FC Porto midfielder Hector Herrera cites a fear of burnout as the reason why he will not be representing Mexico at this summer’s Gold Cup.
The 29-year-old has amassed 70 international caps for El Tri but is yet to feature under new boss Gerardo Martino, who took over following the 2018 World Cup.
Herrera’s international career: Five things to know…
- Herrera made his international debut in a 2-0 home win over El Salvador on October 17, 2012.
- He scored his first goal in a 3-3 draw with Trinidad and Tobago on September 5, 2015.
- Herrera made five appearances at the 2015 Gold Cup, creating two goals as Mexico went on to win.
- So far Herrera has won 70 caps and scored five international goals.
- He was an ever-present at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia as Mexico reached the round-of-16.
A long-serving member of the Mexican national team, Herrera made his international debut against El Salvador in 2012 and was a part of their 2015 Gold Cup-winning squad.
A graduate of CF Pachuca, he’d leave the Mexican outfit for FC Porto in 2013 and has never looked back since. Herrera is currently participating in an intense championship battle with Benfica, with one Primeira Liga match remaining and just two points separate them.
Benfica, who have accumulated 84 points, hold the advantage but know if they were to slip up, then Porto can pounce and claim a 29th title (and second for Herrera).
With the league finishing 27 days before the 2019 Gold Cup starts, Herrera is conscious whether he’ll be at his peak sharpness, having played over 50 games this season, and it’s for that reason why he’s chosen to pull out.
“Through this release, I want to inform my motives for my absence for the 2019 Gold Cup,” he wrote on Twitter.
“I find myself in need of recovering my peak fitness after the physical and mental toll of a season in which I have played more than 50 official matches with my current club – and additionally to have the chance to define my professional future.
“Thank you to all the directors of the Mexican national team and Mexican fans for their understanding. Thank you for your time and success to my national team!”
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2019 Gold Cup
The 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, to give it its full name, will be the 15th edition of the tournament since its inception in 1963.
No team has been more successful than Mexico (seven titles) with defending champions, the United States, just one behind.
This summer the tournament is being hosted in three countries: United States, Costa Rica and Jamaica with the final being held at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
Mexico were drawn in Group A alongside Canada, Martinique and Cuba.