Mexico has always been a footballing country that has produced some potential talents in world football. And Orbelin Pineda is the latest name to add to that evergrowing list.
In recent years we have seen a series of Mexicans that are playing in Europe and faring well. And for the past couple of seasons, the level of Mexico’s domestic league has raised as well, mainly due to some emerging starlets of Mexico who are nothing less than the more familiar young names of Europe. One of the names who is doing extremely good for and may be near of a call from Europe is Orbelin Pineda.
Orbelin Pineda is a 20 year old midfielder who is currently playing for Mexican giants Chivas de Guadalajara. He was born in Mexico City and came through the youth system of Queretaro FC, another club who plays in the top tier of Mexican league. The young man made his debut as a 15 year old and joined the Jalisco based side Chivas last summer. He has already established himself as a starter in Chivas, and his impressive football has earned him 3 senior national team caps as well.
There are a lot of players who are talented and emerging with a great potential, but Orbelin is a bit different. He is a midfielder who has all the attributes, he can be a deep lying player, can also play box to box and has a great record of scoring goals. So as a midfield option, Pineda is a complete package.
He loves to skip past defenders and often makes accurate key passes that suits him perfectly for a more advanced role. Orbelin plays for his club in the centre of midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation but he advances when required. Beside that, he is a fantastic reader of the game and finds himself in spaces when team is in trouble at the back. His interchanging of positions with defenders and swift movement also allows his team to break more rapidly.
Orbelin is not shy of taking long shots and has already scored some long range stunners for Chivas. He has netted 14 goals in 91 appearances in his club career which is a pretty good stats for a deep lying midfielder. But in my opinion his best position is an advanced playmaker position where he can play with more freedom and his natural instincts.
The major frailty of Pineda is his built. Being only 5’6″, his physical strength is not that ideal to be a natural defensive midfielder. While for now his lack of strength doesn’t cause him too much problems in Mexico, it may be a problem if Europe beckons in near future. His defensive style is muzzled by his lack of strength and he is not a natural ball winner as well. But the technical ability and swift kinetics of his generally compensates his deficiencies.
Already some of the European clubs are interested in snatching him up. Manchester City are linked with a move for Pineda and also the Portuguese giants Porto are understood to be interested in him. Porto, in particular, has been the home of some Mexican players currently as players like Hector Herrera, Miguel Layun and Jesus Corona all play there.
Immediately Pineda must be concentrating on helping Chivas to secure a play off place in the Mexican Apertura. He is also called for Mexico’s world cup qualifiers against USA and Panama. Currently I think it’s better for him to play in Mexico and develop himself to a better player. He is gifted, he has the immense quality and potential, so a long term future may lie in Europe.
Photo by James Willamor