“The nationality of the DT del Tri doesn’t matter”

Bora Milutinovic in a 2009 Confederations Cup match, when he led Iraq.  (Getty Images)

Bora Milutinovic in a 2009 Confederations Cup match, when he was leading Iraq. (Getty Images)

Bora Milutinovic has given his point of view on the hottest topic in Mexican soccer. The position of coach of the Mexican National Team is vacant, after what happened in the World Cup in Qatar 2022. Gerardo Martino’s work was criticized at all times, and in the end the results in the magna fair did not support him. El Tri was eliminated in the group stage for the first time in 44 years. Still no white smoke: only names have been handled, but nothing else. Some, like Miguel Herrera, have chosen to campaign in the media to try to get the attention of the federations.

The truth is that, beyond the decision that is made, there is a debate that cannot be avoided: Mexican or foreign. From a sector of the opinocracy it is claimed that the technical director who comes to the position has to be Mexican in a mandatory way. No one has emphasized that idea more than Hugo Sanchez, that in addition to demanding this exclusive requirement, he wastes no time in proposing himself. He does it at every opportunity that comes his way, even though he has not been the technical director of any team since 2012, when he was in charge of Pachuca and they fired him due to poor results.

But beyond the nationalist verbiage, what should go without saying when choosing the new coach is talent. This was expressed by someone who knows that position very well: Bora Milutinovic, Yugoslav coach of the Tri in the 1986 World Cup and also heading to France —he was fired six months before the start of the World Cup, due to his “boring” style of play. , despite the good results it offered.

“I don’t know why they say a foreign or Mexican coach. I don’t understand what difference there is between the foreign coach and the Mexican coach. I think that there is no difference, I think that the only thing that should prevail is to know soccer, to know soccer in Mexico, to know soccer in other countries. I wouldn’t talk about foreigners or Mexicans; the only thing he would talk about would be football in question of the National Team coach,” said the coach in an interview with AS Mexico.

Bora stressed that his experience as Tri coach was extremely pleasant, and the fact that he was a foreigner had nothing to do with it. “Normally it shouldn’t matter, because there are so many comments that they make to you, which I respect, but I remember that I was happy as technical director of the Mexican National Team and when we achieved a historic result when it seemed that it wasn’t,” he said.

The coach also highlighted that not all the blame for the failure on World Cup soil should be attributed to Gerardo Martino: “He is part of a process, so to say that he is the only one responsible, when everyone is responsible… that is the reality that should be. It’s all the people who manage national football, so I think we shouldn’t talk about just one person.”

He knows what he’s talking about: he coached the Mexican National Team in its best World Cup participation, that of Mexico 1986, when El Tri reached the Quarterfinals for the second time in its history (first with the Eighth Final format as a preliminary phase, because in Mexico 1970 that round was reached, but there were only 16 teams and the Quarterfinals were the immediate round to the group stage).

And it never mattered that he was a foreigner, what mattered was his knowledge and preparation. Mexico must bet on a coach who can potentially make it grow internationally. And for that there are no unique codes: talent has no nationality, and what better evidence than Bora Milutinovic himself, who achieved with El Tri what no Mexican coach has achieved.


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