Jaime Lozano says that naturalised players “have to be far superior” to Mexicans in the squad
The manager of El Tri spoke about his views on naturalised Mexican players and their required level if they want to make it into the team.
Mexico continue their charge to turn around recent fortunes and start a new era under the orders on Jaime ‘Jimmy’ Lozano, the man who has, so far, managed to put a smile back on the players and fans who wear green, white and red. Mexico face Jamaica in the semi-finals of the Gold Cup at Allegiant Stadium, and Lozano has been speaking beforehand.
The Gold Cup is proving fertile ground for the side who now have their bounce back; the players seem happier and more confident with both themselves and their teammates. While there is still a long way to go before the feeling of failure is removed from the Mexican collective thinking, Jimmy Lozano is ready to keep his squad together and only wants players to come in who can seriously improve the level, and that includes naturalised stars who want to wear the shirt.
“Berterame and Quiñones have had two or three fantastic years in Liga MX football”
Julian Quiñones and Germán Berterame, two naturalised Mexicans, have both been linked with call ups to the squad over recent days and weeks - here is what Lozano had to say on the matter:
“I think they are Mexican because the law dictates it. I don’t like getting involved in hypotheticals, today we have the best 23 Mexicans, they are what we have and they are the ones that were chosen. Both Berterame and Quiñones have had two or three fantastic years in Liga MX football, and there’s a reason they want to naturalise: they feel comfortable in the country, their country.”
Lozano prefers natives over naturalised players
“Normally these naturalised players plan”, Lozano continued, “they make their life and even plan to have kids in our country, but today we don’t have them with us. We have the 23 we have and without a doubt, if a player is naturalised they have to be, from my point of view, far superior, way above what we have in Mexico, if they have a similar level I’m going to go with the native player over the naturalised one”, he said.
Mexico take on Jamaica in the Gold Cup semi-finals after overcoming Costa Rica in the previous round. Despite the shock loss to Qatar which had nothing riding on it, El Tri have looked like a rejuvenated team with a new direction, a new way of playing, and a new set of smiles on the faces of everyone involved. So far, Jimmy’s ideas are working.