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Menendez says he’d like to stay with Veracruz as other Liga MX clubs eye him

Veracruz striker Cristian Menendez reacts during the Liga MX match against Monterrey on Nov. 3, 2018, at BBVA Stadium in Monterrey, Mexico. EPA-EFE FILE/Miguel Sierra

Veracruz striker Cristian Menendez reacts during the Liga MX match against Monterrey on Nov. 3, 2018, at BBVA Stadium in Monterrey, Mexico. EPA-EFE FILE/Miguel Sierra

EFE

Argentine Cristian Menendez, who was the best forward on Liga MX club Veracruz’s roster in 2018, said Tuesday that he was committed to staying with the team despite the fact that other clubs, including America, Toluca and Atlas, appear interested in acquiring him.

“It’s nice to get offers, it’s a super feeling that such important clubs are interested. But rather than affecting my focus, it’s just the opposite. It makes me commit more to Veracruz’s mission because it means I’m doing things right and have drawn the attention” of other teams, the striker told EFE.

Menendez, who was born in Mar del Plata in 1988 and came up through the Lanus organization, arrived in Mexico in July 2017 to bolster the offense at Veracruz, a club with a long history that has struggled in recent years due to financial and coaching problems.

Menendez has won over fans, scoring 14 goals in 48 matches and becoming one of the club’s stars and a captain.

“I’m giving 100 percent to Veracruz. The role of captain made me think that leaving the team at this time was not the best thing for anyone. I don’t want to leave the Tiburones in critical condition, I think I can help more and leave a legacy,” Menendez said.

Veracruz hired Uruguayan manager Robert Dante Siboldi for the 2019 Clausura tournament.

Last month, Siboldi said he wanted to put the team’s memories of bad seasons and payroll problems behind it and lift the squad’s morale.

“I plan to take it step by step. There’s a bad atmosphere, but there are also things that aren’t true. What happened in the past doesn’t affect me, it makes sense to find a starting point and put together a competitive team that will make fans proud,” Siboldi told EFE.

Veracruz has had contractual problems that have affected the roster, which is mostly made up of players on loan from other clubs.

“You can’t forget what happened, it’s not easy because it hurt the reputation of Club Veracruz in Mexican soccer; however, we’re going to write a new history, we have a blank page starting when I arrived on Dec. 5, I see players with a desire to get revenge and clean up the (club’s) image,” Siboldi said.

Siboldi, who won a title with Santos Laguna in June 2018, hopes that fans will return to his new club’s stadium in Veracruz, a Gulf city popular with tourists that boasts a long soccer history.

Veracruz is currently the worst club in the standings and will try to avoid relegation in May.

The Tiburones Rojos are 20 points behind Puebla, the next closest team in the standings.


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