Thursday, April 3, 2008

Two steps back

Ricardo Lavolpe was one of the most unpopular figures in Mexican soccer by the time his reign at the helm of the Mexican national team was over. Although he wanted to stay with El Tri following the 2006 World Cup, that was an option the public likely would never have gone for under any circumstances.

A lot of that dislike was fueled by Hugo Sanchez, who has Lavolpe's harshest critics. But when Sanchez took over El Tricolor, Lavolpe did not reciprocate the criticism.

Until now.

Lavolpe gave his opinion of the Hugo Sanchez Era, and it was not a favorable one in the least.

"He criticized having gone to an Olympics and not having medaled and because of him we're not even going. He criticized the work we did in the Confederations Cup. He said it was easy to win a Gold Cup because we are the giants of CONCACAF and, well, he didn't even the Gold Cup nor did he go to the Confederations Cup. Mexico took two steps back. With the victories and accomplishments we had achieved, Mexico was seeded in the World Cup and now we are going to lose that."

One of the most difficult situations for Lavolpe was his use of foreign-born players, namely Zinha and Guillermo Franco. Again, Sanchez was the harshest critic.

"When I brought in a midfielder like Zinha, he called me on it. When I needed a forward who drops back like Franco, again he called me on it. There was a lot of criticism over that and the one who criticized the most finally had to call on them. Finally I was justified in having called them in."

Lavolpe cautioned that whoever takes over the national team now will have a difficult job to do regardless of that person's previous level of experience.

"Taking over the national team is not easy. Many times the belief is that qualifying is simple but in CONCACAF Mexico is the team to beat. It's not that easy."

(Translated these quotes from Cancha so couldn't link the original story)


el chueco said...

he's right on all counts...

Soledad said...

He is right. And I think he has the right to vent/gloat.