Andrés Guardado, Mexico
Out of the four Mexican players to have played in five different World Cups, three of them have played for Club León (Antonio Carvajal, Rafael Márquez and now, Andrés Guardado) Via Andrés Guardado official Facebook page

ALABAMA - Mexican midfielder Andrés Guardado will continue his career with Club León, meaning 'El Principito' will return to Mexico. After spending almost two decades playing in Europe, Guardado will play in Liga MX for the first time since 2007, when he was just a teenager representing Atlas.

Club León announced the Guardado signing through this video

During his 17-year stint in Europe, Guardado played for five different clubs in three different countries, establishing himself as one of the best Mexican players to ever play across the Atlantic.

Just last season, Guardado set the all-time record for most competitive games played in Europe for a Mexican player, breaking Hugo Sánchez' mark of 496 games. Seventeen years and 542 games later, Guardado makes his return to Mexico.

Here are the Mexican players with the most games played in Europe:

1. Andrés Guardado - 542 games

Guardado started his journey with Deportivo La Coruña after completing a move from Atlas in 2007 and quickly becoming a fan-favorite. He spent five seasons with the club and helped them make a return to the top division in 2011-12. After short stints with Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen, Guardado found more success with Dutch team PSV, winning back-to-back Eredivisie titles between 2015 and 2016.

After PSV, Guardado ended up at Real Betis and became one of the captains of the 'verdiblancos'. throughout his seven seasons there, helping the team win its first Copa del Rey trophy since 2005.

Guardado leaves LaLiga having played a total of 327 games, with Hugo Sánchez being the only Mexican who has played in more Spanish first division games throughout his career (347).

Andrés Guardado has the second-most assists by a Mexican player in Europe's top 5 leagues since his debut in 2007 (Via Opta)

2. Hugo Sánchez - 496 games

The five-time 'Pichichi' winner was relegated to second place after Guardado broke his record against Almería in October of 2022. He played in 347 LaLiga games and scored 346 goals. During the 1989-90 season, 'Hugol' won the European Golden Boot thanks to his 38 league goals. Interestingly enough, Sánchez scored all 38 of his LaLiga goals that season by using just one touch.

Sánchez won five consecutive LaLiga titles with Real Madrid between 1986-90. After a successful career in Spain, he also had a brief stint with Austrian club Linz where he played just 19 games.

🇲🇽🛬🇪🇸 Mexican National Team legend and master on the one-touch goal, Hugo Sanchez shares the story of his arrival to LaLiga and career at Atleti English,...

Hugo Sánchez shares he story of his arrival to Spanish soccer (Via beIN Sports USA)

3. Rafael Márquez - 395 games

Rafael Márquez started his European journey at 20 years old, after being transferred to Ligue 1 team AS Monaco. He helped the Monegasques lift the 1999-00 Ligue 1 title in his first season in France. Barcelona bought Márquez in 2003 and that's where 'El Kaiser' built his legacy as one of the best Mexican soccer players in history.

He became the first Mexican to win the UEFA Champions League when Barcelona defeated Arsenal in the 2006 final. In seven seasons with the culés, Márquez won 12 trophies including four LaLiga titles, two UEFA Champions Leagues and the famous 'Treble' in 2009.

Throughout his career, Márquez played in three different European countries (France, Spain and Italy) and racked up a total of 395 games in European competitions.

4. Carlos Vela - 373 games

There was a time when Carlos Vela was -arguably- the third best player in LaLiga, just behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Between 2012-14, Vela scored 10+ goals in three consecutive LaLiga seasons, helping Real Sociedad to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in more than 10 years during the 2012-13 season.

Vela played for Celta Vigo, Salamanca, Osasuna, Arsenal, West Bromwich and Real Sociedad, amassing 373 games across all competitions. His best season in European soccer came during the 2013-14 LaLiga season, scoring 16 goals and providing 12 assists, joining Messi and Gareth Bale as the only players that year with 10+ goals and 10+ assists.

5. Jesús 'Tecatito' Corona - 366 games

The skillful winger arrived to the Netherlands at a very young age and quickly became one of the most entertaining players in the Eredivisie.

After just three seasons at FC Twente, 'Tecatito' made the move to Portugal where he played for FC Porto for seven seasons.

Corona is the non-European with the most games played for the Dragons, amassing 287 appearances for the club. He won seven trophies, including three league titles, before moving to Sevilla in 2021.

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