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Bulgaria's Hristo Stoichkov to Help Mexico?

Date: 05.04.2010

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Unconfirmed reports state that former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Hristo Stoichkov has been called to the Mexico FA head office in Mexico City.

A report in the media there says that the 'The Dagger', as Stoitchkov is known in his homeland, will be asked to assist his close friend, Mexico national team coach Javier Aguirre, in his preparations for the World Cup.

Mexico are drawn in Group A with South Africa, France and Uruguay and play the opening match against Bafana Bafana on June 11.

Meanwhile, Aguirre has named the 17 domestic players who will begin full-time training for the World Cup. As expected, veteran Cuauhtemoc Blanco made the cut.

There were a few surprises in Aguirre's squad, though. Oscar Perez (37), was picked even though he hasn't been called up for any Mexico game this year. Perez, nickname El Conejo (the Rabbit), is an Aguirre favourite. He was Mexico's goalie at the 2002 World Cup.

Up front, Adolfo Bautista and Miguel Sabah were picked.

Of the players selected, only goalie Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Efrain Juarez and Jonny Magallon, midfielders Gerardo Torrado and Israel Castro and Blanco would be considered likely starters at the World Cup, where Mexico play in the opening game against Bafana on June 11 at Soccer City.

Guadalajara sensation Javier Hernandez (21), may have played himself into the starting line-up with a tremendous recent league campaign.

As many as 11 Aguirre picks for the World Cup are playing in Europe.

Mexico has three games left on its US leg of its pre-World Cup schedule. The next game is on May 7 against Ecuador at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New York.

The Mexico squad is: Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Club America), Luis Ernesto Michel (Guadalajara), Oscar Perez (Jaguares).

Defenders: Paul Aguilar (Pachuca), Efrain Juarez (UNAM), Jonny Magallon (Guadalajara), Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Club America) , Jorge Torres Nilo (Atlas), Adrian Aldrete (Morelia).

Midfielders: Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Israel Castro (UNAM).

Forwards: Pablo Barrera (UNAM), Adolfo Bautista (Chivas), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Veracruz), Alberto Medina (Guadalajara), Miguel Sabah (Morelia), Javier Hernandez (Guadalajara).

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