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Marquez: Mexico national team job as important as presidency

20:16 GMT 20/12/2018
Juan Carlos Osorio Rafa Marquez Mexico
The former El Tri great says both the manager gig and running the country put you under immense pressure that must be dealt with

Mexico national team legend Rafa Marquez compared the national team manager job to that of the president of the country, saying both jobs have to deal with an immense amount of pressure.

While Mexico's head of state often receives plenty of criticism, it often seems that the nation's passionate sports press is holding the El Tri coach to an even higher standard.

That job currently is vacant after Juan Carlos Osorio declined a contract extension after the 2018 World Cup. For Marquez, the new boss needs to be someone who can deal with the pressure.

"It's tough here in Mexico to be left to work in peace because you have to sell news, and I think the national team job is as important as that of the presidency of this country," Marquez told TV Azteca.

"Whoever comes in needs to know what's coming, what goes along with the national team."

The odds-on favorite for the job is Tata Martino, who just left Atlanta United after winning the MLS Cup in the club's second season.

Martino, who also has coached Argentina, Barcelona and Paraguay, is likely to be announced as the new Mexico manager in January.

And Marquez sees Martino as a quality appointment after he dealt with some of the biggest names in sport, like Lionel Messi, and also took criticism from the press in both Spain and Argentina. 

"Tata Martino has a great personality and can manage well with what there is externally with the national team job," said Marquez, who works as a director for Atlas after retiring from playing this summer.

"On the international level, he's a recognized manager who has been with important teams, important national teams, at Barcelona and I think not just anyone can be there. I think he has that experience of being able to manage big stars."

Politics and soccer are often intertwined in Mexico. The country's current president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, recently sent a message to both teams involved in the Liga MX final.

Former Mexico and Club America great Cuauhtemoc Blanco is the governor of the state of Morelos, while former Mexico international Manuel Negrete recently was elected mayor of the Coyoacan neighborhood of Mexico City.