Michel: Pizarro took step down in joining MLS

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Real Madrid legend and former Pumas UNAM head coach Miguel “Michel” Gonzalez believes there are plenty of Mexican players that could play in Europe and that Inter Miami’s Rodolfo Pizarro took a step down in his career by moving from Monterrey to Major League Soccer.

Pizarro has stated that he’d like to play in Europe in the future and that joining David Beckham’s Inter Miami CF from Monterrey increased his chances of making that happening.

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But Gonzalez suggested it was a mistake for a player of Pizarro’s calibre to head north.

“I think that Pizarro, with full respect, has missed a great opportunity to stay in Liga MX or to go to Europe because I think that MLS right now doesn’t have the level and he’s a great player who can keep growing,” said Gonzalez in an interview with TUDN.

Pizarro signed a Designated Player contract with Inter Miami last February and scored the new franchise’s first goal, but the team from Florida is still searching for its first MLS win and face Orlando City on Saturday, when the regular season resumes.

Gonzalez had been asked which Liga MX players could play in Europe, with the former Pumas coach — who left the club for “personal reasons” on the eve of the current season — suggesting a number of names.

“JJ Macias [from Chivas], [Sebastian] Cordova from America, [Jesus] Gallardo from Rayados, among the Mexicans, [Andres] Iniestra from Pumas would do well too, as would Johan Vasquez,” said Michel. “I think [they] could [play in Europe] because of their footballing ability.

“[But] I think they’d have to change their mentality,” he continued. “In Mexico they compete in the games, but in Europe they compete a lot in training and from the first day you have to have the mentality that every training session is like a game.”