Foreigners in Mexican Soccer, why?
Why is the Mexican League is full of South American players from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and other countries? Recently Matias Almeyda made some comments about this, so lets analyze and expound.
Matias Almeyda, Chivas head coach, stated what we have all heard before and what we have specifically talked about on the CantinaMX podcast. That foreign players are brought in and take the starting spots of up and coming or even established Mexican players. This in turn hurts the National team and Mexican players in general. There may be Mexican players that don’t get a chance and get passed up from making it big in Mexico and even ending up abroad.
Almeyda faults the Foreign coaches in Mexico that are hired instead of Mexican coaches, who in turn look to bring in foreign talent.
A great example is just recently Club America brought in a 19 year old Costa Rican player, Gerson Torres. Is he a big name? An impact player that will change America for the positive? Many may not even have heard of him. Could a Mexican player have been given a chance? Possibly.
When I think of America, I think of big signings. They could be South American or Central American, but big names, who would start and be expected to score goals and even win titles. The supporting players can be Mexican, with a few star Mexican players as well. No need to flood Mexico with subpar foreigners, when there are plenty of Mexican players already that need the chance to play so they can break out and hopefully do good things.
Why does Mexico go for foreign coaches and then players?
So this is the question. I believe that the mindset in Mexico, is that of looking at history and World Football. Argentina, Brazil and CONMEBOL as a whole is a powerhouse. They have won World Cup titles, there are coaches out of these countries who are highly praised. If one is to learn soccer and how to improve, we must emulate and follow these countries. Mexico has done this. Fans emulate and copy Argentina fan chants and songs. Mexico execs, see this as well and try to bring in the biggest names from South America as they can. If it were easier to get European coaches or players, that would be the same case. A flood of Europeans would be welcomed to help improve our Mexican soccer.
Take Andre-Pierre Gignac for example. He is beloved and brought titles to Tigres. Mexican’s name their kids after him. Tigres went further and brought in fellow frenchman, Andy Delort, into Tigres.
The point is clubs are out to win and confidence is held in foreigners and not the Mexican. Foreigners from Argentina and Brazil know how to win in soccer and have loads of good players. Mexico has won nothing. Mexicans are just barely breaking into Europe on a larger scale.
Take even the press for example. We have the wanna-be Spaniard heading up shows like Futbol Picante and cracking jokes on the other panelists. One of the biggest targets and butt of jokes is Hector Huerta, if you have ever watched the show.
In summary, there is a mindset in Mexico that has to be overcome. The Mexican player has to overcome and play through these obstacles. Chivas is a huge part of it. Chicharito broke through via Chivas and may not have in another club where foreigners were in place.
Hopefully some rule changes can help push this change along. The National team may depend on it after this “golden generation” passes.