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Eriksson helps Mexican legend Blanco go out on top

The Chicago Fire's Cuauhtemoc Blanco earned his 100th cap for Mexico last night. Perhaps for a player as eccentric and colorful as Blanco no better time would ever come to retire from international football, which he did after Mexico's 2-1 victory over Canada. Blanco kept himself in shape and motivated to get to 100 caps despite the reluctance of former Mexican managers Ricardo Lavolpe and Hugo Sanchez to feature him prominently.

Sitting on 97 caps, it appeared Blanco's International career was over until, Sven Goran Eriksson was named manager.

One of Sven's first acts as Mexico manager was to fly to Chicago and take in an MLS match between Blanco's Chicago Fire and DC United at Toyota Park. Eriksson was impressed with Blanco's fitness and quality and promptly recalled him to the national team.

Blanco's final crowning achievement for Mexico was helping El Tri sweep its home matches in World Cup qualifying, thus virtually ensuring passage to the final round. Fans in the United States are fortunate enough to watch this living legend continue plying his trade in MLS. For the rest of international football he will be sorely missed.

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