Controversial, yet very talented, Mexican international Nery Castillo has stated that he would like to return to play for EL Tri. In Monday’s game against CF Villarreal, Castillo scored a pair of goals, the first time he’s broken the net since returning to the Old Continent.
After the game, Castillo spoke with Jorge Ramos y su Banda of ESPN Deportes where he expressed a desire to return to the national team and try to reach the level he demonstrated on the pitch during the Venezuela 2007 Copa America. He did say that he has not heard from national team coach Miguel Herrera.
“All players have the call-up in mind. God willing, I’ll have the luck and be called and be there to help the national team reach important goals,” Castillo told Ramos after the game. “I still have to give my best so I can earn a spot on the team.”
In recent days Herrera stated that he will visit all players who practice their trade in Europe, including posting on his Facebook page that he had “reeled in Vela.” A reference to bringing in Carlos Vela of Spain’s Real Sociedad who is having an outstanding season. Nery has hopes to be called, but also said that he would not ask for the call-up.
“You have to respect the trainer’s decision,” the 29 year-old Castillo added. “I won’t do it, if the trainer decides that I am not in his plans, then I will respect that.”
Castillo was one of Mexico’s great prospects in 2007 when he played for Greek giants Olympiacos. He received and accepted a call-up from the legendary Hugo Sanchez who was finally able to convince the San Luis Potosi-native to wear the green jersey. That year Nery played at the Copa America where he scored three goals, including a beauty against Brazil.
Nery’s troubles began when he signed with Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk. He was not able to shine and loan spells at Manchester City, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Chicago Fire, and Aris Salonica. He had his first opportunity in Mexico with Pachuca, then Leon FC before signing with Rayo Vallecano.
He also stated that it would be difficult to return to the same level that he demonstrated in Venezuela in 2007.
“It was an incredible year,” Castillo said. “I’d played every game with Olympiacos. It’s difficult to return to that level due to age, but if I train constantly I can reach a good level.”
Castillo has also been plagued with injuries; a hard charging physical player that moves in on all plays, he was constantly injured. Despite coming off a recent injury, he did say that he is in good physical condition.
“I feel well, the coach supports me. He said wants to protect me so I can be in good condition. I am very happy for the minutes received and to have been able to score,” Castillo concluded.