Just as Club Tijuana fans were getting to grips with Tuesday’s historic 2-1 victory in Brazil against Palmeiras, coach Antonio Mohamed uttered the words none of them wanted to hear.
“When I finish my participation in the Copa (Libertadores), I will leave Tijuana because I miss my family,” the Argentine said in a press conference Wednesday in Mexico City. “There is no other motive.”
Mohamed took over the club in September 2011 when Xolos had just lost 2-0 to Estudiantes Tecos to make it one victory in their first 10 games in Mexico’s top division.
Since then, Tijuana has won the Apertura 2012 title and is currently in the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores, where it will play Ronaldinho’s Atletico Mineiro.
Mohamed has been adamant that his team would prioritize the continental competition at the expense of the Liga MX, which wasn’t to everyone’s liking within Mexico.
“You are going to play the league every season, but when will you get to play in the Libertadores again?” he justified in the same press conference.
The search for Mohamed’s replacement will begin in haste, with names like Daniel Brailovsky, Ramon Diaz, Ruben Omar Romano and even Hugo Sanchez already linked to the seat.
Next season, the border club will be involved in the CONCACAF Champions League for the first time in its history.
For Mohamed, a return to Argentine soccer is almost certain.