Mexico coach Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre believes Italy’s Andrea Pirlo – making his 100th cap on Sunday - is the player El Tri has to stop if it is to be victorious in the Maracana in its Confederations Cup opener.
“Pirlo makes his teammates play,” said De la Torre in a press conference Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. “(He) is an important piece, like (Mario) Balotelli, but they need the others for it to work. We need to concentrate on their movements to be able to break plays up.”
Chepo added that Italy has become a more attacking sides in recent times and that could work to Mexico’s benefit, although the former Chivas coach also highlighted the qualities of the Azzurri.
“Sometimes they give you a few more spaces, but that will also depend on us, on how we move, how we contain the opposition and break forward,” stated De la Torre.
The Mexico coach is looking to put the flat CONCACAF World Cup qualifying campaign to one side and is adamant his goal is to win the Confederations Cup, even though El Tri has recorded just one win in nine games during 2013.
“We’ve come to enjoy it and with the firm intention of winning,” opined Chepo. “It won’t be easy, but that is our intention in every tournament.”