On October 15th 2013, United States national team midfielder Graham Zusi unwittingly became a hero for the whole of Mexico.
After a poor qualifying period, 'El Tri' were doomed and it looked like they would all be staying at home during the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
That was until Zusi stepped up. While the Mexicans were loosing 2-1 against Costa Rica, the US and in particular the Sporting Kansas City star, started a comeback against Panama that ended up with a winner deep into stoppage time that sent Mexican commentators - and the whole country - absolutely ballistic.
The commentators of the Mexico game went off on an incredible rant that went viral, thanking the Americans for what they'd done and castigating the men in green who had "disgraced the country." Watch it here.
Well the Mexicans haven't forgotten what Zusi did for them that night.
In an interview before the upcoming midweek friendly between the two rivals, one reporter expressed his thanks to Zusi yet again...with a giant bottle of tequila.
According to MLSSoccer.com's Andrew Wiebe, San (saint) Zusi as he is now known below the border was presented with a bottle of Patron right in the middle of the interview.
The grateful Mexican then said to Zusi, "I promised this to my father. This is on behalf of the 365k Mexicans who you probably saved their jobs. On behalf of my family and other people's families, a present from us for saving our asses in the World Cup."
The America/Mexico derby is a fierce one and don't expect it to be any less tame, but there will be one player who is booed less than his teammates on Wednesday.
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