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Aug 5, 2014

Mexicans Abroad: Marquez makes another Euro run

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol reacts to the news of Rafael Marquez's transfer to Hellas Verona.

The big news coming out of the Mexican media on Monday was Rafael Marquez's transfer to Hellas Verona in Italy. Verona was just promoted to Serie A one year ago and finished the 2013-14 season in a respectable 10th place. With the help of Marquez, they may be able to reach a Europa League spot, something they missed by just four points last year.

- Report: Marquez joining Hellas Verona
- Canales: Marquez's career continues in Verona
- Faitelson: Reassessing Mexican players' price

The 35-year-old veteran doesn't seem to be set on retiring yet and will head over to Europe for one more journey. What this means for his future, nobody knows. Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera originally insinuated that he would no longer utilize the defender but has since backtracked and stated that Marquez could still make a return. Should the defender focus solely on his club team? Should Herrera still call him up knowing that he will be 39 by the time the next World Cup rolls around? Will Marquez even have a good season in Italy?

"El Kaiser" still has the qualities of a world-class player but can still make some irresponsible decisions when his temper gets the best of him. Hopefully his scrappy days are past him.

It will also be entertaining to see him play alongside fellow defender Rafael Marques, a 30-year-old center back from Brazil. One can only hope that they will have similar team numbers as well.

Speaking of Europe, how are the rest of the "Europeos" doing? Here is my rundown on the recent happenings of the other Mexicans abroad that Marquez will soon join.

Rafael Marquez last played in Europe in 2010 for Barcelona.
Rafael Marquez last played in Europe in 2010 for Barcelona.

Javier Hernandez and the rest of his Manchester United teammates won the Guinness International Champions Cup on Monday night after they defeated Liverpool 3-1 in Miami. Although the International Champions Cup isn't exactly a trophy that players dream about winning, it still provides tremendous experience against serious competition.

Hernandez was able to provide a superb assist for Rooney's goal on Monday and scored against Real Madrid on Saturday. His recent performances have been admirable, but they may not be enough for Hernandez to stay with United. Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is supposed to meet one-on-one with the United players this week in order to discuss their futures with the team.

Carlos Vela is still recovering from an injury to his right foot and is doubtful for Real Sociedad's upcoming Europa League match against Aberdeen on Thursday.

In other Vela news, Herrera recently stated that he is starting from a blank slate with Vela and is still open to him returning to the Mexican national team. However, he then followed up by stating that any player who turns down a call-up in the future won't be asked a second time to return.

Guillermo Ochoa is currently training with Malaga CF and should hopefully be involved in their upcoming friendlies. Malaga will take on the Qatari national team in a friendly on Wednesday and will then play against Fiorentina this Sunday. I doubt Ochoa will be involved in Wednesday's match, but there is a chance he could be given his first minutes this weekend.

Hector Moreno is still recovering from his injury but should return in about 4-6 months.

Jonathan dos Santos was given his first minutes with Villarreal on Saturday during their 2-0 win over Middlesbrough. Dos Santos was brought on during the last 18 minutes and played alongside his brother Giovani for the first time at Villarreal. With Jonathan's ability to work well as a defensive midfielder, a good season with Villarreal could give him a great opportunity with Mexico in the same position. As for Giovani, the striker had some impressive shots on net but failed to score for the "Yellow Submarine."

Fellow Villarreal teammate Javier Aquino appears to once again be tied with a rumored move to Rayo Vallecano. The deal between Villarreal and Celtic for Aquino has fallen through and Rayo are now reportedly asking for the winger. The Madrid team may not be the best squad in La Liga, but it would most definitely provide Aquino with plenty of minutes.

Diego Reyes and Hector Herrera were both featured in Porto's 1-1 tie with Everton over the weekend. Herrera started the match and provided the assist to Jackson Martinez for Porto's goal. Reyes came on as a substitute during the 76th minute of the game. Both players have continued to receive minutes from their new head coach, Julen Lopetegui.

Andres Guardado scored over the weekend! The midfielder who seldom scores for Valencia accumulated a goal and an assist during Valencia's 3-1 win over Benfica. The win solidified their place as champions of the Emirates Cup which also featured Monaco and Arsenal. Guardado has continued to build on his momentum from the World Cup and could be a more prominent player for Valencia than he was last season.

Ulises Davila is currently training with Chelsea and is still seeking an opportunity in Spain. It would be highly unlikely for him to receive any playing time if he stayed with the London team, so I assume it is only a matter of time before he is once again given a loan elsewhere.

There has been no news about Nery Castillo's time in Kalloni FC yet. Fans will have to wait to see what influence he will have on the Greek club this season.

Jesus Manuel Corona is apparently back to the weight and shape that FC Twente expected of him. The 21-year-old was deemed too heavy last month but has regained his form and rejoined the first team.

Jonathan Espericueta is still training with Villarreal's B squad. His loan ends in December of this year.

The Scottish Premiership begins this weekend for Partick Thistle and Mexican defender Gabriel Piccolo. He is not guaranteed a starting spot on the team and rumors have surrounded the player with a possible move to Portugal, Cyprus, and Greece.

Cesar Hernandez

Cesar Hernandez can't remember a time when soccer hasn't been a part of his daily routine. Within that personal immersion of fútbol is a lifelong passion for the Mexican national team. He has blogged on El Tri for four years mainly through his blog The Big Verde. Follow him on Twitter @cesarh1030.

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