Diego Reyes isn't one to speak out about current events but his matter-of-fact reaction to Mexico's coverage of him and his teammates is telling.
"The truth is I don't listen much over here [to critics] because I don't want to," said the 25-year-old Porto and El Tri center-back. "Ultimately, a lot of things are said, a lot of things that aren't true. Lots of times, they don't put themselves in our place, and that's difficult. I know there's great pressure on us and that we're representing a country, but you also need to consider that we come over here with a dream to be somebody, for an objective, but a lot of people think that we're coming just for the money, and that's not true."
It's clear that Reyes, who made his professional debut with Club America in 2010 before heading to Europe in 2013, prefers the relative tranquility of Porto, where he plays with fellow Mexico World Cup squad members Jesus "Tecatito" Corona and Hector Herrera.
Reyes shared his thoughts with ESPN Deportes' David Faitelson from his club's facilities in Portugal.
"I would really be more at ease with America, happier at America, more comfortable playing for America. But that's not how it is," he said. "I came here to fight for a dream, and a lot of people don't see that. They criticize, and that's the reality. But oh well. We know the Mexican mentality is like that, unfortunately, and hopefully we can change that one day."
Reyes suffered a thigh injury in March with El Tri that limited him with Porto, though he had a productive season with the Portuguese champions. However he didn't play a minute in Saturday's 1-0 friendly win over Scotland before the team headed to Europe.
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio considers Reyes a versatile piece who can play at multiple spots. Osorio's style, involving multiple lineups and frequent experiments on the pitch, has not been received well in Mexico despite El Tri's 30 wins in 46 matches since his appointment in October 2015. Mexico also won CONCACAF qualifying by five points over Costa Rica.
Naturally, Reyes believes that criticism toward the Colombian manager isn't justified.
"The last qualifying round [in 2014], we didn't cruise like we did this time around," Reyes said. "We had to go to a playoff, but nobody remembers those things. It's true, we lost 7-0 to Chile, lost to Germany in [the] Confederations [Cup], but we've also managed success that we haven't had before, like in qualifying.
"They say 45 lineups in 45 matches [before Monday's scoreless tie to Wales], but of the 45, how many have we won? He knows a lot, and he knows what he's doing."
Mexico will require near perfection to defeat defending champion Germany in both sides' World Cup opener on June 17. Reyes said Mexico's players need to pull in the same direction to have a chance, but he doesn't see that as being a problem with this tight-knit squad.
El Tri will again shoot for the elusive "fifth game," as they have been eliminated in the round of 16 each time since the 1994 World Cup. Russia will be Reyes' second World Cup, and he senses a difference with this year's side.
"The truth is, if I'm being honest with you, I see a team that's hungry, that has a desire, and with a lot of youth too, very much wanting to do something different, to change the country's history and forget about the ghosts that are already following us."