So just Donde Va Borgetti anyway?
So just donde va Borgetti anyway?
Mexican international striker Jared Borgetti is nothing less than an icon in the eyes of our neighbors to the south. His exploits over the better part of the last decade have put him alongside the greatest goleadores in the history of Futbol Mexicano. With his next goal for the national team, he will become his country’s all-time leading goal scorer. He is also the fourth all-time leading goleador in Mexican first division history.
Most view the soccer world in a Euro-centric light. We concern ourselves with the game that takes place across the pond and little else. This makes it easy to mis-underestimate the high standard of play and talent that exists in countries outside of the belt of traditional world powers. Borgetti is a prime example.
Currently playing for Pachuca, Borgetti’s performances at last months Confederation Cup made European clubs take notice of the prolific scorer. Finally. He scored three goals in five games and speculation about an imminent move began almost immediately after the final whistle. In the last few weeks he has been linked with moves to a number of clubs, including German sides Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt. There was even speculation that Saudi-Arabia’s Al-Ittihad was ready to splash some oil money to bring him to the kingdom.
However, yesterday’s news out of Mexico news reported that he was ready to sign for Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League. So what’s the best move for this legendary Mexican soccer player?
Keep in mind that he is 31 years old and not getting any younger. At his age, most would agree that he is nearing the end of his prime. Speed, quickness and other physical attributes are not what they used to be at 31. However, so long as I have seen him, Borgetti’s game has never been based on footspeed. He’s not apt to run at defenders from deep positions (with or without for the ball). What he does is play as close to goal as possible. With his back to goal, he holds the ball, knocks it down with his head or brings his teammates into the attack better than most. With the ball in the air, there are less than a handful of strikers in the world that can call themselves his equal. If people think his his improbable goal against Italy in World Cup 2002 was lucky, then he put all doubts to rest when he dominated the Germans (those set-piece kings) in the air during the third-place match at the the Confederations Cup. His strength, power and aerial ability can last through the years and his positional sense is excellent as well.
A veteran with over a decade of professional experience, Borgetti will not be looking to necessarily go to a club where he will improve as a player or ‘prove’ himself at the ‘highest level.’ Top Mexican players do very well for themselves in the pay department, so we can assume that Borgetti and his family are taken care of financially.
He’s not going to Saudi Arabia. Pachuca President Jesus Martinez dismissed that as wild speculation. Hertha Berlin had the inside track for a while, but they reportedly were not willing to meet his salary demands. Interest in Frankfurt seems to have cooled. At least publicly.
At this point, a move to England seems the most plausible one. Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce has a history of finding bargains in the foreign player market and fitting them seamlessly into his squad of misfits, eccentrics and personalities. Bolton will spend between $1.6 and $2.3 million (reports vary) to bring someone in that will be on the end of the crosses that fly from everywhere in English soccer.
Bolton will also be playing in Europe this season and that is the clincher that will end the Borgetti saga. The UEFA Cup, though not the Champions League, is a fitting stage for a player of Borgetti’s talent. Having proven himself at every level in which he has played, the hero to legions of Mexicans will undoubtedly be a hit at the Reebok Stadium. Their fans that will follow them to grounds across continental Europe will take to him if he plays to his abilities.
If the rumors are true, congratulations. If not. Then sorry.