Mexican players said they have a sense of pride and optimism as they prepare for a critical June 6 match in El Salvador.As Mexico prepare to face El Salvador for the next game of World Cup qualifying, the team faces several problems, but players are looking to stay positive in Central America. Javier Aguirre will prepare to debut once again as manager of the national team, and has been reminding several players of the position the national team is in. Others meanwhile prepare for anything the Salvadorian players and fans might throw at them.
Several qualification games have already passed, and the Mexican team is gaining more pressure to win, especially away form the Estadio Azteca. Aguirre constantly reminds the players about the current standing of the national team.
“Aguirre reminds us that today, we’re out of the World Cup in South Africa, and that brings out our pride," said Guillermo Ochoa. "It’s an important aspect. Subconsciously we know that, and Javier reminds us at every moment; during training, in the eatery, and in talks. He brings out pride for these fundamental games in which we want six important points."
The goalkeeper is yet unaware if he will be starting under the posts, but sees the game as revenge for receiving three goals in during the previous qualifying match.
“It’s an opportunity for all of us for revenge, and to be on top in the places of direct qualification. We want to win as a visitor, it’ll be difficult because of the atmosphere but we have to be a joint team that plays fairly strong and fierce. That will be fundamental so all Mexicans win.”
Aaron Galindo acknowledges that the Salvadorians have a stronger familiarity of the Mexican team, but thinks both will be equal.
“They know us more, but Javier (Aguirre) has conducted special training to have special tactics for this game so we will be equal,” said Galindo. “We have to prepare mentally, and this team counts with players with experience. Central America is very difficult, it’s like a war and anything is fair for them. It’ll be a positive team that’ll look for a solid defense that we’ve missed before. With important players in that position, something that’ll be looked for is equilibrium, always having solidity can make you win games.”
As the threat of the H1N1 flu still present, the players will also prepare for comments made their way as a group of Salvadorian supporters plan to attend the game wearing face masks. Aaron Galindo has already experienced a similar situation with Chivas during the Copa Libertadores, and thinks that the taunts will only help the team.
“More than affect you, I think that it will bring out the pride because it talks more than just about a football team. It speaks about your country, about the situation that your country lived through, a difficult situation, and more than anything it motivates you to do things well and win the situation with sportsmanship.”
Andrea Martinez, Goal.com
For more coverage of the Mexican league final, visit Goal.com's Mexican Football section.