When Mexico take on Argentina on Saturday, Mexican fans will have mixed feelings towards the country who are expected to be their ultimate rivals that night.
The reason: the lasting mark that Argentine coaches have left on Mexican football.
Many Mexicans credit Argentine coach Cesar Luis Menotti with revolutionizing Mexican soccer by elevating the style of play to strength during his run at the helm of the national team in the 1990s. two years old and has never coached Mexico at a World Cup, he remains a beloved figure there, even though he is now director of Argentina’s national teams.
On his first day in Mexico, Menotti, who led Argentina to the 1978 World Cup title, told reporters he planned to plumb Mexico’s soul deeply “because the only way to lead a national team is to understand how it is inextricably linked to the inner life of the country.
With flowing hair and bushy sideburns, Menotti smoked cigarettes on the sidelines, wore sharp suits, freely quoted literature and discussed politics, an unusual brew for conservative Mexico at the time. During his last interview as Mexico coach, he said he “understands Mexico better than many Mexicans”.
Since then, there have been two full-time Argentine coaches of the Mexican national team (more than any other non-Mexican nationality). Neither appreciated the reverence shown for Menotti.
A short guide to the 2022 World Cup
What is the World Cup? The quadrennial event pits the best national football teams against each other for the title of world champion. Here is an introduction to the 2022 men’s tournament:
Ricardo Antonio La Volpe coached Mexico from 2002 to 2006, including at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. His style was to have Mexico play the ball from the defense to launch attacks. He took the team to the semi-finals of the 2005 Confederations Cup, where Mexico lost in a penalty shootout against none other than Argentina. Argentina then knocked out Mexico in the World Cup a year later.
These losses exposed La Volpe to harsh criticism and questions about his dedication to Mexico. He was constantly annoyed by the Mexican press, and the contempt was mutual. He once threw water at reporters after a season of training.
So it was with this mixture of respect and mistrust towards the Argentine coaches that Gerardo “Tata” Martino entered this year’s World Cup.
Martino has come under fire for leaving national superstar Javier “Chicharito” Hernández’s team. Mexican commentators complain about the team’s declining performance over the past two years, including losses in key games against the United States men’s national team. They questioned Martino’s loyalty after a photo surfaced of him talking to Argentine coach Lionel Escaloni as the two attended a game for Newell’s Old Boys, the Rosario side where they played. both made their debut as players.
“I don’t like a coach who is not Mexican leading the national team,” Hugo Sánchez, considered the greatest Mexican player of all time, told ESPN.
Martino told a press conference he felt like ‘public enemy number one’ after Mexican fans chanted ‘Fuera Tata’ – shoot Tata – in the stadium and many shared the hashtag # fueratata on social networks.
Matías Vuoso, an Argentinian with Mexican nationality who played a dozen games for the Mexican national team from 2008 to 2015, said the relationship between the two countries had always been “special”.
“I think you have to give Martino the benefit of the doubt,” Vuoso said. Dealing with so much criticism and so much history at the same time, he said, “it’s a lot of heavy baggage to carry. It doesn’t benefit the players or the team.
#Mexicos #lovehate #relationship #Argentina #haunts #teams #World #Cup #game