Francisco Rodriguez is returning to football's biggest stage for the second time after featuring for the first 45 minutes of Mexico's group encounter with Portugal in Germany four years ago.
Standing 1.90m tall, he has an aerial presence that sets him apart from most of his international colleagues and this, combined with his experience in European football, should ensure that 'Maza' – short for Mazatlan, his home town – has a strong chance of featuring in the Mexico starting XI in South Africa.
Like many other members of the Tricolor squad, Rodriguez is a product of the seemingly inexhaustible youth system at Chivas de Guadalajara. He made his league debut in the 2004 Clausura and the next year received his first international call-up from Ricardo La Volpe; he has been in and out of the national team ever since.
Although initially overlooked by Javier Aguirre when he took over the Mexico helm, Rodriguez prompted a change of heart in the coach with his excellent performances for PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Eredivisie. The big defender had required time to settle in the Netherlands but became a first-team regular in 2009/10 and will hope to play an equally prominent role for his country in South Africa.