Víctor Guzmán volunteers to play as a striker in Clásico Regiomontano
The Monterrey defender is willing to play further forward as Rayados look for a solution to their attacking injury crisis.
CF Monterrey’s preparations for the 133rd Clásico Regiomontano have been far from ideal.
Rayados are set to face Northern rivals UANL Tigres without a single recognised striker available to head coach Fernando Ortiz. The fixture is one of the most important to Monterrey supporters and they will be desperate for a repeat of the 1-0 victory over their rivals in last month’s Leagues Cup.
To do so, Ortiz may decide to turn to an unlikely member of his squad to lead the line.
Ahead of the game Monterrey defender Víctor Guzmán spoke to AS México and revealed that he would like to play as a striker in the absence of their normal offensive options.
“Yes, I would like to,” Guzmán replied, when asked about the prospect of playing as a striker. “We all like to score goals.”
“We don’t have a forward, but we have players who could do that role. Not as a fixed forward, but we have players of high quality that could be used there.”
Guzmán knows the importance of Clásico Regio
The Mexican defender is still only 21 years old but has already experienced the intensity of Clásico Regio. Before signing for Monterrey he starred for Tijuana and recalls his first impressions of the fixtures.
“Throughout the week there was a lot of talk about the Clásico Regio. Even in Tijuana I remember hearing about it, but I didn’t appreciate it fully until I lived here,” he explained.
“I believe that, both for us and for the fans, there’s more than just three points are at stake. It’s the city’s game,” Guzmán added.
This year the two teams are not just close geographically, but also in the Liga MX standings. After eight matches Tigres and Monterrey are in fourth and fifth position, respectively, divided by a single point.
“It’s going to be a difficult game,” he said. “[Tigres] have a great squad, but we are very aware of the players we have. We are going to give everything for the club, for the pride of winning the Clásico.”
Guzmán has formed good relationship with Jordi Cortizo
In the summer Guzmán left boyhood team Tijuana to sign for Monterrey. It was a big move for the young defender, but he has become an instant starter with Rayados.
His acclimatisation to his new surroundings appears to have been aided by the presence of Jordi Cortizo, who previously played alongside him at Tijuana. Like Guzmán, Cortizo joined the club this summer and has become a key part of the Monterrey squad.
“I got along very well with him. When I arrived he was the one I got along with the most because I already knew him,” Guzmán said.
Both players received their first international call-ups this summer under new Mexico boss Jaime Lozano. Guzmán said that he is delighted that the 27-year-old has finally got international recognition.
“It fills me with a lot of pride because I know he deserved it. He works to achieve everything he does and I think that soccer had been very unfair to him. The quality is there and I am very happy that it is being reflected,” he said.