Mexico's Cazares determined to keep on battling

  • Cazares played a key part in Mexico winning the CONCACAF qualifiers

  • El Tri have been drawn in Group B with Brazil, Korea DPR and England

  • “We’re all dreaming of winning the World Cup in France,” she says

You only have to see Dayana Cazares on the field of play to realise that she is one of those players who never gives up. Blessed with sufficient pace and dribbling skills to leave opposing players trailing in her wake, Cazares is a midfielder who keeps on going and going until the ball finds its way into the back of the net.

The story of how she got to where she is today only confirms her fighting qualities, as she explained in an exclusive interview with “No dream is easy to fulfil,” she said. “Getting into the national team was hard. It was difficult enough to get to the trials and then to have to wait a year to make the final squad list. Then I had to wait for the women’s Liga MX to become a reality and now I’m having to give everything I have in training.”

  • Full name: Dayana Joselyn Cazares Vera

  • Date and place of birth: 30 December 1999, Mexico City

  • Position and shirt number: Attacking midfielder, 7

  • Height and weight: 5’3 (1.61m), 56kg

  • Previous FIFA tournament appearances: Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014, FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016

Cazares’ infinite patience has paid off and she is now running out for Club America in the newly created Liga MX Femenil. “I went to a match to cheer on Maribel Dominguez and I was spotted there by some America scouts,” she said, explaining how she joined the Mexico City giants. “I went to the training sessions and when Leonardo Cuellar took over as coach he asked me to stay. I jumped at the opportunity.”

The midfielder scored ten goals in 12 matches in the 2017 Apertura, her debut season, and was promptly called up for the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championships, where she helped Mexico beat USA in a regional final for the very first time. El Tri’s win gave them one of the three tickets on offer for France 2018.

“It was very exciting to get the better of a powerhouse like USA,” said Cazares. “It was a fantastic experience because we achieved our main objective. There were a lot of contrasting emotions when it was all over. I couldn’t believe it. I also scored the first goal and I was so proud.”

Her thoughts now have turned to France and the U-20 world finals, to be held on 5-24 August: “I’m very happy and I can’t wait to play in my next World Cup. I think the team is very well prepared, though there are still areas we can improve in. Fortunately, we’ve still got time to do that and we try to give our all every day so that we can be better and go into the World Cup in the best possible shape.”

Discussing Mexico’s group at France 2018, she said: “It’s tough. There are no easy teams in any World Cup and it’s a big challenge for us. But we’re going to show exactly what Mexico are capable of. Our biggest assets are our team spirit, strength and the resilience we have in facing up to every situation.”

A tireless competitor, Cazares is not afraid of the challenges ahead and is determined to keep fulfilling her goals: “On a personal level I’m looking to have a good tournament. Collectively we want to be one of the top four teams, get past the semi-finals and kick on and win the tournament. Why not? That’s what we’re all dreaming of and aiming for.”