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Carlos Vela Doesn’t Owe Mexican Fans Anything, And They Don’t Owe Him Praise

Carlos Vela LAFC
Carlos Vela of LAFC during a match vs Atlanta United FC | Photo by Juan Contreras for LA Soccer Nation | July 26, 2019

Carlos Vela was once nominated for ‘Best Striker in La Liga’ in his time at Real Sociedad, so his dominance in MLS should come as no surprise.

He went from great performances against Barcelona and Atlético Madrid to leading a new MLS franchise to a blazing 2019 season. However, there is a conversation amongst fans about moves like that of Carlos Vela. A player who left European football in what is considered the “prime” of many careers in the sport.

Carlos Vela LAFC

LAFC goalscorer Carlos Vela against Montreal Impact | Photo by Juan Contreras | May 24, 2019

Giovani dos Santos was the first significant move to MLS for a Mexican abroad at just 26 years old. A move that was to the chagrin of almost every Mexico fan outside of Los Angeles. It was a move I was critical of, and to be honest, I will always be critical of Mexican players doing such.

It is not that the MLS is necessarily a weak league, especially for the region. The problem is more profound than that, as Mexicans rarely see large numbers not only playing abroad but thriving abroad. As a fan and media member, I want to see the top Mexicans playing in the strongest leagues, because I genuinely believe they have the talent and quality to do so.

Carlos Vela is having a tremendous career with LAFC, as he is on his way to breaking MLS records. That is awesome for Carlos. He seems to be happy where he is at and with the current situation in his life. It’s a career move that was his decision, and in the end, it was his to make. Vela has even come out to defend his decision to move to MLS, but most believe he doesn’t need to justify anything.

Fans of the game make sacrifices of their own. They pay for streaming services, airfare, tickets to games, jerseys – you name it. They want to see their national team players at the best level in the game.

Carlos Vela LAFC

LAFC captain Carlos Vela celebrating his goal against Vissel Kobe | Photo by Juan Contreras for LA Soccer Nation | January 31, 2019

Despite Carlos’ impressive season at LAFC, nothing will be as noteworthy as being nominated with Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Costa. Two players who are not only older than Carlos but are still playing top-flight football

If we conclude that players like Carlos Vela don’t owe fans anything by playing the best competition, then the same goes the other way around. Fans do not owe him praise for breaking records in a less competitive atmosphere.

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