Ramirez Enthusiastic To Take Chivas' Reins

Former Mexico assistant manager Francisco "Paco" Ramirez was formally announced as Guadalajara manager on Thursday, a day after Omar Arellano's stunning sacking.
On Tuesday, managing Guadalajara was possibly the last thing on Francisco "Paco" Ramirez's mind. On April 1, Ramirez was serving the second of his two-match ban he had placed on him for slapping an American soccer player as the then-assistant to Mexico manager Sven-Goran Eriksson was gainfully employed.

Now, a whirlwind pair of weeks has finished with Ramirez taking over one of the most storied clubs in Mexico. Ramirez was formally presented as manager of Guadalajara, a day after Omar Arellano's shock firing by club owner Jorge Vergara. Arellano took over following on March 30, about a week after manager Efrain Flores was sacked after a string of poor results.

Ramirez, who has never managed in the Primera Division before, said he was excited to take on the task of managing Guadalajara.

"I'm very enthusiastic for having this opportunity to work with a club as important as this, with a grand tradition, to have the chance to work for the supporters and to have a team that is aggressive for them, with a personality," Ramirez said. "We are going to try and put forth our best effort and what we're capable of to achieve our objectives."

First up for Ramirez will be Sunday's superclasico against America. Ramirez's first-ever match in charge of a Primera Division club will be against the hated rivals, America, who have proven to be one of the best road clubs in Mexico. While the match is Guadalajara's most important game every season no matter the circumstances, Ramirez is not fearful of what is to come.

"It is a wonderful challenge, an immense challenge for me but it is a great opportunity," Ramirez said. "We're here to give our best and we are well prepared. We know what this club is capable of and we're going to work towards that."

Although Ramirez may feel a bit of nerves on the day, Sunday will be a sort of holiday for most of Mexico to enjoy. After all, on only two days a year are Chivas and America guaranteed to meet.

"The Clasico is a spectacular day for everyone to enjoy," he said. "It is an important responsibility against a rival with a great tradition like America which, to me, makes for a true rivalry where you play for your lives. We are very proud and thank for Mr. Vergara and his wife to have the chance to be here."


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