Francisco Guillermo Ochoa launched his career under the lights of the Azteca.
Standout performances marked by flying saves turned him into the emblem of club America. Fans developed an undeniable respect for the young keeper as he became an immovable presence at goal. With such a bright future ahead of him, fans awaited his inevitable rise with the Mexican national team.
Many believed he would definitively be Mexico’s number one soon after Santos keeper Oswaldo Sanchez relinquished his spot. But it never came; that spot always seemed to levitate out of Ochoa’s reach.
Taunting him, dangling like a carrot.
Few opportunities have come his way at the international level. Ochoa has attended two World Cups and experienced them both from the bench. He remains a prospect for Mexico’s future. He has been for years now.
Ochoa has been very unfortunate, he may even be jaded by now to always come second to Sanchez, Conejo Perez, and Jesus de Corona. Ochoa has long awaited an opportunity to defend El Tri’s net in a World Cup.
But he faces a difficult contest if he wants to be Mexico’s number one.
Ochoa has matured greatly. He is no longer a young inexperienced keeper.
Migrating to Europe has done him well.
Today, he marked his 100th appearance with French side Ajaccio; a milestone for the Guadalajara native who has developed into an undisputed starter. If Ochoa wants a chance to shine in Brazil 2014 then he will have to earn his spot the way he did in Europe.
Corona continues to be Mexico’s best option. It will take a tremendous effort from Ochoa to catapult him over Corona. But if there was ever a better time to break his curse it would be now.
Who knows Miguel Herrera may end up keeping Moises Munoz at goal; benching Mexico’s two best keepers in Brazil.
Hopefully that won’t be the case.