Saturday, July 11, 2020

Meet Angel Mena, The Hottest Player In Latin America So Far In 2019

Juan Pablo Aravena in Editorial 31 Mar 2019

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South American football enthusiasts and Liga MX fans are fully aware of who Angel Mena is. However, the Leon winger has now gained the right to be considered as one of the best players not only in Mexico or the CONCACAF region, but in Latin America as a whole. His current is the best example of just how impressive he’s been playing.

Mena, 31, has either scored or assisted in his last nine Liga MX matches. The stats over that span certainly add context to the story, but also explain just how dominant the Ecuador international has been. Through those nine starts, Mena has 11 goals and eight assists. But he’s also added 25 shots (18 on target) while creating 23 scoring chances. If that’s not a dominant stretch… then I don’t know how we could call it.

Reaching his prime, or just a one-year wonder?

Even though Mena is a recognized name in Liga MX, he’s not exactly someone who’s been tearing the league up for a long period of time. In fact, he was a non-factor for Cruz Azul during the second half of 2018 – and that propelled his move to Club Leon in the first place.

Looking back, Mena had never been playing as well as he is right now. He had three goals and six assists in 36 appearances (24 starts) for Cruz Azul between 2017 and 2018. There’s a realistic chance this is a one-time thing. But both Leon and the Ecuador National Team are reaping the benefits of his torrid form.

It will be quite hard for him to get back to his past form, though. When that happens, fans will probably criticize him for not being “good enough”. But not even players like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo can play at such a high level for an extended period. The one thing Leon fans must do is embrace the fact that he will eventually come down to earth.

Although when he does, they must remember they had the best player in the whole Latin American region on their squad. That’s not a small feat. But given how good Mena has been over the past two months, his run might extend even more.


Juan Pablo Aravena

A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.



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