Sanchez criticises Mexico squad after exuberant celebrations.
Mexico legend Hugo Sanchez has slammed his compatriots for celebrating Wednesday’s 5-1 World Cup play-off victory over New Zealand with too much enthusiasm, claiming the All Whites are a group of failed rugby players.
“To be really happy we would have to have finished in first place in our zone or at least in second place,” Sanchez told El Universal.
“We beat a team that is no more than a group of buddies who were rejected because they couldn’t play rugby in New Zealand well and they had no choice but to switch to soccer.”
Mexico must finish the job in New Zealand next Wednesday but Miguel Herrera’s team are now overwhelming favourites to book a place in Brazil 2014.
Sanchez, who earned 58 caps for his country and coached El Tri for two years, added that as a Mexican he is happy that “we are almost in the World Cup,” particularly because the coaches and players “deserve it because this is their livelihood.”
However, the 55-year-old blamed Mexico’s governing bodies, in particular the league owners who wield power over the national team.
“Those who were the most worried were the team owners, if not all those in charge of Mexican soccer in general; some for the amount of money they were going to lose, or fail to earn, along with the federation,” he said.
“Some would even have lost their jobs. Now they should really be shaking if the qualifying goal is met next week, because a lot of them are going to think they have done a marvelous job. And the only thing they have done is make the whole country suffer with their bad decisions that put Mexico at risk for qualifying in a tournament that has always been easy work for them within CONCACAF.”
Despite their hefty advantage, Herrera urged caution ahead of the second leg.
“We haven’t won anything yet,” the Mexico coach said.
“Only one game. Over there (in Wellington next week), we will play as if this playoff was beginning, as if we were zero to zero, as if it were only for one game.”