The World Cup is finally here. How are Mexico fans feeling? …… Yeah, I’m not making any plans for us to be in the final on December 18th either. But I don’t think things are as bad as many are making them out to be for El Tri. Maybe it’s the optimistic in me but I think Mexico is more likely to end their tournament in the knockout round instead of the group stage in Qatar.
In my opinion, one of the issues the Mexican fanbase have and have always had, is realistic expectations. There seems to be an inflated thinking of what Mexico *should* be doing at these big international tournaments. While I think Mexico can compete with anyone, they lack the talent to consistently win those games. Only once has Mexico arrived at a World Cup with a top 8 FIFA ranking yet, it is always a “fracaso” when El Tri loses in the round of 16. Generally, losing in that round means you are between the 9th and 16th best team in the world. That classification vibes with Mexico’s average FIFA ranking of 10 to 20.
Look, there are World Cups where I have much higher hopes of Mexico making it to a Quinto Partido. In Russia, I thought we had the roster to make a deep run and was disappointed but didn’t think it was a “fracaso” for the team. We ran into one of the favorites, Brazil. Can we compete with them? Yes, we had a great game against them in their own home in 2014, not to mention the 2012 Olympics. But it’s tough to beat the #2 ranked team in the world.
For Mexico’s 2022 group, Argentina are the clear favorite to top the group. La Abiceleste are one of the favorites in Qatar and anything short of Messi lifting the cup will be a disappointment for their supporters. Although many fans (me included) are not enamored with Tata’s roster/tactics, I can easily see Mexico snagging the other knockout round spot. If you were to go on Mexican Soccer Twitter, the fanbase is acting like El Tri will be lucky to score a goal in Qatar. I don’t think things are that bad but I also know it wont be easy against Poland and Saudi Arabia.
The tournament is here and there’s nothing left to do other than put on a Mexico jersey, drink a cerveza out of my favorite mug and cheer. I’m here for a good time, no matter how long it lasts.