This Sunday, FC Twente of the Dutch Eredivisie take on Vitesse Arnhem, and while the lineups have not yet been made official, you can bet that Jesus “El Tecatito” Corona will be tapped by his manager for the starting XI. Since his debut, Jesus Corona has given his manager hardly any reason not to.
Corona’s first appearance for Twente’s first team this season was delayed by injury, but since being called up he has made an immediate impact. In his first match against the Go Ahead Eagles, Corona scored a goal and provided an assist as he led his team to a 2-1 victory.
A solitary win might not seem like much, but when you realize that result was FC Twente’s first win of its domestic season, you start to see exactly what kind of impact El Tecatito can have. That win against the Go Ahead Eagles ended a start to FC Twente’s season that was nothing if not uninspiring: 6 games, 6 draws, a record of 0-6-0.
But because it is just one game, we would understand if you are not exactly jumping out of your seat in excitement. That one game, however, has proved to be more of a premonition than an aberration.
El Tecatito has since started every single game that FC Twente has played, 11 in all, and in those 11 games FC Twente has recorded a record of 6-3-2. While his 2 goals and 3 assists in that time are far from receiving comparisons to Ronaldo, FC Twente’s form since making Corona a regular starter cannot be ignored. Corona has made his team better, right from the start.
Having an immediate impact is the mark of a great player, and El Tecatito seems to be in the habit of doing so. On his debut for FC Twente last year, Corona was subbed on during the second half of a 5-0 demolition of Groningen. The game was a wash by the time Corona was on the pitch, but he still did exactly what you would want an attacking player to do in such circumstances: score a classy goal.
This past November saw Corona make his debut for the Senior Mexican National Team. He was subbed on in a friendly against the Netherlands, and while it may have been a friendly, the match he entered was hardly relaxed. Mexico had not forgotten its controversial loss to the Netherlands this past summer in Brazil, and they were out for revenge. It was about as important a friendly as could be possibly be played, and Corona would not have been the first debutant to fumble under the pressure of such a match.
For El Tecatito, another debut simply meant another chance to shine. He was subbed on in the 61st minute, in the 62nd he made this pass:
Yes, Mexico would end up winning the game 3 to 2, but do not let that trivialize what Corona managed to accomplish. No, he didn’t score a goal, but some players wait months to make the kind of impact on the international stage that Corona made in that friendly, and he only needed one minute to do it.
Corona undoubtedly has more debuts and big matches in his future, and there is no reason to believe that the great first impressions won’t continue. Corona has already reportedly received attention from the Premier League side Southampton, who are rumored to be interested in a January swoop for the Mexican sensation. They are likely the first of many.
The El Tecatito hype train is gaining steam, but do not let that lead you to believe that Corona will lose his head. On top of his obvious talent, Corona knows what is best for him, and won’t go signing for the first big club to show interest in him if it is not the best move for his career.
He has already turned down Barcelona in favor of FC Twente because, in the words of Corona himself, “[he] analyzed all the possibilities and saw that [FC Twente] was the best [team for him].” Not every player is capable of turning down FC Barcelona. Just like talent, that level of maturity is hard to find, a player must grow into it, and El Tecatito certainly seems to have done so.
At the age of 21, Jesus “El Tecatito” Corona’s combination of youth, talent, and maturity make him exactly the kind of player any team wants. Now, and for the future. The only thing that remains to be seen is how he takes advantage of the opportunities that come his way as his career progresses.
We are not worried, El Tecatito has a habit of making a good first impression.
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