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Jun 12, 2014

Five reasons Mexico will disappoint

ESPN's World Cup crew discuss the biggest challenges Mexico need to overcome in this World Cup.

SANTOS, Brazil -- It is easy to be on the pessimism charter. It's the most comfortable and pathetic form of resignation. We assume, compassionately, to give up in advance, but only in critiquing others. Especially when we contemplate the efforts of others which, presumably, should sink dramatically.

For the pessimist, everything is a potential Titanic: The shipwreck is only a matter of time. As Alejandro Jodorowsky says: "Birds born in cages think that flying is a disease."

Let's explain the reasons for pessimism for El Tri ahead of their opening World Cup game against Cameroon on Friday:

1. They won't qualify for the next round. How can a team that was one degree above failure and woefully inept during CONCACAF's six-team final qualifying round ever qualify?

2. They won't win any matches in the first round. How could they, when in their final preparation they lost the last two games and on the last match of the U.S. tour they took refuge in the uncomfortable legacy of "we played like never before and we lost like we always do," against Portugal?

The odds aren't looking good for Miguel Herrera and Mexico.

3. They won't be up to their opponents. How could they when Brazil will be playing with geniuses who will benefit from being the home side (fans and favorable calls); and when Cameroon has been strengthened after the crisis of default for non-payment and when Croatia have dangerous threats in Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic to name a few. Every Mexican player lives in a Bourgeoisie Emporium ever since his debut in the First Division, when his monthly salary is, at least, the Croatian annual per capita income ($21,000).

4. Unlike their rivals, they don't have any figures or at least regular players in Europe. How can they compete when the majority of Brazilians are stars, or when the Cameroonians are in demand in any country and Croats are emotional leaders and often soccer leaders in their teams? Andres Guardado has no team. Chicharito dwells in limbo. Giovani Dos Santos has his ups and downs. Guillermo Ochoa comes from Ajaccio's funeral of being relegated and Hector Herrera, Diego Reyes and Hector Moreno are weekly labourers just to avoid losing their positions.

5. They don't have World Cup merits. How can they have it in the home of the five-time world champion, against a Cameroon with a universal lineage or Croatia with some of its lineage coming from Yugoslavia's DNA?

If this doesn't convince you of Mexico's impending doom, nothing else will.  If logic and common sense exist, then it would be better for Mexico not to even play against Cameroon.

They could report a mass food poisoning ... No one could blame them for giving up on the World Cup and running away through the hospital emergency door instead of the stairway to tournament shame.

But. Of course, there's always a but ...

This Mexican team has 10 Olympic champions; the U17 world champions; Pan-American champions; winners of leagues in Europe, a European multi-champion, like Rafa Márquez, and, of course, although less important, the Mexican League titleholders.

I mean, they aren't exactly foreign to the sport of football. But neither will their adversaries be.

Rafael Ramos Villagrana

Rafa Ramos is a ESPNDeportes.com staff writer, based in Los Angeles. He is regularly featured on ESPN Deportes Radio's popular Raza Deportiva, and frequently appears on various TV shows. Before ESPN, Rafa was a journalist for L.A.'s La Opinión newspaper, where he covered El Tri through a number of World Cup appearances. He has over 100,000 followers on Twitter @rafaramosESPN