FC Porto is one of Europe’s best talent factories. No other club does as good of a job of plucking good, young talent from around the world, showcasing it both domestically and in Europe, then selling it on at a giant profit.
It is that process that landed them Hector Herrera, the team’s newest star. The Mexican also the best midfielder in all of CONCACAF.
Herrera’s brilliance was on display once more in Porto’s 4-0 shellacking of Basel, putting the Dragons into the Champions League quarterfinals. He covered a ton of ground and disrupted the Basel midfield. He played the ball quickly to spring the break. He got forward and help unlock the defense. Oh, and he also did this:
That’s what we like to call “doing everything.”
And as good as he was today, it wasn’t anything special. It wasn’t unique. It was just another match by Herrera, who has made such showings the norm.
Costa Rica went further than any other CONCACAF team in last year’s World Cup, but Celso Borges and Yeltsin Tejada don’t hold a candle to Herrera. The U.S. got the best of Mexico in qualifying, but Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones aren’t as good as Herrera. Honduras, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the rest can only dream of a player like him.
Look up and down CONCACAF, you won’t find anyone better.
You won’t find a player with seemingly unlimited range, who can also cover out wide and drop into the back line. You won’t find a player who can spring the attack with a 30-yard diagonal from deep then be the late runner to score the goal. You won’t find a player who can rip a shot from outside the box or play a perfect reverse ball for the assists. You certainly won’t find a player who does all of that and does it in Champions League’s knockout stages.
Porto seems to find that player. It always seems to find that player. It found Herrera at Pachuca two years ago and now it sits with a dominant 24-year-old midfielder, one that’s starring in the world’s most important club competition and drawing the interest of the game’s biggest teams. Porto has CONCACAF’s best midfielder, maybe the region’s best player – an outright jewel in Europe.