Mexican soccer needs restructuring, Cruz Azul coach says

EFE

The head coach of Mexico City club Cruz Azul said that Mexico's probable return to the Copa Libertadores and Copa America would be positive in some respects but that soccer in the Aztec nation needs a deeper restructuring.

"Mexican soccer can benefit because you compete against clubs or national sides that are at another level, with more experience, and it's important to have that kind of competition," 48-year-old Portuguese manager Pedro Caixinha said Thursday.

But he stressed that a grass-roots restructuring is needed to grow the sport and develop young talent and added that Mexican soccer is also at a disadvantage because its league matches are not broadcast in Europe.

Caixinha's remarks come after the interim coach of Mexico's national soccer team, Ricardo Ferretti, said last month that foreign players had taken on key attacking roles at Liga MX clubs and were denying opportunities for native-born players.

Ferretti, who also is the head coach of Mexican-league club Tigres UANL, repeated his remarks in Argentina, where Mexico's national team lost a pair of friendlies this month by the identical score of 2-0.

But Caixinha said other issues, including the visibility of Mexican soccer in Europe, were being overlooked.

"They're saying (Argentina) has X number of players in Europe and Mexico (has only a few), but the games in Argentina, Brazil and MLS (Major League Soccer) are broadcast in Europe and Liga MX isn't broadcast in Europe. Right there you're losing out," the Cruz Azul manager said.

Mexico has not participated in the Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club soccer competition, since 2016 and also will not compete in next year's Copa America in Brazil.

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