Pumas manager Ricardo Ferretti said his team is ready to hoist their sixth Mexican league trophy and will enter Thursday's first leg with focus.Pumas have been dreaming of reaching the final all season long. The Felinos got off to a flying start with two consecutive wins but then a four-game winless streak followed. Pumas turned their season around though, and only lost one more time the rest of the regular season.
Although Pumas were effective during the regular season they stumbled once in the quarterfinal and semifinal series. But Ricardo “El Tuca” Ferretti assured everyone that his team will be ready to face Pachuca.
“Pumas are coming off a great moment and are prepared for the final. We know our opponents capacity that along with Toluca were the best in the regular tournament, which is why they deserve my respect,” said Ferretti after finishing a game of football tennis.
Pumas qualified third into the Liguilla which is also something to be proud of. They beat difficult teams in Tecos and Puebla in order to reach the final.
The first leg of the final series will be played at home for Pumas. El Tuca knows that if they want to lift the cup for the sixth time in Pumas’ history they will have to do a good job on Thursday.
“Pumas have the illusion of being champion,” admitted El Tuca. “We are but steps away from reaching our goal. We need to have a great game on Thursday where we will look to take the first step.”
This will be the first time that Pumas and Pachuca meet in the final. But the current managers of each club have met in a final before. It was the summer tournament of 1997. Ricardo Ferretti was then manager of Chivas, while Enrique Meza was at the helm of the now-defunct Toros Neza. It was obvious then that Ferretti had the stronger team after Chivas dismantled Toros Neza 7-2 on aggregate.
This time Enrique Meza has arguably the best team in Mexico, but both sides do seem evenly matched. For Meza the victory will be sweet but revenge will always be sweeter.
Sylvestre Adame, Goal.com
For more information on Mexican football, visit Goal.com's Mexican Football section.