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Whether its soccer superstars or gifted golfers, these are the 11 Mexican sporting talents to watch out for in 2018.
Just 22 years old, soccer player Hirving Lozano has already moved to Europe to pursue success with PSV Eindhoven. Popularly known by his nickname Chucky, the young superstar has netted a very impressive 10 goals in only 15 games. Having come up in the youth development system at Pachuca, the Mexican national team will be looking to Lozano to provide some magic in the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The diminutive forward caused quite a stir in Mexican soccer in 2017. He shone at the under-17 World Cup and was even featured in The Guardian’s list of the 60 best young talents in soccer. Currently playing for Club América, one of Mexico’s most important clubs, Lainez says he dreams of becoming the “Mexican Messi.”
Another Mexican player who has found success in Europe, Jesús “Tecatito” Corona is currently playing for Portuguese club Porto. Aged 24, the silky-skilled winger could play a vital role for the national squad in Russia.
The 26-year-old striker is the Mexican national team’s key player, having netted 18 goals in 33 games. She is also the top scorer in the Women’s First Division of Spain, where she plays for Levante. Next year could be a big one for Corral – many believe she has the talent to become the best female player in the world.
Born in Mexico City, Gaby López played college golf for the University of Arkansas and represented Mexico at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Now 24, López is a feature on The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LGPA) Tour. She is keen to emulate the success of retired Mexican legend Lorena Ochoa, who was world number one for more than three years.
Born in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, mixed martial artist Yair Rodríguez came to public attention by winning The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America. A Taekwondo black belt with an incredibly athletic, unorthodox style, Rodríguez now competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he has a record of 6 wins and 1 loss.
This was a huge year for Mexican boxing superstar Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez. His September 16 showdown with the Kazakhstani Gennady Golovkin ended in a draw, and he will be hoping to cement his place as the biggest star in boxing by beating his middleweight rival in 2018.
At the age of 24, Kenia Enriquez already has 20 dominant wins to her name and has only lost one fight, a split decision that could have gone either way. With impressive power and an intelligent fighting style, the Tijuana-born boxer will be looking to defeat fellow Mexican Esmeralda Moreno to become the unified WBC Light Flyweight world champion in 2018.
Guadalajara-born Formula One racer Sergio Pérez is currently driving for Force India. Having finished 7th in the rankings for two years running, Pérez will be looking to improve on that position in 2018.
Hailing from the steamy city of Culiacán in the coastal state of Sinaloa, baseball pitcher Julio Urías was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers at the age of 16. After a torn left shoulder ended his 2017 season, Urías will be looking to make a successful comeback in 2018.
The diver Germán Sánchez also had a difficult 2017 and was forced to rest for most of the year so he could recover from a surgery on his right shoulder. Hailing from the western city of Guadalajara, Sánchez has two Olympic silver medals to his name and is looking to add a gold in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Success at the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2018 will be a vital step towards realizing that goal.