The Mexico squad for the inaugural Star Sixes tournament this July has been unveiled – and they promise to bring their unique flavour to London, according to eccentric goalkeeper Jorge Campos.
Campos is best remembered for his technicolour keeper tops and unconventional play, happy to come out of his area and score goals from free-kicks and penalties.
And his style could prove a perfect fit for the six-a-side format at The O2, London, 13-16 July, where 12 countries will be competing.
Among the star-studded former internationals on display will be England’s Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand, Michael Ballack of Germany and Roberto Carlos of Brazil.
But few teams will be able to make the impact of Mexico and their fans – if they heed the rallying cry of Campos’ team-mate Luis Hernández! “My message to the Mexican people in London is get ready with tequila and mariachi and enjoy Star Sixes,” he quipped.
Campos added: “I’m going to try to find my ‘special’ shirts in the wardrobe, so hopefully I can wear them at Star Sixes. It’s very exciting to be playing in a world class tournament and to meet extraordinary players again, and I reckon it’s going to be very special.”
And he says he will divide his time between goalkeeping and goalscoring. “I’m going to play sometimes as a keeper and sometimes as a player, as long as I have enough oxygen to run around!
“I always preferred scoring goals to being on the receiving end.”
Jared Borgetti, the former Bolton Wanderers player, will also take part and disputes the notion that the tournament is for former internationals.
“I disagree when people say we are ex-footballers. I’m not an ex-footballer, I’m an ex-professional footballer, because I’m still a player, and will be for the rest of my life. To leave football completely would be like cutting away a big part of me.
“I still play with my friends and I’m still in a good shape. This will be a lot of fun.”
Borgetti is looking forward to meeting his former team-mate Jay Jay Okocha, captain of the Nigeria team. “He was an outstanding player with incredible quality, and a wonderful guy too. He is the kind of player who can make a difference in any match, and I’m going to be very happy to see him again.”
Joining Campos, Borgetti and Hernández in the Mexico squad will be García Aspe, Alberto Rodríguez, Mario Méndez, Miguel Zepeda, Braulio Luna, Joaquín Reyes and Héctor Altamirano.
They kick off their Star Sixes group campaign against Dominic Matteo’s Scotland team on the opening night of Thursday 13 July, then face Carles Puyol’s Spain side the following day. Their final group match is with England, who will also include Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and David James, on Saturday 15 July, when they will hope to secure a place in the quarter-finals.
Campos added: “The football over there is very fast, I think it’s beautiful football and the city of London is incredible. I remember when I had the chance to go to England I really enjoyed it a lot, so this will be fantastic.”
The ten-strong Mexico squad are the latest signings for Star Sixes, a new world six-a-side tournament for former internationals at The O2, London, July 13-16. Get your tickets by visiting Ticketmaster or AXS.