FIFA U-20 World Cup record
Regular participants at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Mexico graced 14 of the previous 20 tournaments before booking their place at this year’s edition in Korea Republic. Their best performance came at the event’s inaugural staging in Tunisia in 1977, where they finished runners-up. Since then, it has been a mix of quarter-final and group-phase exits, except for a semi-final berth and third-place finish at Colombia 2011.
The road to Korea Republic
Mexico enjoyed a perfect start to their CONCACAF qualifying campaign, topping Group A with maximum points from three games, scoring nine goals and conceding none. However, in the second group phase, they began with a 1-0 loss to USA. And while El Tri bounced back with a 6-1 rout of the third side in the section, El Salvador, it was not enough to prevent their northern rivals from topping the group and progressing directly to the final. The USA’s triumph ended a run of three consecutive regional titles for Mexico in this category and provided them with a timely reminder of the importance of each game and staying focused for 90 minutes.
After a 19-year playing career with the likes of Tigres, Queretaro, Guadalajara and Pachuca, as well as Mexico’s senior national team on 17 occasions, former midfielder Marco Antonio 'Chima' Ruiz now finds himself directing proceedings from the bench. In fact, his position at the helm of the Mexican U-20s is his first as coach. Espousing a balanced style of play, he likes his charges to circulate the ball without taking excessive risks or leaving gaps at the back. An advocate of patient build-up play, his young side construct their attacks gradually, using frequent passing to drag defenders out of position.
6 — The number of goals scored by Santos Laguna striker Ronaldo Cisneros at this year's CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Costa Rica. Physically imposing and lethal inside the box, Cisneros finished the tournament as top scorer.