World Cups: Brazil 1950, Switzerland 1954, Sweden 1958, Chile 1962 and England 1966. Only Germany's Lothar Matthäus has matched his achievement.

The story so far: As the dominant footballing force in the North American/CONCACAF region, it is rare for a World Cup to be without the Mexicans. However, they have a record of underachievement at the finals - only in 1970 and 1986, on both occasions as hosts, have they gone beyond the second round.

After making their World Cup debut in 1930, they became serial qualifiers onwards but generally struggled. In 1986, Mexico advanced to the second round, where they defeated Bulgaria at the Estadio Azteca. A memorable scissor-kick goal from Manuel Negrete was the hosts' highlight before West Germany won 4-1 on penalty kicks in the quarter-finals. They were excluded from the 1990 tournament after fielding ineligible players in qualifiers for the 1988 Olympics but returned in 1994 and 1998, exiting both in the second round. Local rivals USA got the better of them at the same stage in 2002 and Germany 2006 was the same old story, though Argentina needed extra-time to see them off in Leipzig.

Qualification: Mexico survived a near-nightmare, and needed three coaches in the process of qualifying. While he was getting his team together for World Cup qualifying, Hugo Sánchez was fired after failing to qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Sven-Göran Erikson coached the team for only 13 games, including six defeats, and left the team in serious trouble. Former Atletico Madrid boss Javier Aguirre then came to the rescue for the second time in his career.

Qualifying record: P18, W11, D2, L 5, F36, A18.

Most appearances: Andrés Guardado, Ricardo Osorio (16).

Top goalscorers: Andres Guardado, Carlos Vela, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Fernando Arce, Jared Borgetti, Pavel Pardo (3).