Friends from their days together with Pachuca, Argentina-born duo Damian Alvarez and Christian “Chaco” Gimenez declared themselves delighted to be together again, this time with the Mexican national team.
“We spoke a year ago saying that we would play together again. Thanks to God, and obviously [Mexico coach] Chepo [de la Torre], for being here in the national team,” Gimenez told reporters in Mexico City on Monday.
The Cruz Azul player stressed he is grateful for the chance to play international soccer at 32 years old and that he is ready to take his opportunity in Wednesday’s friendly in New Jersey against Ivory Coast.
“There are a lot of players that wait 10 or 20 years and don’t play for the national team, and it motivates me,” Gimenez said. “I’m committed to the national team.”
Tigres forward Alvarez, 34, expressed similar sentiments at having returned to the El Tri. He had previously featured for 15 minutes against Colombia back in March 2012.
“I’m very happy to have returned to the national team and ready to demonstrate why they called me in,” Alvarez said.
The Mexico squad flies to New Jersey Monday afternoon, with Oribe Peralta and Angel Reyna training separately on Monday due to knocks picked up in weekend Liga MX matches. Both are expected to be fit to face Ivory Coast, although Luis Montes has pulled out of the squad due to injury.