The Mexican national team is in San Diego for their international friendly match against European side Finland on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 at Qualcomm stadium. The big news coming from El Tri’s new coach is the selection of Toluca FC and playmaker Antonio Naelson “Sinha.” The Brazilian-born Sinha has had a storied career with Mexico since his debut with El Tri in 2004.
Coach Miguel “el piojo” Herrera said in a press conference upon arrival in Tijuana/ San Diego that the 37 year-old Sinha would most likely not start the game.
“I don’t want to be dishonest with the fans, nor do I want to be dishonest with him,” Herrera said. “We want to observe him. We have a plan of what the team is. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we want to practice a position we have doubts with. He received his cap and he is coming to give what he has to the group. I like his experience, I like his way of thinking. I know what Sinha can do and we’ll have our 10 on Wednesday.”
Herrera continued to praise Sinha who is having another breakout season with his club and earned him another cap with the Mexican national team.
“He’s better every year with his club, like a fine wine,” Herrera added. “It looks like he’ll retire, then no. Then he demonstrates his quality on the field.”
Sinha is a last minute call-up and replaces Tigres UANL player Lucas Lobos who has to attend a family matter and cannot be available for the squad. Herrera almost has his starting XI for which he brought Sinha to quell the doubt.
The Toluca player is one of the most successful naturalized players Mexico has had representing El Tri. He has made 56 international appearances with Mexico, including the Germany 2006 FIFA World Cup where he scored against Iran.
His personal accolades include five Mexican league titles, the CONCACAF Champions Cup (2003), and two Mexican Super Cups, all with Toluca FC.