Penpix of Mexico squad

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MEXICO CITY, June 4 (Reuters) - Penpix of Mexico's 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa:

1-Oscar Perez (Chiapas). Goalkeeper. Born Feb. 1 1973. Caps: 52.

A Javier Aguirre favourite having already kept goal for the coach at the 2002 World Cup. He was number two at France '98. A short man for a keeper at 1.71 metres, he has excellent reflexes and is a good jumper, which has earned him the nickname "Conejo" (rabbit).

13-Guillermo Ochoa (America). Goalkeeper. Born July 13 1985. Caps: 37.

Looked set for the number one spot until recent errors with his club and the national team cast his place into doubt. Agile jumper good at cutting out crosses.

23-Luis Ernesto Michel (Guadalajara). Goalkeeper. Born July 21 1979. Caps: 4.

Has come into consideration recently after his fine performances for his club, has very good reflexes covering shots from close range.

4-Rafael Marquez. (Barcelona). Defender. Born Feb. 13 1979. Caps: 91. Goals: 10.

Leader of the defence going to his third finals, with a fine right foot he can deliver accurate long balls to attackers. His 11 years of European football have honed his technique and reading of the game as age has slowed him. Prone to injury.

5-Ricardo Osorio. (VfB Stuttgart). Defender. Born March 30 1980. Caps: 76. Goals: 1.

Fast left back going to his second finals with good defensive skills and positioning, who also goes forward well although he occupies the same flank as midfielder Andres Guardado who has similar attacking qualities.

2-Francisco Rodriguez. (PSV Eindhoven). Born Oct. 20 1981. Caps: 48. Goals: 1.

Tall centre back measuring almost two metres, good in the air though less skilful on the ground, he complements Marquez in the middle of the back four and is dangerous coming up for corners. Another 2006 veteran.

3-Carlos Salcido. (PSV Eindhoven). Born April 2 1980. Caps: 73. Goals: 6.

Nicknamed "Sasa", a former forward with good attacking skills, who will be vying with Osorio for a place in the starting line-up, and a tough marker who was in the 2006 squad. As a youth he tried three times to enter the U.S. illegally but was caught and deported each time, finally giving up and returning to his native Guadalajara where he worked in factories and carpentry shops until he became a professional footballer.

15-Hector Moreno. (AZ Alkmaar). Defender. Born Jan. 17 1988. Caps: 10.

A young central defender who has worked his way up from the Mexico team that won the under-17 world championship in Peru in 2005. His path into the starting side is now blocked by the Marquez-Rodriguez partnership.

12-Paul Aguilar. (Pachuca). Defender. Born March 6 1986. Caps: 10. Goals: 2.

Right back who made his Mexico debut three years ago but won a place in the squad despite not playing in any of the CONCACAF qualifiers.

16-Efrain Juarez. (Pumas UNAM). Defender. Born Feb. 22 1988. Caps: 19.

Another under-17 world title winner vying for the right back berth who can also double as a ball-winning midfielder.

19-Jonny Magallon. (Guadalajara). Defender. Born Nov. 21 1981. Caps: 53. Goals: 3.

A competitor for one of the positions in central defence, he has been a regular squad member since his 2007 debut and his good ball technique and control with both feet could earn him a starting place at his first finals.

20-Jorge Torres Nilo. (Tigres UANL). Defender. Born Jan. 16 1988. Caps: 8.

Left back competing with European exiles Osorio and Salcido for a piece of the action in South Africa.

18-Andres Guardado. (Deportivo Coruna). Midfielder. Born Sept. 28 1986. Caps: 56. Goals: 8.

The "Little Prince" is a skilled and fast left wing good at crosses with a strong left-footed shot from distance, but he is prone to injury.

6-Gerardo Torrado. (Cruz Azul). Midfielder. Born April 30 1979. Caps: 114. Goals: 6.

Nicknamed "Borrego" (lamb) for his curly hair. A tough midfield enforcer and distributor with an accurate pass and good positioning going to his third finals. An Aguirre favourite.

8-Israel Castro. (Pumas UNAM). Midfielder. Born Dec. 20 1980. Caps: 31. Goals: 1.

An ideal partner for Torrado in the ball-winning department in midfield where the pair have a good understanding, making them likely starters in the tournament's opening match against the host country.

7-Pablo Barrera. (Pumas UNAM). Forward. Born June 21 1987. Caps: 21. Goals: 3.

His chief weapon is running round the defence on the right wing and cutting back from the goalline into the middle to unleash strong, accurate shots.

21-Adolfo Bautista. (Guadalajara). Forward. Born May 15 1979. Caps: 37. Goals: 11.

A potential match-winner who can settle a game with a moment of genius, he is going to his first finals after missing the cut in 2002 and 2006.

10-Cuauhtemoc Blanco. (Veracruz). Forward. Born Jan. 17 1973. Caps: 118. Goals: 38.

"Temo" is a genius with outstanding technique although he has slowed with age. Allowed to roam without a fixed position, he is capable of settling a match with a brilliant movement.

Playing in the Mexican second division but going to his third finals after being overlooked by former coach Ricardo La Volpe for Germany 2006 and briefly retiring during Sven-Goran Eriksson's tenure before the return last year of Aguirre. Married to actress Rosana Najera, he features in the celebrity media and has a television programme, "The Cuauhtemoc Hour".

22-Alberto Medina. (Guadalajara). Forward. Born May 29 1983. Caps: 56. Goals: 6.

Fast attacker nicknamed "Deer" who can play on either wing and delivers good crosses but is an erratic finisher.

14-Javier Hernandez. (Manchester United). Forward. Born June 1 1988. Caps: 12. Goals: 7.

Mexico's big hope who recently transferred from Guadalajara to United after his sudden emergence this year with 10 goals in the Clausura championship.

A sharp-witted penalty box predator. Nicknamed "Chicharito" after his stocky father "Chicharo" (a small, round, green vegetable), who played for hosts Mexico at the 1986 World Cup. His grandfather Tomas Balcazar played at the 1954 finals.

9-Guillermo Franco. (West Ham United). Forward. Born Nov. 3 1976. Caps: 21. Goals: 7.

Argentine-born former Villarreal striker who became a naturalised Mexican. He is going to his second finals with the prospect of winning a place in an attacking partnership with Hernandez which might mean displacing Blanco.

11-Carlos Vela. (Arsenal). Forward. Born March 1 1989: 28. Goals: 9.

Outstanding, Golden Boot winner at the 2005 under-17 world championship won by Mexico, fast and good at rounding defenders.

17-Giovani Dos Santos. (Tottenham Hotspur). Forward. Born May 11 1989. Caps: 26. Goals: 5.

Skilled, generally right-sided, deep-lying forward regarded as Blanco's successor. He earned a move from Barcelona to Tottenham Hotspur but has been on loan to Galatasaray where he has linked up with former Barca coach Frank Rijkaard.

(Compiled by Carlos Calvo; Writing by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires; Editing by Tom Pilcher; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)