FIFA U-17 World Cup: Here to make history again, say Mexico

The Mexican U-17 team are the only former champions in the group F, having won the title in Peru-2005, and at Mexico in 2011.

Published: 05th October 2017 03:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2017 03:19 PM   |  A+A-

The Mexican U-17 team are the only former champions in the group F. (Photo | PTI)


KOLKATA: Two-time champions Mexico are not resting on their past laurels and want to start afresh in their bid to rewrite history at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, chief coach Mario Arteaga said today.

The Mexican U-17 team are the only former champions in the group F, having won the title in Peru-2005, and at home soil in 2011.

Among the 24 teams, Mexico, who also finished runners-up in UAE-2013, are one of the most consistent sides since the turn of the century in the U-17 World Cup.

"Whatever happened was history. This team is all set to make a new history come whatever may. We have it in us to do anything," Mexico chief coach Mario Arteaga told reporters after their first practice session.

"The FIFA U-17 World Cup has a rich history. There're so many emotions attached to this tournament. We are looking forward to make history again. Let's see what happens."

"We have changed some players. We have come with the aspiration to win the U-17 World Cup," said Arteaga, who took charge of Mexico during Chile-2015, guiding the two-time champions to fourth place.

Following a thrilling 2-4 semi-final defeat to eventual champions Nigeria, Mexico had lost to Belgium in the third-place play-off in an equally exciting match with a 2-3 scoreline.

With no Nigeria this time, the seven-time CONCACAF champions will be one of the favourites but Arteaga said they are not underestimating any rivals.

"We are not taking any competitor lightly. Everyone has their own strengths like Brazil, Germany and Spain," said Arteaga, who had a 15-day conditioning camp with the youngsters in Spain.

"Every team has different characteristics and we're prepared to tackle each of them. Can't compare the teams."

While Chile are battling to cope with the high heat and humidity of Kolkata, Mexico are not in a mood to complain despite their late arrival.

"We have been practising in such conditions for last few months, and we are flexible in any kind of weather. We don't think weather will make it difficult for us. We have played in so many grounds and have adapted to different conditions," Arteaga said.

The 21-member El Tri checked in yesterday evening and had their first feel of Kolkata while training at the SAI Eastern Centre practice ground.

Mexico, who open their campaign against Asian champions Iraq in the 8pm match on October 8, were the last to arrive here while their group F opponents Chile were the first to come followed by Iraq and England.

"They have changed their players so many times. But as I said I'm not taking any team easily. Anything can happen in the match," he concluded.



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