Tuesday 20 June 2017, 22:21

Herrera and Lozano, “brothers” in search of Mexican glory

  • Herrera made 52 Liga MX appearances with Pachuca, while Lozano made 120

  • Lozano has 16 caps for Mexico; Herrera has 50

  • This is the first time they have been at a FIFA-run tournament together

By Martin Langer with Mexico

Anyone who has been following the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 knows by now that the Mexico squad features two brothers, Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos. However, few are aware that there are two other players currently representing El Tri who also enjoy a fraternal relationship, although they do not share the same parents.

Despite a six-year age difference, Hector Herrera and Hirving Lozano joined Pachuca’s youth set-up at roughly the same time. Since then, the older of the pair, Herrera, has always kept an eye out for his younger friend, as their careers have taken almost identical paths.

Perfect parallels Both started out at Pachuca, where they each developed into the team’s key player, both starred at the Olympic Football Tournament – four years apart – and now both will ply their trade in Europe, with Lozano making a recent move to the continent in which Herrera has performed for the past four years. And, of course, both are at Russia 2017 to defend the colours of Mexico. Were it not for the fact that Lozano plays up front and Herrera as a midfielder, fans would be forgiven for thinking they were clones of each other.

“We’ve known each other for a long time and we’re very close friends,” said Lozano. “Hector’s given me a lot of advice and guidance, and I always try to take all those great pointers and make the most of them. He’s a great player and a fantastic human being.”

Herrera chimed in with a smile: “I’ve known him since he was a ten-year-old boy. Our stories are similar, and I’m very proud of what he’s done. Each time that we have the chance to share a room we do it – I’m really fond of him, and I’m so happy that he’s been able to achieve his dreams.”

Shared ambitions “He’s a talented player and a great person,” said Lozano, PSV Eindhoven’s latest signing. “I’m glad to see how far he’s come,” replied Herrera, who has established himself at Porto, where he put pen to paper at the end of the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil.

As well as their mutual admiration and brotherly love, the duo also, unsurprisingly, share the same ambitions about Wednesday’s match with New Zealand and the tournament in general, but they are also both acutely aware that it will be no easy task.

“We’re full of confidence – we played well against Portugal and if we want to advance in the tournament we have no choice but to win, and we’ll go looking for that right from the off,” said Herrera, who played the full 90 minutes of Mexico’s opening match.

Lozano, meanwhile, is still dreaming of making his Confederations Cup debut, but that personal ambition has not clouded his desire for the team to earn three valuable points. “Whether they consider us favourites or not is not our concern,” remarked the attack-minded 21-year-old. “All of the teams here are strong, and we’ll put in our best possible effort, with the aim of picking up a win, obviously.”

And if they are both able to celebrate their victory together at the final whistle, all the better.