Orbelin Pineda 20 Midfielder Chivas Mexico
Orbelin Pineda grew up in a family of footballers. His older brother is also a professional though he hasn’t ascended beyond the second tier of Mexican football so far. Orbelin could – with the right mix of hard work, results and luck – play in the very best leagues in the world.
Having come through the Querétaro F.C. academy and then made a name for himself in their first team, he agreed a deal to join arguably the biggest club in Mexico this time last year. He has settled as though he has been there 12 years, not 12 months.
At Querétaro there were times when he arguably outperformed Ronaldinho on the pitch; though the press coverage never allowed it to appear that way. Pineda likes to adopt the advanced role in the midfield two, and backs that up with a decent goal return. He’s a good player and we’re told he is quite mature for his age. Playing as a box-to-box midfielder, it helps if you are a leader that can inspire those around you and drag them through matches. Pineda appears capable of eventually doing that on a week-by-week basis.
2016 has been…
It has been less than a year since Orbelin made the switch from Querétaro to Chivas and it is testament to the player and the club that he looks very comfortable in their midfield. He was signed with the expectation to become a first team regular and drive the club back to the top of the Mexican game, but to have his feet well under the table four months shy of his 21st birthday is good going.
It has now been 10 years since Club Deportivo Guadalajara were top of the pile in the Mexican top flight though fourth place in this season’s Apetura is a very solid start. Pineda started all 19 of their games throughout the league and play-offs, though he may feel rather disappointed to have not matched his return of four goals from last year’s Clausura.
That will come, as will more international caps. He’s been a frequent feature on the Mexico bench throughout the year, though he has been limited to just 100 minutes of action so far. For now, patience will be key. Hector Herrera is a very talented footballer and in truth, Pineda isn’t on his level yet.
He talks well in interviews and appears to be a grounded individual. He often speaks about the players and coaches that help to teach him about new elements he can add to his game, and he seems very aware that he can’t allow himself to rest on his laurels. Hopefully that isn’t just lip service and he doesn’t jump at the first hint of foreign interest during this winter break.
Orbelin is an excellent place to learn the game, improve as a player and eventually make the switch to Europe. He needs between 18 months and two years before we’d be sure he could handle an UEFA Champions League club; and most of that needs to be focused on tightening up his game. Defensively he could be better.
Hopefully he has the right people around him, who know he is better to stay where he is for another couple of seasons. Win a trophy or two with Chiavas, get the next World Cup in Russia under his belt and then maybe don’t book a flight back to Mexico afterwards.
C+ Part of an exciting group that Mexico have on their hands
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