Mexicans abroad: Hector Herrera wins Europeo of the Week after red-hot form at Porto
More than ever before, some of the top names in Mexican soccer are playing for clubs abroad. With several key figures playing week in and week out in a number of top European leagues, keeping track of all the high-profile stars can at times be daunting.
In order to help keep tabs on those across the Atlantic, we've created a weekly award that will be given to the most outstanding player. Along with a few honorable mentions --- and a "dishonorable mention" prize --- here are the noteworthy performances from Mexican players in Europe last week.
Europeo of the Week: Hector Herrera, MF, Porto (Portugal)
Two matches, two excellent performances from Herrera.
During last Tuesday's Portuguese Cup quarterfinal match against Leixoes, Herrera emerged as a game-changer for Porto. In the 2-1 victory, the Mexican captain provided his side with an early advantage with an impressive goal in the 11th minute. With Herrera taking charge in the midfield, Porto secured a place in the semifinal round of the cup competition.
Three days later, Herrera was once again influential for Porto in the 4-1 away win against Chaves. As a constant distributor of the ball, no player on the field finished with more passes than the 28-year-old, who never appeared to run out of energy. It's no surprise that the tireless worker has consistently been surrounded by recent transfer rumors.
If you believe the whispers from tabloids, Arsenal, Roma, Wolves, Inter Milan and Tottenham have all reportedly shown some interest on the player whose contract with Porto is about to expire this summer. Thanks to his experience and well-rounded abilities as a box-to-box midfielder, it wouldn't be a shock if Herrera makes the leap to a bigger club in the near future. At the very least, he'll have an opportunity to increase his notoriety next month in the UEFA Champions League. With a place in the knockout round for Porto, Herrera now has a chance to grab even more attention.
Honorable mention: Hector Moreno, DF, Real Sociedad (Spain)
Playing three games in one week alone should be enough to include Moreno in this week's list. In just seven days, the central defender helped guide his backline through a win and a draw in two La Liga matches and a draw in the Copa del Rey. However, what helped him truly stand out was the goal for Real Sociedad during Sunday's 2-2 draw against Rayo Vallecano.
Honorable mention: Raul Jimenez, FW, Wolves (England)
After kicking off the week with a difficult 3-0 loss to Manchester City on Monday, both Wolves and Raul Jimenez bounced back with a subsequent 4-3 win over Leicester City last weekend. The striker, who provided the assist for the game-winning goal, did an excellent job of connecting with his attack through his decisive passes.
Honorable mention: Nestor Araujo, DF, Celta Vigo (Spain)
Despite the fact that things are beginning to look more and more bleak for Celta Vigo, who have yet to collect a victory in 2019, Araujo has recently stepped up as an unexpected source of goals. After scoring in last week's 2-1 loss to Valencia, the central defender now has two La Liga goals in January.
Dishonorable mention: Diego Reyes, DF, Fenerbahce (Turkey)
Once considered one of the most promising young defenders in Mexican soccer, the 26-year-old has since failed to live up to his high expectations. Now with Fenerbahce, Reyes has yet to be featured in the starting XI for a league match since early October. In fact, during the recent 1-1 draw with Bursaspor last week, Reyes couldn't even earn a place on the bench. Ouch.