Ex-US soccer player criticized for supporting Mexico
A former U.S. soccer player has justified his support of rivals Mexico at the Russia World Cup. Landon Donovan, 35, played for the USA national team 157 times, scoring 57 goals. He is widely regarded as the best American player ever. However, his calls for fellow Americans to back rivals Mexico at the World Cup have landed him in hot water. Many of his ex-teammates have further criticized him for accepting payment from the company Wells Fargo in exchange for wearing a Mexico soccer jersey. He tweeted a photograph of himself with a scarf that read: "My other team is Mexico. The tournament is here. USA fans, our team may not be in Russia, but our neighbors to the south are. So join me...to cheer on our other team - Mexico."
Donovan explained why he wanted people to cheer for Mexico. He grew up in California and speaks fluent Spanish. He said: "My heart bleeds red, white and blue and no one should ever question my allegiance to and support of U.S. Soccer and its national teams. That being said, having grown up east of Los Angeles playing with Mexican teammates whose passion...inspired me at a very young age....I always have had a strong connection and respect for our neighbor." Current U.S. player Claudia Soto said: "I don't understand why he is doing this. Actually, I do - money." A Mexican fan said: "There are two guys that Mexico fans love to hate. Donald Trump and Landon Donovan."
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