August 23, 2017

Marco Fabián: The Other Mexican Lighting Up The Bundesliga

The most famous Mexican footballer in the world today is Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. That is an undisputed statement, when you consider the jersey sales he generates and the newfound Mexican presence at Leverkusen games and on Die Werkself’s social media as well. For years Hernandez has rightly held that title among Mexican players, not only with his performance and his pedigree (his father and maternal grandfather were both Mexican World Cup players) but with his humble demeanor. For these reasons, Chicharito sometimes overshadows the accomplishments of his Mexican peers. Other Mexican internationals such as Andrés Guardado, Raul Jimenez, Hector Herrera, and Miguel Layún among others have been doing great things in recent years, while ageless Rafa Marquez keeps on keeping on for El Tri.  But one of the Mexican players doing great things has also developed into  a Bundesliga star this season, and his name is Marco Fabián.

How He Got to the Bundesliga

Fabián was a very accomplished player well before he reached the German top flight with his achievements for the national team and at the domestic level. He’s a product of the very accomplished C.D. Guadalajara academy, like Hernandez, and for them he made his debut in 2007. By 2010 he had become a first team player for Guadalajara and played for a Chivas side that made the Copa Libertadores final while his status with the club kept on rising and rising. The Guadalajara-native had become a reliable goal scorer by the time he got into the first team, and in the 2010-11 season scored 15 goals in all competitions to go along with seven assists. He had become a main man for the Mexican side with his goals and assists from the midfield.

His good form would continue for Guadalajara in the following season, with nine goals and five assists in only 31 games. He missed several matches due to his exploits at the Olympics, which was a competition where Fabián continued his breakthrough as an international after leading the Mexican U23 squad to the Toulon tournament championship a month earlier, tying the record for goals scored with England’s famed Alan Shearer.

Fabián was a key player for Mexico in their famous Gold Medal triumph in London, with the 5’7″ midfielder starting several games for El Tri. Fabián scored a crucial goal to level the score for Mexico in the semifinal win over Japan, and he assisted on a goal in the final as well. Without his Olympic performance it would’ve been much harder for him to establish himself as a member of El Tri like he has up to this point in his career.

His national team exploits didn’t hurt Fabián’s form in the 2012-13 season as he starred for Guadalajara once again. The Mexican scored 11 and chipped in three assists in only 25 games, as he was lethal whenever he took the pitch for Guadalajara, although Chivas fans were disappointed that their iconic Guadalajara side only won a Copa MX while Fabián was with the side — despite the midfielder still holding the record for most goals scored at Chivas’ Estadio Omnilife home.  But his consistency and his scoring helped him represent Mexico once again, except this time he was called up for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Fabián would star once again for Mexico in the summer of 2013, with a stunning three goal/three assist performance in that competition.  He still 

Even though Mexico didn’t win, Fabián showed that he was good enough to play in a league that’s as good as the Bundesliga. He  eventually got his move after winning the CONCACAF Champions League while on loan with Cruz Azul and featuring in the 2014 World Cup. In December of 2015. Overall he made almost 200 appearances for Chivas, and he established himself as not only a star, but a club legend for the Mexican side as well.

Life In the Bundesliga

After coming to Frankfurt during last winter’s transfer window, it took Fabián some time to adapt to his new surroundings, but he still picked up two assists, and helped Die Adler avoid relegation with some solid showings. He even picked up a man of the match award for one of his performances, which shows just how much the Mexican brought Eintracht last season. After having an entire summer off and being able to get a cup of coffee in the Bundesliga last season, Fabián and Frankfurt were hoping to see even more from their January signing.

Thus far they have seen much more from him, as Fabián is performing very much like he did when he was a star in the Liga MX. The Mexican has been the star for a surprising Frankfurt team, with three goals on nine shots and two assists in five starts this season. He won Man of the Match in his first game of the season, which was a 2-1 win MatchDay 3 over Leverkusen as the Mexican midfielder scored a vital goal and provided an assist in a 2-1 win. Without his contributions the Eagles almost certainly don’t get that impressive result, and the same can be said for the result against Bayern Munich in Saturday, which likely cemented his reputation as an all-time Frankfurt legend. Fabián was able to score the tying goal even after Eintracht had been down to ten men, and his match rating of 7.77 in the game shows how much he contributed to the result otherwise. He also scored in the 3-3 draw against high-flying Hertha, and his goal was able to help the Eagles get a result despite a poor defensive performance.

Speaking of match rating, the Mexican has a rating of 7.92 this season, which is an incredible total. This rating places him at the top of the entire Bundesliga which means essentially  he’s been the best player in the league this season. While that might not sustain itself, the fact that he’s playing so well in encouraging for Frankfurt because he’s leading this team to many surprising performances. Eintracht are currently 7th in the league, ahead of sides such as Leverkusen, Gladbach and Wolfsburg. After surviving the relegation playoff against Nürnberg last season, the expectations for Frankfurt were low. No one would’ve predicted such a good start, and interesting play, from Nico Kovac’ side.  One can suddenly imagine a European future in Die Adler’s future if Fabián can maintain his form. Fabián has already proven his worth in the Bundesliga in less than a year’s time with his performances.

After establishing himself as a star with Guadalajara and with the Mexican national team over a 6 year period from 2007 to 2013, Marco Fabian finally moved to Europe to play in the Bundesliga. After helping his new Bundesliga club Frankfurt survive relegation last season, the 27 year-old has been fantastic in his first full season with the club. With three goals and two assists in only five games, along with leading the league in match rating, the Mexican is establishing himself as an attacking threat in the Bundesliga this season. He’s played so well, that now just like his good friend Chicharito, Fabián should get a lot of attention for what he’s doing from North American fans. If he keeps up his form, he surely will begin to get a similar amount of recognition as his Mexico teammate.  

Header photo from Eintracht Frankfurt official Facebook page

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Alex Lynch

Alex a passionate fan of the Bundesliga and German Football who resides in the United States, who also loves writing and talking about the Bundesliga.

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