Borgetti pedigree to spice up Bolton's league of nations

The first Mexican to sign for an English club shows all the signs that he has what it takes to thrive in this country.
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Bolton, currently on tour in Thailand, have agreed a £1m deal with Pachua, Borgetti's Mexican club, and do not expect work permit problems as Borgetti is a regular in the Mexican national side which he captains. Indeed, he has just finished playing in both the Confederations Cup in Germany, and the Concacaf Gold Cup in the United States, and is thus likely to be eased into the Premiership.

"He's played over 60 games this year and will need to get plenty of rest before we really see his true class," said Allardyce, who is pleased to have secured a striker after ending his earlier interest in Zambian Collins Mbesuma of South Africa's Kaizer Chiefs. Allardyce added: "His pedigree is excellent but the Premiership is still unknown to him and he will have to be at his best to make the impact we are looking for."

Those Bolton fans who watched the Confederations Cup on television will know what Allardyce is talking about. Borgetti is known as one of the best headers of the ball in the Americas and it was his goal which gave Mexico a notable group stage win over the eventual champions, Brazil. Previously he had twice scored a penalty only to be asked to take for a third time - and Brazilian goalkeeper Dida saved the third attempt.

He also scored twice against Germany as Mexico lost 4-3 in the third-place play-off having gone out to Argentina on penalties (Borgetti scored his) in the semi-finals. He continued this form in the Gold Cup, scoring twice against Guatemala in Los Angeles, but thereafter he failed to score as Mexico surprisingly went out in the quarter-finals.

Although Hugo Sanchez made a huge impact at Real Madrid in the Eighties, Mexicans have generally stayed at home. The league there is relatively wealthy with many Argentinians and Brazilians attracted to it, as well as the occasional big name manager such as Leo Beenhakker, the well-known Dutch coach. At the last World Cup, 19 of the 23 Mexican squad players were based domestically and only one, Rafael Marquez, played in a non-Spanish-speaking country. Then at Monaco, he is now at Barcelona.

In South Korea during that tournament Borgetti started all four of Mexico's matches, scoring against Ecuador and Italy. He has since gone on to score 35 goals in 69 international appearances, equalling the Mexican record jointly held by Carlos Hermosillo and Luis Hernandez. He could break the record next month when Mexico, who lead the Concacaf World Cup qualifying group, host Costa Rica.

Borgetti's absences for qualifying games (Mexico also play double-headers in September and October) will hamper his early settling down at the Reebok but his goalscoring record is impressive and, at 31, he is experienced enough not to be easily disheartened. "It is a massive challenge for both the player and the club," said Allardyce, "but I know he has the mental strength to be a success in England."

Born of Italian origin on Mexico's north-west coast on the same day as Bolton's Jay-Jay Okocha came into the world in Nigeria (14 August 1973), the 6ft 2in Jared Francisco Borgetti Echavaria began with Atlas of Guadalajara. There he was part of a noted youth programme run by Marcelo Bielsa, later to manage Argentina, but struggled to hold down a place in the first team. After 21 goals in 63 games he moved north, to Santos Laguna. There he prospered, leading the league goalscoring rankings three times in seven seasons, winning two championship medals, reaching two cup finals and earning a place in the national team.

Having scored 189 goals in 295 games he moved, in 2004, to his home town team, Dorados Culiacan. After eight goals in 14 games he left for Pachuca, where he scored eight in 15. All his Mexican clubs, strangely, have been provincial sides rather than the big clubs of Mexico City, such as Nexaca, Cruz Azul and America, the traditional powers.

Now comes the move to England, where he appears to have the qualities to succeed. Described as a goal poacher rather than a scorer of spectacular goals, Borgetti's good movement should supplement a Wanderers attack which places considerable emphasis on mobility and aerial power.

Comments