Mexico National Team has eight months to prepare the best they can to face the Group C of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where they will play against Poland, Argentina, and Saudi Arabia, with at least two of those games being of life or death for the Aztec squad.
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El Tri has faced Poland just one time in a World Cup, during the Group Stage of Argentina 1978, where the Polish squad beat El Tri with a 3-1 score. During that World Cup, The Mexican national team lost their three games.
Against Argentina, the Aztec squad has played on three occasions, two of them in the elimination stage of the tournament, with three victories for La Albiceleste. The first game was in the inaugural World Cup, with a 6-3 victory for Argentina. The other two games were in the round of 16, with back-to-back defeats for El Tri.
This is not the first time that Mexico will face Argentina in the World Cup with an Argentine coach, as they already did in 2006, when Ricardo La Volpe was coaching the Aztec squad, and just like with Gerardo “Tata” Martino, he was also criticized for his ties to Argentina.
Followers think he’s going to tank the game
Added to the criticism he’s received for the lack of offensive success that the Mexican team has had in the last year and the few opportunities he’s given to young players; El Tri followers have started asking for his dismissal for the fact that he’s Argentine.
The reasoning behind is that they believe he’s going to favor the Argentine squad by planning a weak game against them. During an interview with TUDN, Martino was asked if his nationality will influence the strategy against Argentina.
Martino answered that he’s a professional and his duty is to help Mexico perform the best they can on the pitch, whichever the rival at that moment is. He added that the only way his nationality will influence is that he knows that the best way to maintain his country’s good name is by excelling at his job.
Friendly game was cancelled
Prior to the Group Stage Draw, FMF and AFA had agreed to a friendly match in September in preparation for the World Cup but given that FIFA rules prohibit that two teams from the same group face each other prior the World Cup, the match was cancelled, and they will have to look for new rivals.