Adrián Chávez: “I would have eaten Henry Martín alive” for derby goal celebration
The former Mexico goalkeeper insisted that the América striker would not have got away with his provocative behaviour in a recent meeting with Chivas.
Former América goalkeeper Adrián Chávez knows the intensity of El Clásico Nacional, one of soccer’s most fiercely-contested rivalries.
The Mexican featured in countless clashes with Chivas Guadalajara during his decade with América. He played during the 1980s and 1990s, a time when the derby would often descend into chaos, confrontation and outright violence.
Ahead of this weekend’s Clásico, Chávez spoke to AS Mexico about his memories of the fixture and the changes that he has seen since hanging up his gloves.
When the two teams met in March, America striker Henry Martín made headline with a crazy goal celebration that goaded the Chivas support. Chávez admitted that Martín, who received a yellow card for the provocation, would have suffered far more than a booking if he had done something similar in the past.
“I would have eaten him alive if he had celebrated a goal like he did,” Chavez said. “At least I would punch him and there would be a fight. That’s what they were about, those games.
“I think that in almost 30 Clásicos [that I played in] there were more positive things than negative. But yes, I would not have allowed someone to celebrate against me in that way.”
Chavez claims El Clásico rivalry has cooled
For many Mexican supporters, América vs Chivas will always be the most important club fixture in the country. However Chávez believes that players are no longer as focused on the game. He told AS Mexico that players are becoming detached from the history of the rivalry.
Chavez explained: “I don’t know if it’s a VAR thing or what’s happening, but the games no longer have that flavor. I think that players focus on playing and not on what it means to play in this type of game.”
“Perhaps the passion has decreased because the players also constantly change teams. These are no longer the times where you play 30 Clásicos in your career.”
Nevertheless, Chavez insisted that the derby is still just as importance to soccer fans in Mexico. Both teams are among the most well-supported in Liga MX and the rivalry between the two continues to animate the country.
Chavez explained: “70% of Mexicans want América to lose and the other 30% are América fans, who are hated.”
The 61-year-old finds himself in the América-supporting minority for this weekend’s fixture. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Chavez predicts a win for his former side.
“It looks like América are improving and Chivas are going backwards. But that makes the game interesting, this Saturday both will go in search of victory.”