Remembering Jared Borgetti’s 2002 Mexico masterpiece against Italy

Jared Borgetti. It’s one of those names a lot of early day Championship Manager players remember oh so well.

The Mexican striker was a beast on the game, and when you look at his record, you can see why.

He spent most of his career with Santos Laguna in his homeland, scoring 205 goals in 295 games.

But when he joined Bolton in 2005, Borgetti didn’t hit the heights expected of him after his fruitful goalscoring career in Central America.

Before Bolton, though, was the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea with the then 29-year-old bagging two goals on his way to finishing Mexico’s top scorer.

And one sticks in the mind.

Picture the scene.

It’s the last group stage game in Group G and his side have already qualified for the knockout stages. However, they face Italy who need something from the game to secure their progression.

Mexico have already beaten a good Croatia team 1-0 and triumphed over Ecuador 2-1, but with the Azzurri succumbing to a surprise defeat to Croatia, it’s now or never at the ┼îita Big Eye Stadium in Japan.

That didn’t bother the Mexicans, who played neat, precise and attractive football, knocking the ball around the park.

Their opener was superb on 34-minutes, when after a succession of passes, Cuauhtémoc Blanco played a dinking ball over the Italy defence from the left hand side.

It look almost as if there was nothing on with only Borgetti in the box, but somehow the striker managed to adjust his body and loop a header passed the frozen Gigi Buffon from the edge of the six-yard box across the face of goal.

It almost beggars belief how he maneuvered his body, and with his back turned to the goal managed to evade none other than Paolo Maldini and also beat the best goalkeeper in the world at the time, Buffon.

Italy went on the equalise in the 85th minute securing their progression, but both would go on to lose in the last-16, with Mexico losing 2-0 to the USA and the Italians famously going 2-1 down to hosts South Korea.

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