Guardado’s veteran leadership leading Mexico forward
Andres Guardado (center) celebrates with his team-mates Jesus Duenas # 20 and Jesus Corona on the right, after scoring in the Concacaf Gold Cup final against Jamaica on July 26, 2015, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Photo: Concacaf)
Advertisement

ATLANTA, Georgia Andres Guardado and the Concacaf Gold Cup. The two almost go hand in hand.

Dating back to 2005 when he made his Mexico senior national team debut, the midfield maestro has provided a high quality of football, balanced with wisdom and leadership for El Tricolor.

After being named officially to Mexico’s final Gold Cup roster on Thursday, Guardado is set to compete in his fourth Gold Cup, following his appearances in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 editions.

If past performances are any indication, Mexico will certainly fancy its chances of reaching the final with Guardado on the field.

In the 2007 edition as a young 20-year-old, Guardado started in all six of Mexico’s matches, helping his side reach the Final, where he scored the opening goal in a 2-1 loss to the United States.

Four years later in 2011, Guardado was once again a key figure for Mexico, starting all six matches and tallying three goals during the tournament. The midfielder bagged a brace in a 4-1 group stage win over Costa Rica, before helping spearhead Mexico’s comeback from a two-goal deficit to defeat the U.S. in the Final, 4-2.

It was no surprise then in the 2015 Gold Cup that Guardado delivered arguably his finest display with the national team, starting all six matches and scoring six goals on his way to earning the Golden Ball Award.

When the pressure was at its highest in the 2015 Gold Cup, Guardado delivered. He converted the game-winning goal via penalty kick in the final minute of extra time in the 1-0 quarterfinal win over Costa Rica, followed by a pair of penalty conversions in the 2-1 extra time victory over Panama in the semifinals, concluding with the game’s first goal in the 3-1 Final win versus Jamaica.

Now set to compete in his fourth Gold Cup, Guardado, with 153 senior team caps and 26 international goals to his name, will be out to lead Mexico to more Concacaf glory.