Born in Guadalajara on 28 September 1986, Andres Guardado arrived at Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the start of 2014 on an initial half-season loan deal bringing in tow the vast international experience that has already seen him rack up over 100 appearances for Mexico.

The versatile left-sided specialist's road to the Bundesliga started out at hometown club CF Atlas, for whom he made his top-flight debut, aged 20, in August 2005. Two years later, he moved across the pond to Spain's Primera Division, signing up with RC Deportivo La Coruna for what was at the time a record fee for a Mexican player.

Bundesliga 'a great opportunity'


Over the following five seasons as a first-team regular with the Galician outfit, Guardado confirmed his early promise and proved just as adept when it came to snuffing out opposition forays at left-back as he was getting forward down the flank himself.

A move to FC Valencia followed in the summer of 2012 and a year-and-a-half later, the lure of German football had him packing his bags again. “The offer from Leverkusen was a great opportunity for me to start something new. The Bundesliga has a fantastic reputation in Spain,” Guardado said when he got on board with the Werkself.

One of Mexico's most experienced players at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, El Principito (the little prince) these days also occupies a more defensive role than previously for his country, mirroring his positional backward shift at club level.