Arsenal’s two-time national Marcelo Flores has said he is ready to commit his future to Mexico if named in their squad for the 2022 World Cup.
Flores, who was born in Canada to a Mexican father and a Canadian mother, is currently in the Mexico camp and preparing for a friendly on Wednesday against Guatemala, which could mark his second appearance for Sorting. The attacking midfielder, who hasn’t been level in an official game, is keeping his options open at the moment but has made it clear that Mexico would be his first choice if he can play with them in the Qatar.
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“Canada wants me too, but I think if Mexico calls me up for the World Cup, I think that’s where I want to be,” the 18-year-old told TUDN. “At the moment I don’t really know. I’m thinking and just preparing for when I’m going to make a decision.”
Flores said her passion for the sport came from her father’s side of the family and her father Ruben, who played professionally and also managed the Cayman Islands women’s team from 2014-21, but added that no one pushed him in a certain direction.
“[My dad] doesn’t tell me much,” Flores said. “He’s Mexican and everyone on my dad’s side is Mexican. They are very passionate about football, they have always loved football and they passed that love on to me.”
Flores was included in Canada’s provisional squad for the 2021 Gold Cup but took part in the Revelations Cup tournament last November with Mexico’s national youth team. In December, he made his senior debut with Sorting in a 2-2 friendly against Chile.
In January, Canada coach John Herdman spoke about Flores after a 2-0 win over the United States in World Cup qualifying.
“We have stars now, we have young star players who will be around for a long generation,” Herdman said of Flores. “I’m sure you have players like young Marcelo Flores [who] could take care of this game and wonder if he wants to play for Mexico or Canada. That’s what we’re starting to cause around the world.”
At club level, Flores has yet to make his senior Arsenal debut but has received praise from manager Mikel Arteta, who said last week he was “developing really, really well”. . The midfielder watched from the bench in a 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace in the Premier League earlier in April.
Mexico will be without coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino for Wednesday’s friendly at Camping World Stadium in Florida, the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) announced on Sunday. Martino is still unable to travel by plane after surgery last month which caused him to miss a World Cup qualifier in Honduras.
The FMF also announced on Monday that Mexico’s next CONCACAF Nations League match against Suriname on June 11 will be held at Estadio Corona de Santos Laguna.