By William Hill
Last Updated: 24th June 2018
After proving that their victory over holders Germany was no fluke by defeating South Korea 2-1, the question being asked is can Mexico win the World Cup?
Whereas there have been shocking European Championship winners like Denmark in 1992 and Greece in 2004, the World Cup has arguably never delivered a surprise on that scale.
Mexico have been backed in to 25/1 though, a price that pitches them between two-time champions Argentina (20/1) and Uruguay (28/1).
It’s only the second time ever that they’ve kicked off a World Cup with two wins, though on the other occasion in 2002, they exited in the round-of-16 to USA. That round has famously proven their undoing at six straight editions.
Can Mexico win the World Cup? Spread the goals, win the gold
All four of Portugal’s goals have been scored by Cristiano Ronaldo, while three of Spain’s four were claimed by Diego Costa.
Mexico have their own star striker in Javier Hernandez, but they haven’t been reliant on him. Chicharito got off the mark against South Korea, but two of his supporting cast had already struck.
Hirving Lozano was the hero against Germany, while Carlos Vela showed composure to net a penalty after a lengthy delay in the first half of game two.
Sides that lean too heavily on one player for goals don’t win the World Cup. On the last six occasions there was an outright tournament top scorer, just one got their hands on the cup.
Likewise, none of the four players who grabbed the most goals at a single World Cup (Just Fontaine for France in 1958, Sandor Kocsis for Hungary in 1954, Gerd Muller for West Germany in 1970 and Eusebio for Portugal in 1966) doubled up with the trophy.
Seven of the last eight World Cup winners had at least three goalscorers in their opening two matches (excluding own goals). Only Spain in 2010 – an anomaly as they fired just eight all tournament – have lifted the trophy without filling the criteria since Italy in 1982.
Can Mexico win the World Cup? The case for new winners
That’s where this World Cup gets really interesting: none of the former champions have ticked the box.
As well as the aforementioned Spain, Uruguay (Jose Gimenez and Luis Suarez), France (Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe) and Brazil (Philippe Coutinho and Neymar) have stalled on two. For Argentina, Sergio Aguero stands alone.
Instead, the nations with three or more scorers have been Belgium (7/1), Croatia (14/1), Mexico, Russia (40/1) and Switzerland (50/1).
Even if you think Mexico remain destined for more round-of-16 disappointment, the case for a ninth name being added to the trophy this summer is growing by the day.