Carlos Vela might be the most dangerous attacking player in Mexico's player pool, but he refuses to give any Mexican manager (all four of them in the last few months) an indication that he's ready to commit to the national team. As a result, he won't have a plane ticket to Brazil this summer.
Vela, the 24-year-old Real Sociedad star who has not played for Mexico's senior team since March 2011, remained noncommittal to El Tri after weekend meetings and won't be called in for the World Cup, according to an announcement made by the Mexican federation on Monday.
Mexico manager Miguel Herrera and top FEMEXFUT officials Héctor González Iñárritu and Ricardo Peláez traveled to Madrid -- where Real Sociedad was playing at Atletico Madrid -- to meet with Vela and gather his thoughts. With him remaining unable to commit 100 percent emotionally and mentally to the cause, according to the announcement, his World Cup ship has sailed.
Vela's saga has dragged on for years. He refused to play in the Olympics in 2012 for Mexico, citing his need to focus on cementing his club place (he had been in club limbo for years, signing with Arsenal but consistently going out on loan and not maintaining steady footing) at Sociedad.
That has since been sorted, though, and while Mexico was struggling to get through the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Hexagonal, it provided a perfect opportunity for him to re-emerge with El Tri and play the role of hero. He continued to turn down potential call-ups, though, carrying on one of the more bizarre international player soap operas while his country was in its time of need.
Mexico is not lost without Vela, who scored a career-high 14 league goals last season and already has 14 goals in all competitions this season. Between Oribe Peralta, Javier Hernandez, Giovani dos Santos, Raul Jimenez and Aldo de Nigris, Herrera has options he can turn to in his attack. His most consistent and lethal option, however, will not be one of them.
[UPDATE letter detailing his reasoning