Despite being one of the most passionate football nations on earth, Mexico are one of the great World Cup underachievers – not much will change in Russia
Hugo Sanchez, Jesus Ramirez, Sven Goran Eriksson, Javier Aguirre, Efrain Flores, Enrique Meza, Jose Manuel de la Tore, Luis Fernando Tena, Victor Manuel Vucetich, Miguel Herrera, Juan Carlos Osorio – the list just goes on.
These coaches have been in charge of Mexico’s national football team over the past twelve years. In this period, Germany, Mexico’s first opponent in the World Cup, has had only one coach in Joachim Loew.
For Juan Carlos Osorio, the Colombian manager in charge of Mexico at the Russia World Cup, it is going to be a tough task to be thereafter it is all over.
Although Mexico has qualified for as many as 16 World Cup tournaments, their best success is reaching the quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986, the previous occasions they had hosted the Cup. History says both Pele and Diego Maradona owned the World Cups on those two occasions.
It will be tough for Mexico to qualify from a group with the defending champions of Germany, Sweden and South Korea. Even if they do go through, they might face Brazil in the next round which will be another big test for El Tri.
Osorio is not particularly popular with the Mexican people, either. Then again, coaches are never popular with Mexican football fans. Whether they win or lose, they always look for entertainment. And Mexican fans start booing their own team and coach whenever they feel they are not being entertained properly.
With Osorio, their main issue of concern is the constant change in the first XI. It is said that in the 47 matches he was in charge before the first game of the World Cup, the Colombian has never repeated his starting line-up. He believes in the horses for courses principle and selects his XI accordingly.
Osorio is one of those coaches highly rated for his methods and preparation. The strength and weakness of the opponents are studied minutely and Osorio correctly picks his players to execute his plans. That is the reason he was always called ‘Professor’ in the Press Conference.
The Mexico manager sounded confident when claiming that his team would play it their way, without thinking of the opposition. Germany, the defending champions were praised like anything.
“Take the Confederation Cup. Germans played with a back-three system while they will probably be playing with four defenders when they meet us. But in Germany, they have always respected this process that has been underway over the past 12-14 years. They experiment with the squad and reach a tournament like World Cup with the best prepared. For me, they are the strongest contenders to defend their 2014 title.
However, I am not worried since I know my players will be doing their job, too. And whether I’ll be there after the World Cup or not, the process we have started should go on to build a strong team in near future,” continued Osorio.
The emphasis is on the process. That paved the way for Mexico to be the best team from their continent to compete in Russia in absence of the US.
Win or lose, the Mexicans will not be playing like Iceland, sitting back and defending with ten men inside the box, even against the World Champions in Luzhniki on Sunday afternoon. Osorio had already confirmed this. Mexico will be going on the attack against the world champions.