A member of the Mexico side that won the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2005, Hector Moreno is already knocking on the door to the senior team. Comfortable on the ball and strong in the air, the dependable and well-built central defender has been earmarked by some as the successor to Rafael Marquez, the finest defender Mexico has ever produced and who will be vacating his place in the national team at the end of South Africa 2010.
Moreno cut his teeth in the youth sides at Pumas UNAM and stepped out for his professional debut during the 2005 Clausura championship. Though sidelined with injury for several months, he returned to the starting line-up in the 2007 Apertura, playing a key role in Pumas’ run to the play-off final, where they lost out to Atlante.
His sterling displays at the heart of defence earned him a move to Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in time for the start of the 2008/09 campaign, by the end of which he collected an Eredivisie winners’ medal. Moreno was then linked with a possible move to Spain and very nearly signed for Lille and then Paris St Germain in the January transfer window.
Called up to the Mexico squad on several occasions already, he has not yet collected his first cap, due in the main to El Tri’s abundance of talented centre-halves. Given his obvious ability and pedigree, however, much is expected of him in South Africa.