Mexico defender Hector Moreno has rubbished claims from former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modric that his Croatia team are a ‘better side with better individuals’.
Speaking ahead of their final decisive group game against the Europeans, in which the two face off in a battle to progress to the last 16, Moreno said that he believes that the impending 90 minutes would demonstrate that his side are the superior outfit.
‘I’m not attaching a great deal of importance to those statements,’ he said. ‘We will see everything on the pitch. We will see on the field of play who has better players and who are the better team, and I fully trust that it will be Mexico.’
Mexico don’t in fact need to better Croatia on the day, however, as a 1-0 win over Cameroon, coupled with a 0-0 stalemate against Brazil, mean they currently sit one point above their opponents in Group A, needing only a draw to make it through to the knockout stages.
Croatia, currently on three points, could still win the group if they beat their opponents and Brazil draw or lose to Cameroon, while a draw between them and Mexico would even see the hosts eliminated on goal difference with a defeat, in what would be a shocking upset.
Moreno is the defensive stalwart of Miguel Herrera’s side, the Espanyol centre-back a veteran of the 2010 World Cup squad, with 54 international appearances to his name.
The 26-year-old's solid form in La Liga over the past season has attracted the attention of a host of English clubs, with the likes of Tottenham, Everton, Swansea City and Southampton all reported to be courting the £7 million-rated man, who first arrived in Europe at 19 to sign with Eredivisie’s AZ Alkmaar.
One of the team's bright spots from the opening two games, helping Mexico past the group stage with another solid defensive effort today would only serve to heighten interest in Moreno’s services, though a match against either the Netherlands or Chile in the next round would prove the real test of his Premier League credentials.