Diego Lainez

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Diego Lainez
Personal information
Full name Diego Lainez Leyva[1]
Date of birth (2000-06-09) 9 June 2000 (age 18)[1]
Place of birth Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
Height 1.67 m (5 ft 5 12 in)[1]
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Number 25
Youth career
2012–2017 América
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2017–2019 América 39 (5)
2019– Betis 0 (0)
National team
2017 Mexico U17 6 (2)
2018– Mexico U20 7 (0)
2018– Mexico U21 8 (1)
2018– Mexico 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:58, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 09:42, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

Diego Lainez Leyva (born 9 June 2000) is a Mexican professional footballer who plays as a winger for Spanish club Real Betis.

Club career[edit]


Lainez was recruited by scout Ángel González along with his brother Mauro. Mauro decided to join Pachuca's academy, while Diego opted to join Club América.[2]

On 1 March 2017, Lainez made his competitive debut with América in the Copa MX group stage match against Santos Laguna.[3] Three days later, he made his league debut against León, becoming one of the club's youngest players to debut for the first team at 16 years old.[4] On 19 March, after a lineup error that ruled out Gerson Torres from being eligible to play,[5] Lainez was assigned to start against Club Universidad Nacional.[6]

On 4 August 2018, Lainez scored his first two goals for América in a 3–1 win over Pachuca at Estadio Hidalgo; he became the youngest player to score a double with the club, and the fifth youngest to score a goal in the club’s history.[7] On 18 September, Lainez suffered a sprained ankle on his left foot during training following a tackle from Bruno Valdez,[8] forcing him to miss out on four weeks of action, including the Súper Clásico against arch-rivals Guadalajara.[9] He would return from injury on 20 October, and scored his first goal playing in the Estadio Azteca as América defeated Tijuana 3–0.[10] Lainez scored in both legs of the Apertura semifinal series against Universidad Nacional,[11] making him the youngest player to ever score during the playoff stage for the club.[12]

Real Betis[edit]

On 10 January 2019, Lainez joined La Liga club Real Betis on a five-year contract reportedly worth $14 million.[13] The move made him the youngest player to emigrate from the Liga MX,[14] as well as the second most expensive transfer paid for a Mexican player by a European club.[15]

International career[edit]

Mexico U-17[edit]

Lainez was ruled out of the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship due to his activity with Club América's first team.[16]

On 14 September 2017, Lainez was included in final roster that participated at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.[17] In Mexico’s second group match against England, Lainez scored twice in the team’s 3–2 loss.[18]

Mexico U-20[edit]

On 25 October 2018, Lainez was called up by Diego Ramírez to participate in the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.[19] Mexico finish runner-up in the competition, with Lainez being named in the Best XI.[20]

Mexico U-21[edit]

Lainez was included in the final roster that participated at the 2018 Toulon Tournament.[21] He scored the opening goal against Qatar in Mexico’s 4–1 win.[22] He would go on to win the Best Player Award,[23] as well as make the Best XI of the competition as Mexico finished runner-up.[24]

Lainez was included in the final roster that participated in the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.[25] He appeared in all three group stage matches as Mexico finished last in their group with one point.

Mexico national team[edit]

On 29 August 2018, Lainez received his first call-up to the senior national team by interim manager, Ricardo Ferretti, for the friendly matches against Uruguay and the United States.[26] He earned his first cap in Mexico's 4–1 defeat to Uruguay on 7 September.[27]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 16 December 2018.[28]
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
América 2016–17 Liga MX 9 0 1 0 10 0
2017–18 15 0 7[a] 0 1 0 23 0
2018–19 15 5 3 0 18 5
Total 39 5 11 0 1 0 51 5
Career total 39 5 11 0 1 0 51 5
  1. ^ Includes one match from the 2017 Supercopa MX


As of 12 September 2018.[29]
Mexico national team
Year Apps Goals
2018 2 0
Total 2 0

Style of play[edit]

"I look to take players on a lot, play a lot of one-twos, but I also like to shoot from distance."

—Lainez on his own playing style, March 2017.[30]

Described as a “diminutive, left-footed forward with a sharp burst of pace”, Lainez was featured in The Guardian's list of the 60 best young talents in world football,[31] as well as Goal.com's 2017 NxGn list of the world's best teenage players.[32]

He has also been described as "creative and methodical in terms of orchestrating attacks. Despite being a teenager, Lainez has a very mature reading of the game which often fuels his sharp decision-making on the field." Lainez appears equally adept at passing and crossing as well as not shirking away from his defensive duties.[33] Thomas Harrison of Outsideoftheboot.com described him as "a winger who can also operate as a 'number ten', [he] is renowned for his outstanding balance, trickery and change of pace when running with the ball, and the stats back up this belief. Diego ended the 2017–18 with a dribble success rate of above 65%, one of the highest figures for an attacking player in Liga MX."[34] Lainez has cited Lionel Messi as an idol and an influence on his playing style.[32]

Lainez has shown maturity despite a young age.[35][36][37] During a friendly match against the United States, Matt Miazga mocked Lainez for his short height following a scuffle, in which Lainez remained calm and showed no petulance.[38][39]






  1. ^ a b c "Diego Lainez". ligamx.net (in Spanish).
  2. ^ "Tesoros de la Coca". Adrenalina (in Spanish). Excelsior. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  3. ^ "De último minuto, Santos venció a América y calificó en Copa". MedioTiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Diego Lainez le cambió la cara a un gris América que igualó 1-1 con León" (in Spanish). Univision. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  5. ^ "¡Increíble! El América no sabía que Gerson Torres no podía jugar" (in Spanish). Marca.
  6. ^ "Lainez repite como titular, ahora no por necesidad" (in Spanish). ESPN Deportes.
  7. ^ "Diego Lainez el américanista más joven en anotar doblete" (in Spanish). Club América. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  8. ^ Orvañanos, Alejandro (18 September 2018). "Diego Lainez sufrió un esguince en el entrenamiento del América". Marca. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  9. ^ "¿Por qué Diego Lainez no juega el Clásico entre América y Chivas?". Goal. 30 September 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Diego Lainez marcó su primer gol en el Estadio Azteca con América". MedioTiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Cuántos goles lleva Diego Lainez en Primera". Goal.com (in Spanish). 9 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Diego Lainez, el jugador más joven de América en anotar gol en Liguilla". Récord. 11 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  13. ^ Arnold, Jon (10 January 2019). "Club America transfer news: 18-year-old Diego Lainez signs with Real Betis". Goal. Goal.com. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Diego Lainez, el mexicano más joven en emigrar a Europa" [Diego Lainez, the youngest Mexican to emigrate to Europe] (in Spanish). La Áficion. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Diego Lainez, el segundo jugador mexicano más caro que va a Europa" [Diego Lainez, the second most expensive Mexican ever to move to Europe] (in Spanish). La Áficion. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Diego Lainez no es seleccionado para la sub 17". Dilofutbol.com. 17 April 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Diego Lainez encabeza convocatoria del Tri para el Mundial Sub 17". www.univision.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  18. ^ "FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 - Matches - England-Mexico". FIFA. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  19. ^ "With the surprise of Diego Lainez, Mexico release call up for CONCACAF U-20 Championship". FMF State of Mind. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  20. ^ "TSG announces the 2018 CU20 Best XI". CONCACAF.com. 21 November 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Revelan convocatoria del Tri Sub-21 para el torneo Esperanzas de Toulon". ESPN (in Spanish). 22 May 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  22. ^ "Mexico Roll Past Qatar 4-1 in 2018 Toulon Tournament". Bleacher Report. 26 May 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Festival International Espoirs 2018 : les récompenses" (in French). Toulon Tournament. 12 June 2018.
  24. ^ "L'équipe type du Festival International Espoirs 2018" (in French). Toulon Tournament. 11 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Diego Lainez to lead team for the Central American and Caribbean Games". FMF State of Mind. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  26. ^ "Convocatoria de la Selección Nacional de México". miseleccion.mx (in Spanish). Mexican Football Federation. 29 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  27. ^ "Lainez y Alvarado, el futuro Tricolor" [Lainez and Alvarado, the Tricolor future]. ESTO (in Spanish). 3 September 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  28. ^ "Mexico - D. Lainez - career statistics - Soccerway".
  29. ^ "Diego Lainez". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  30. ^ "Diego Lainez: I play like Messi". Marca. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  31. ^ "Next Generation 2017: 60 of the best young talents in world football". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  32. ^ a b "Meet Diego Lainez: The 16-year-old sensation who dreams of becoming the 'Mexican Messi'". Goal.com. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  33. ^ Sengupta, Meghna. "Who's This Mexican Attacker Liverpool Are Trying To Sign? Everything You Need To Know". Soccersouls.com. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  34. ^ Harrison, Thomas (16 August 2018). "Talent Radar: Liga MX's 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19". Outsideoftheboot.com. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  35. ^ Arenas, Alain (8 September 2018). "Diego Lainez, un talento precoz que se impone a sus entrenadores". El Economista. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  36. ^ Valdez, Jesús (2 June 2018). "Diego Lainez podría irse al Lyon por 25 millones de euros". Marca. Retrieved 7 November 2018. 'Diego tiene un potencial que ya es muy interesante para su edad y muestra madurez en su juego', agregó [Jordan] Bozonnet.
  37. ^ "Diego Laínez da muestras de Madurez". Pasión Águila. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  38. ^ Marshall, Tom (11 September 2018). "Mexico's 5-foot-5 Diego Lainez not offended by 6-4 Matt Miazga's mocking". ESPN. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  39. ^ Blumrosen, Daniel (13 September 2018). "Diego Lainez no le teme a las alturas". El Universal. Retrieved 7 November 2018. No hay algo que le haya incomodado, ni siquiera el polémico episodio con Miazga, quien buscó hacerlo menos e intimidarlo sobre el césped del estadio Nissan. Con madurez, Diego considera que es 'algo que pasa en el futbol, roces... No va más allá. Es totalmente normal'.

External links[edit]