What are Mexican soccer’s problems, according to ‘Tata’ Martino?
Gerardo Martino, who oversaw Mexico’s failed World Cup campaign in Qatar, does not expect El Tri to make huge progress ahead of the 2026 tournament.
Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has criticised the way soccer is run in Mexico, saying he doesn’t expect to see development in the country’s game in the years ahead.
Speaking to the podcast ‘Olfato de Gol’ this week, the former Mexico head coach - who resigned after El Tri’s group-stage exit from the World Cup in December - expressed “alarm” at the large number of decision-makers in Mexican soccer.
“There are things that set off alarm bells, I feel,” Martino said. “The Mexican game has a lot of components surrounding it and it remains to be seen whether these components share this feeling of alarm bells ringing, or even want things to improve.
“It’s not the case in many countries, but there are a lot of people with influence and interests.”
Not optimistic of Mexico success under Cocca
Asked about Mexico’s future under his compatriot Diego Cocca, who was confirmed as his successor in February, Martino was pessimistic about the country’s capacity for forward progress as it prepares to co-host the 2026 World Cup.
“Even during the best period [of my tenure], which was the first two years, we quickly understood how the future was going to pan out. We sensed that things weren’t going to change from the way they had been in the past and now, watching on from the outside, we can still see that.”
Martino lambasts “parallel” Mexican transfer market
Martino added that Mexican soccer is being hampered by an inflated internal transfer market. “How can it be that the Mexican market has players who are worth $8m to $12m, yet these players can’t get a move abroad?”
The 60-year-old continued: “It feels like there’s a parallel market, where a player’s value in Mexico isn’t what it is overseas.”
Martino’s Mexico proposals
Martino also revealed that he has made recommendations to Mexican soccer’s powers-that-be on how the nation’s game can improve.
“The greater the chances that are given to young players, the greater the talent pool that’ll be available to the Mexican national team,” he said. “The better the foreign players signed [by Mexican clubs], the more the homegrown players will improve.
“We analysed the situation in Mexico and passed our findings on. It’s in the hands of the authorities, the clubs and those who run Mexican soccer.”
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