Layun: I'm going to World Cup with mentality of being champion

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The Mexico defender says El Tri are going to the tournament not to play five games, but to fight for the trophy

Mexico defender Miguel Layun says he's headed to Russia with the goal of lifting the World Cup, not simply getting to the fifth game.

While El Tri has been denied in the round of 16 in each of the last six editions of the tournament, there's optimism within the squad that not only will they be able to put an end that curse, but also make a historic run.

"With an enormous hope, with a huge desire to break through and achieve the goals we have in mind, and, above all with the desire to enjoy it a lot," Layun told Goal when asked how Mexico is heading into the World Cup. 

"I'm not going with the mentality of getting through the round of 16. I'm going with the mentality of being champion. I think in any competition you participate in, you do so to win it, and this isn't different. I know it's a tournament where the best players in the world are there and the best national teams, but ultimately I always compete to win."

The versatile ex-America player has lined up in various places for Juan Carlos Osorio's squad, normally playing left back but also playing on the right and pushing up as a winger. He's done the same at Sevilla, the La Liga side he was loaned to in January after his playing time diminished at Porto. Since the winter move, Layun played more than 1,000 league minutes for the club and said he hoped his future will be in southern Spain.

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"It was a really positive experience. I'm happy with what I experienced this season," he said. "Lord willing, the things that need to will happen for me to be able to continue here next year and several years more. Now, I'm waiting. I already expressed my desire to continue and I'll be waiting for any update on the part of the people who make the decisions."

Sevilla reportedly has an option to buy Layun's rights from Porto for around €6 million.

Layun will join up with the rest of the Mexico squad Tuesday in Mexico City, with FIFA's seven-day mandated rest period after a player finishes their club season keeping him from playing in Monday's friendly match against Wales.

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