Edson Alvarez is hoping to be a role model as well as make history at this year’s Copa America finals after a brilliant season with West Ham.

While he’s certainly not on the same level, Edson Alvarez has done a brilliant job at replacing Declan Rice. The midfield was a real area for concern when the Englishman left just a year ago, but his predecessor has been able to fulfil the majority of his defensive work as well as his leadership skills.

Although it’s been a long season for the 26-year-old it’s still far from over for him as he heads to Copa America – something the Mexico captain is excited for. “It is always a pleasure to represent your country and when they call me it is always an honour to go there and show what I can do,” he exclaimed when speaking to the official site.

“It is the greatest honour that I’ve had in my career because it is very important to be part of the team, never mind being the captain. I know I have a big responsibility and know that I need to help everyone and make sure we continue to have success.”

Despite it seeming like an easy group on paper, with the Mexicans having to face Jamaica, Venezuela and Ecuador, Alvarez isn’t expecting any of them to be a pushover. “I don’t think it is an easy group and are they are three difficult teams to play,” he explained. “Every match will be difficult and hard, but of course we want to show what Mexico can bring to the tournament and we are really looking forward to playing those games.”

“In this kind of tournament, you play against the best players, and it improves you as a player and of course I think I have enough experience to support and help my team and country.”

As a nation, Mexico has football rooted deep within their culture. We see it at West Ham with fans from Mexico travelling across the world just to see Alvarez playing at the London Stadium. Being the captain of a country where football means so much can carry a lot of pressure, but the midfielder seems to thrive of it and he uses it as an opportunity to be a role model to the younger generation.

“It is what I always want to do [inspire the next generation], to inspire the kids who have the dream to become a football player. “So, for me, I just try to do my best on the pitch, and I know that I also have the responsibility off the pitch and I want to be an example for all of them.”

“I watched all the Mexico games a child and the players always represent the country with a lot of pride. Now I am part of the squad and want to make sure that I keep on doing the same, if not better things for Mexico.”