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Andres Guardado #18 of Mexico and teammates celebrate after defeating Jamaica
© Getty Images

FIFA Confederations Cup history*
Mexico are no strangers to the Festival* of Champions, having appeared at six of the competition’s nine editions to date, a distinction they share with Brazil. *Los Aztecas made their Confederations Cup debut at Saudi Arabia 1995, finishing in an eminently respectable third place courtesy of a penalty shootout defeat of Nigeria. Their greatest achievement came in hosting the competition four years later, when a side led by the indefatigable Cuauhtemoc Blanco beat a Brazil team containing the fast-emerging Ronaldinho 4-3 in the final at the Estadio Azteca. The Mexicans went on to claim fourth at Germany 2005, where they suffered an extra-time defeat to the hosts in the match for third place, while their Brazil 2013 campaign came to a premature end in the group phase.

*The road to Russia 2017
Knocked out in the semi-finals of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a tournament won by their arch rivals USA, Mexico went into the 2015 continental finals determined to regain the title and with it a place in the Russia 2017 play-off against the Stars and Stripes. After defeating Cuba 6-0 in their opening group game, El Tri moved into in quarter-finals with respective 0-0 and 4-4 draws with Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago. A 1-0 victory over Costa Rica ensued, followed by a 2-1 semi-final win against Panama. The regional title was then secured with a 3-1 final triumph versus Jamaica, which took the Mexicans forward to the play-off against their old foes, staged in California on 10 October, when Paul Aguilar’s extra-time goal gave the men in green a 3-2 win and the right to represent the CONCACAF Zone in Russia.

*The coach
Following the departure of Miguel Herrera and Ricardo Ferretti’s spell as caretaker manager in 2015, the Tri *job was entrusted to the Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio. Embarking on his coaching career in 2001 with a five-year stint as an assistant at Manchester City, Osorio then enjoyed a brief spell in charge with Millonarios back home before decamping to the USA. After taking up the reins at Chicago Fire he moved on for a two-season stay with New York Red Bulls, returning to his native Colombia in 2009 to coach Once Caldas and steering them to the *Torneo Finalización title the following year. Then came a successful tenure at Atletico Nacional, where he oversaw six trophy wins between 2012 and 2015 and cemented his reputation as a meticulous tactician. The Mexico post is his first with a national team. **

Key players
Guillermo Ochoa (goalkeeper), Hector Moreno (defender), Andres Guardado (midfielder), Carlos Vela (forward), Javier Hernandez (forward).

The stat
6 -* the number of goals *Tri captain Andres Guardado helped himself to in top-scoring for Mexico at the 2015 Gold Cup, quite an achievement for a midfielder.