Mexican football ‘going backwards’ – Guardado

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Mexico captain Andres Guardado accepts that players have been at fault for not reaching the last eight of a World Cup since 1986, but has questioned whether those running the game in Mexico have played their part.

Guardado has been part of Mexico’s last four World Cup squads, with El Tri falling out at the round of 16 stage on each occasion.

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“I don’t believe that I have the solution [for the growth of Mexican football],” said Guardado in an interview with journalist Javier Alarcon. “It is easy to opine from afar. What has to happen is that the directors really look for what’s good for Mexican football.”

“Firstly, I accept that the blame that all of us [the players], each time, the last four World Cups we’ve failed and we have a lot of the blame for that … after that, you look around, deeper, and we as Mexican football, what have we done to make that jump [up in class]?” he continued.

“What have we done to give the players that structure that we really deserve to reach a final, a semifinal, the ‘fifth game’? The directors, from my point of view, from 20 years ago until now, we have been going backwards with decisions that aren’t for the benefit of Mexican football. I think at the management level we also still need to make that jump.”

Guardado went on to mention the number of foreigners in Liga MX, the suspension of promotion and relegation, the number of Mexican youngsters getting opportunities and the lack of visibility of the league in Europe.

“I’d like our directors to think more about Mexican football and a medium-to-long-term project, not just about their pockets,” added Guardado.

The 33-year-old Mexico captain kicks off in La Liga this weekend away at Alaves on Monday, with his Real Betis side hoping to improve on last season’s 15th-place finish.