Mexico leaves Blanco off World Cup roster
MEXICO CITY -- Cuauhtemoc Blanco is being left off Mexico's World Cup roster in a move that appears was partly caused by a strained relationship with coach Ricardo Lavolpe.
Lavolpe announced a 26-man roster Sunday night that must be pared to 23 by May 15, when rosters must be submitted to FIFA.
The 33-year-old Blanco, a member of Mexico's World Cup teams in 1998 and 2002, is known for his often-caustic comments on and off the field. Asked whether their relationship was a factor in Blanco's omission, Lavolpe was quoted by Mexican news media as saying: "We worked three years on a process that culminates today and during which each aspirant was evaluated thoroughly to arrive at a final determination."
Bolton forward Jared Borgetti and Barcelona winger Rafael Marquez are among the top players on the roster for Mexico, which plays Iran, Angola and Portugal in the first round. The list includes Villarreal forward Guillermo Franco, an Argentine who became a Mexican citizen last year, and 37-year-old defender Claudio Suarez, who has made 174 appearances for Mexico.
The full roster:
Goalkeepers: Oswaldo Sanchez (Guadalajara), Jesus Corona (Tecos), Guillermo Ochoa (America)
Defense: Rafael Marquez (Barcelona), Claudio Suarez (Chivas USA), Francisco Rodriguez (Guadalajara), Jose Antonio Castro (America), Mario Mendez (Monterrey), Ricardo Osorio (Cruz Azul), Joel Huiqui (Cruz Azul), Carlos Salcido (Guadalajara), Jose Guardado (Atlas), Gonzalo Pineda (Guadalajara)
Midfielders: Antonio Naelson (Toluca), Luis Perez (Monterrey), Pavel Pardo (America), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Jose Garcia (Atlas), Jaime Lozano (Tigres), Ramon Morales (Guadalajara), Israel Lopez (Toluca)
Forwards: Guillermo Franco (Villarreal, Spain), Jared Borgetti (Bolton, England), Francisco Fonseca (Cruz Azul), Jose Arellano (Monterrey), Omar Bravo (Guadalajara)