Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio sees being drawn into a World Cup group with Germany as an "opportunity" for Mexican soccer.
Germany is the reigning World Cup champion and handed Mexico a big defeat at the 2017 Confederations Cup, beating El Tri 4-1 despite using a side made up largely of players who aren't regulars for the national team.
While Osorio feels things would have been different had El Tri run out a fully fit squad for the semifinal, he said he has no doubt that Germany will have one of the best teams in Russia.
"I think we’ve come up against the best to compete with," Osorio said after the draw. "Germany, the current world champion, with a system that’s not only enviable but sets the example for a lot of countries. Their coach has had the same project for more than 10 years. In Brazil he played with a different system, now he’s using another system that’s just as effective. He’s been able to rejuvenate his group with players that are playing in the Bundesliga, which right now is one of the best leagues in the world. I’d venture to say he has a pool of 35-40 players at a very high level.
"Definitely he has 10-15 players who could play in any national team in the word. So, I think it’s going to be an extraordinary opportunity for Mexican soccer. Remember in the Confederations Cup we unfortunately didn’t have Carlos Salcedo or Diego Reyes but I think if everyone is healthy and good athletically, we can compete against them and hopefully play this day with them."
Osorio said the group, which features Sweden and South Korea in addition to Mexico and Germany, meets expectations in that it features three opponents who have three different styles of play. The Colombian tactician is well-known for planning for each matchup individually and rotating his players to see who will fit in best. He's optimistic that he has a squad capable of finishing first or second in Group F.
"I think so. I think it’s a very difficult group, but again if our payers arrive in good form, if they stick to the training plan all the players in the pool have right now before we do our last selection, we have great chances to prepare in the sporting sense and can represent ourselves and Mexican soccer very well," he said.
Mexico meets Germany in Moscow on June 17 before facing South Korea on June 23 and closing the group stage against Sweden on June 27.