Canales is thriving at Monterrey.

7 forgotten ballers you had no idea are now playing in Mexico: Canales, Rondon…

Former Manchester United, Newcastle United and Real Madrid stars are among the seven forgotten ballers we can’t believe are now playing in Mexico.

Mexico’s reputation as a hugely passionate football country, its impressive stadiums and some of the highest wages outside of Europe means that some familiar names populate the Liga MX.

We’ve taken a closer look at the league and have found seven players who we can’t believe are now doing the business in Mexico.

Javier Hernandez

Chicharito is the poacher’s poacher, as fans of Manchester United will attest during his successful spell at Old Trafford.

The Guadalajara Inzaghi is back in his hometown, returning at the beginning of 2024 after leaving for United 14 years ago.

The 35-year-old has one goal in seven appearances for his old/new club.

Manchester United's Javier Chicharito Hernandez celebrates scoring against Chelsea in the Community Shield. Wembley Stadium, London. 8 August 2010.

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Salomon Rondon

Adored by Newcastle and West Brom fans, peak Rondon was a proper target man and perfect for a team crawling their way towards 40 points and Premier League survival.

In 2024, the big Venezuelan is playing for Pachuca and has since scored 13 goals in 16 games. Crazy numbers. He’s also top of the CONCACAF Champions Cup scoring table, underlying his goal-grabbing prowess.

Sergio Canales

Canales was considered a future Real Madrid star after joining in 2010, but his silky footwork didn’t win over Jose Mourinho and the playmaker spent most of his career at Valencia, Real Sociedad and Real Betis.

He’s not in Spain anymore, though, with him now doing the business for Monterrey.

Since moving to Mexico in 2023, the Spaniard has scored ten goals in 26 games, despite not being a striker. Some numbers.

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Oussama Idrissi

Idrissi made his name in the Eredivisie with Groningen and AZ Alkmaar before earning a move to serial Europa League winners Sevilla in 2020.

Sadly, the move to Spain failed to pay dividends for the talented winger who was loaned out three times before being sold to Pachuca in 2023.

The 28-year-old has taken to Mexican football like a duck to water with four goals and nine assists in 22 appearances, alongside five-goal contributions in the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

Andre-Pierre Gignac

Okay, you probably knew this one already.

Tigres' Andre-Pierre Gignac celebrates his shootout goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps during a Leagues Cup soccer match in Vancouver, on Friday, August 4, 2023.

READ: Andre-Pierre Gignac: The anti-footballing hero living the dream in the Mexican sunset

Jesus Manuel Corona

Part of the exciting, if infuriating, Mexico side that graced the 2018 World Cup, Corona also enjoyed a solid club career in Europe with Porto and Sevilla.

Now in his early 30s, the winger has returned to his first club Monterrey and helped them finish second in the Liga MX.

Pablo Barrera

West Ham’s relegation campaign of 2010-11 was the club’s worst in the modern era, not helped by the £4million spent on Barrera, who had impressed at the World Cup with Mexico but whose impact at Upton Park amounted to running very fast in a straight line.

He was loaned to Real Zaragoza after relegation, before returning to Mexico with Cruz Azal in 2012. The winger has remained in his homeland ever since and currently turns out for Liga MX side Queretaro at the age of 36.