Mexico announces new captain ahead of Copa América 2024

Jamie Lozano's new-look Mexico national team has a new captain following the decision not to select Guillermo Ochoa in the squad.
Panama v Mexico: Semifinal - Concacaf Nations League
Panama v Mexico: Semifinal - Concacaf Nations League / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

As reported by Record Mexico, Jamie Lozano has chosen West Ham United midfielder Edson Álvarez to lead El Trío into this summer's Copa América.

This may come as no surprise to many fans of Mexican football, given that the holding midfielder took on the responsibility during Ochoa's absence in the CONCACAF Nations League quarter-final against Honduras. A game where Álvarez would send his country to this summer's Copa América, scoring a last-minute equaliser, forcing the game to go to extra time and penalties, where Mexico would eventually seal their qualification.

The 26-year-old grew up just outside Mexico City, in Tlalnepantla de Baz. As a young child trying to pursue his love for football, Álvarez traveled between three to four hours to play for the Club América academy.

Edson Álvarez is the new captain of Mexico

At the age of 19, El Machín (the machine) got his big break and made his debut for the most successful club in Mexican football. Featuring a 3-1 win over Santos Laguna, Álvarez soon became a key feature of the first team when former manager Ricardo La Volpe compared his style of play to the late German maestro Franz Beckenbauer.

Fast forward one year and Álvarez was handed his debut for the national team. February 2017, Mexico vs Iceland, a young Edson Álvarez came on for Jesús Molina. Since then, he has represented El Trío in the 2018 & 2022 FIFA World Cup, the 2017, 2019, 2021 & 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2019 & 2024 CONCACAF Nations League.

In his domestic career, Álvarez made the big move to Europe in 2019. Following Ajax's run to the UEFA Champions League semi-final, the Dutch side decided to sign the Mexican midfielder to bolster their squad following the departure of Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona during the same transfer window. Initially struggling to cope with the intensity of European football, El Machín went on to win two Eredivisie titles and steadily became an essential part of the Ajax squad before earning a move to the Premier League in the summer of 2023.

Switching Amsterdam for London, Álvarez signed for David Moyes and West Ham United. The side lifted the UEFA Conference League title just a few months prior and needed to strengthen their squad to in preparation for a campaign in the UEFA Europa League.

This season, the Mexican midfielder featured in 31 of West Ham's 38 Premier League fixtures and played a vital role in the club's run to the Europa League quarter final, before being knocked out by Bayer Leverkusen.

During his time in Europe, Álvarez has improved his positional awareness, ball distribution and overall communication on the pitch. At Ajax, the 26-year-old became a leader in the dressing room, leading by example on and off the pitch.

Now we come to this summer's Copa América where Álvarez will lead a young and inexperienced squad. A group stage that includes Uruguay, Ecuador and Jamaica, El Machín will be hoping that the team can get out of the group stage this summer as they prepare to joint-host the FIFA World Cup in 2026.

How far will El Trío go this summer?