It’s simply insane that I have lived in Mexico City for four and a half years and haven’t yet seen a game of football at the Azteca, especially considering my interest in football – pretty intense. I’ve tried to book tickets a couple of times, but was slow off the mark both times, and the tickets (the ones I could afford anyway) had all long since gone. My most recent effort was last week, for yesterday’s game between Mexico and El Salvador in a World Cup qualifier, a game they won 4-1 which booked their place in the 2010 tournament in South Africa. Shame…it would have been a great game to see.
Still, at least both Mexico and England have qualified and I’m looking forward to next Summer with two countries to cheer on. Make no mistake though, should they be drawn to play each other I won’t be cheering on the team in green. England will be one of the favourites to win the tournament. Mexicans will be happy to get out of the Group Stage and have one glorious, but ultimately unsuccessful blast in the knockout stage. As usual.
If they play as well as they’ve done recently, maybe they could do better than that. The return of Aguierre as manager, and the return to form of Cuautemoc Blanco on the international stage has worked wonders for the team. Only a couple of months ago, qualification looked decidedly iffy. Blanco is, in my opinion, the most talented Mexican I’ve seen play the game, and I’ve seen a few over the last 30 years. Hugo Sanchez and Rafael Marquez have both had more glorious spells in Europe, but Blanco’s touch and vision are something else. Enjoy the highlights. Mexico, and Blanco’s, second goal was sublime. El Salvador’s consolation one of the best free kicks you’ll see this year.