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 By Tom Marshall

Mexico can beat Germany in 2018 World Cup opener - Carlos Vela

Progressing from the last six World Cup group stages, Mexico have no issues starting the tournament well, but can they progress in the knockout stages in Russia?
Major League Soccer: Carlos Vela (74') Portland Timbers 1-1 LAFC

Mexico's Carlos Vela believes that on his national team's best day they can beat anyone in the world, even prohibitive Group F favorites Germany.

Vela, 29, chose not to play for El Tri at the World Cup four years ago, but says he is determined to make Russia 2018 count if he makes the cut for Juan Carlos Osorio's final 23-man squad.

The LAFC striker rejoined the national team fold in November 2014 and has been in solid form of late, netting seven goals in his first 11 games since joining MLS from Real Sociedad.

Vela told reporters after LAFC training on Thursday: "[Germany] is one of the best teams in the world, but Mexico has the chance to win that game. We have to play like [we can win] against any opponent. It doesn't matter if it is Germany, Haiti or Portugal, we want to win and we intend to work towards that.

"I'm very ready [for the World Cup]. I've worked a lot over the years to come into the tournament in good shape and be available for my national team.

"If [Osorio] decides that I'm in the tournament, I'll give my maximum effort. I'm in good form, have a lot of confidence and enthusiasm and good things will surely come."

Vela was heavily criticized by many in Mexico for not accepting a call-up four years ago and believes Russia 2018 will be the most important competition of his career.

"I didn't enjoy that World Cup [in 2014]," said Vela in Spanish. "That's why this is special because I want to play, to enjoy the tournament and do well.

"This is the most important tournament of my career and I hope to do fantastically. I wouldn't say [Russia 2018] is revenge, it's to be enjoyed."

Mexico opens World Cup play on June 17 against Germany in Moscow.

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