With recent results not as good as expected, there have been questioned raised about Mexico’s game with the Qatar World Cup just a matter of weeks away. Gerardo Martinowho has been in charge of the team for three years, gave his point of view on Mexican soccer and the emerging international players who are playing in the youth categories.
Tata stressed that Mexico continues to be the top team in the area due to their status. “The worst mistake that a group of football players, coaching staff, clubs, a national team, the public can make is not recognizing the growth of the players who are competing. I get tired of seeing ‘We’re still the giants of CONCACAF’ – they’re the kind of discussions that don’t get you anywhere. For a long time, Mexico has shown that it is a team which usually reaches the Round of 16, that is Mexico’s strong point,” he explained in an interview for TUDN.
“Whether we are giants or not – or less giants than before, I understand the media, but the underlying reality is where we are going, how we improve it, how to develop more players from the youth teams – the kids who are coming up through the Under-17s and Under-20s. On the other hand, there has been praise for the U17s and Olympic team in Mexico but that go hand-hand with the players’ first teams so that their participation isn’t delayed, along with the debate that there should be fewer foreigners in the league,” he explained.
To end, Martino clarified that all the CONCACAF teams tend to step up when facing Mexicobut the Tricolor never feel the need to increase their level because they do not have direct rivals. “How do we take this discussion a little deeper? Because other teams up their game when they play us, we’ve always said that. We in Mexico, have not reached a level where we need to play with the Netherlands, with Japan, with Algeria, with Wales, to be able to compete in a different way or to continue growing. To the point where they continue to include us in competitions with the same zone; I feel that the other teams grow by competing with Mexico or the United States, but we don’t,” he added.
Mexico will have two friendly games prior to the World Cup – against Iraq and Sweden. Subsequently, Martino’s side will make their 2022 World Cup debut against Polandbefore facing Argentina and bringing the group stage to a close against Saudi Arabia.