Full Name: Diego Antonio Reyes
Club: Porto
Country: Mexico
DOB: 19 September 1992
Height: 6’ 4”

It took some help from the US for Mexico to qualify for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, but they are there. The team might have experienced tough days recently, but one player who is almost certain to be on the plane because of his exciting performances is Porto centerback, Diego Reyes. The 21 year old has been a bright spark over the past year for El Tricolor and is seen to be one of the top up-and-coming prospects currently in the game.

It all started for Reyes in his native Mexico, where he developed through the America youth system, before breaking into the first team. With America, he played 83 games, scored 3 goals and left a huge impression before moving to Portugal this past summer. At the ripe age of 20, he had established a reputation high enough for Porto to fork out €7 million for his services. Since his move, he has struggled to break into the first team but he has established himself as a regular in the B squad while continually improving his performances and winning praise from European fans. As he hones his skills and develops a better awareness, he is sure to become a valuable player for the Portuguese giants.

So, what is it exactly that makes Reyes such a highly regarded star? It has a lot to do with his simple form and ability to play without complicating the game. Not only does he fit the mold of a center back, but he has played several games as a defensive midfielder thanks to his calm nature. Areas where Reyes has proven his worth is in his ability to time challenges play crisp passes and keep possession when under pressure and win headers thanks to his 6 foot 4 inch frame. The latter is an area where he will definitely improve as he looks to add some extra strength and muscle to his current slender frame.

In January, Reyes actually wore the captain’s armband for the first time in a friendly versus South Korea. He was only handed the armband after Refa Marquez subbed out, but it demonstrates the respect he has garnered from senior players in the squad. He still has some work to do to ensure a starting spot in Brazil, but expectations for a positive impact are high.

Diego Reyes Wears Nike CTR360 Maestri III

In the CTR360 range, Reyes has a boot that really does suit his style of play. Born to be the perfect “playmaker” boot, they are designed with several key pieces of technology included a control zone on the instep. Yes, the boot does suit attacking players very well, but when you have a defender who has a comfortable first touch on the ball and the ability to find a pass, they make an ideal companion. Reyes benefits from the strategically positioned fold that sits right across the top of the forefoot as it allows for a natural touch and quick movement when he takes the ball forward.

With an impending changeover in the range, or retirement of the CTR360, it will be interesting to see what Reyes decides to sport next. If he sticks with Nike, the new Magista might be an interesting accomplice or he could make a dramatic switch to something like the adidas Nitrocharge.