·30 December 2022
·30 December 2022
As the winter break comes to a close and European clubs prepare to kick off the second half of the 2022/2023 season, let's take a closer look at Mexicans abroad.
Cesar Montes finally completed a transfer to Liga MX from Rayados de Monterrey to follow in Hector Moreno's footsteps, while Guillermo Ochoa returns to Europe for a second, unexpected stint.
Here's everything you missed.
César Montes joins La Liga. / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages
The defender longed for a move away from Liga MX, previously negotiating with Russian team Dinamo Moscow before the deal fell through in the summer. But he finally secured the transfer, joining the La Liga team on an estimated $7m trade.
“I’m happy and excited, this is a dream come true for me,” said the player upon arrival.
“It’s worth the sacrifice because I’m here now and everything is going to be exciting from now on. I’m not afraid of playing in Europe, it’s a challenge and it’s what I have wanted to do since I was a boy. I come to compete for a place in the side and we will know how the coach responds towards me.”
He follows in the footsteps of Rayados de Monterrey and El Tri teammate Hector Moreno, who spent four years at Espanyol.
Orbelin Pineda scored for AEK Athens. / BSR Agency/GettyImages
Orbelin Pineda scored the second goal in AEK Athens’ 4-0 triumph over Volos NFC in the Greek Super League.
The Mexican national team player is currently on loan at AEK Athens from Celta de Vigo, securing the season-long move on July 15 to rejoin former Chivas de Guadalajara manager Matias Almeyda.
He’s managed three goals in 15 appearances for the Greek side, inspiring the team to second on the table with 35 points in 15 games.
Guilermo Ochoa explains his move to Serie A. / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
Guillermo Ochoa revealed the reason behind his move to Serie A’s U.S. Salernitana from Club America, explaining he wants to “continue playing at the highest level” to reach the 2026 World Cup in pristine shape.
"I maintain the illusion and desire to continue at a high level and to be able to play the next World Cup that is played in Mexico and to be able to end my career with that World Cup," he declared in his first press conference with the team.
He joined the team on a six-month contract, with the option for an additional year.
"The situation as a Latin American goalkeeper in Europe, I am the first goalkeeper in the history of Mexico to play in Europe and finding a team that would give a goalkeeper a non-EU place is more difficult," he added.
“Staying six months is an option for the board, it is also an option that I liked. It is a consideration that if at any time I am not participating as I would like or playing what I could play, I have the option of not staying in a club without participating. I want to convince the board to stay many more years in Serie A."
Salernitana returns to action on January 4, when hosting AC Milan. The team currently sits in 12th place on the Serie A table with 17 points in 15 games.
Alexis Vega rejects move to Europe. / Jam Media/GettyImages
Chivas de Guadalajara figure Alexis Vega revealed he rejected a move to Europe, choosing instead to stay with the Liga MX club ahead of the 2023 Clausura.
“There are cases where sometimes we rush just to fulfill the dream of playing in Europe and in six months or a year you are back. One team we had talks with wanted to take me to Europe, where I would play there for six months [at the highest level] and if it didn't go well, return on loan to another Liga MX team," Vega said to TUDN.
“I don't see the point in going to play for six months, the time it takes to adapt to the pressure and for you to adapt in the best way. Due to those situations, you make the decision to rush the process. Now I am focused on Chivas. I am super happy to stay here with my family for a long time."
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