The famous phrase that represents Mexico’s national team is, “We played like never before but we lost like always.” However, in this day and age, I believe it’s evolving more towards, “This is why we can’t have nice things.”
‘Tata’ Martino has been deservingly praised for his start with El Tri but there’s already trouble in paradise. The relationship between ‘Tata’ Martino and Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona got off on the wrong foot when Corona pulled out of the March friendlies. The problem is that Martino only wanted to meet Corona and claims he didn’t have to play if he was less than 100%, but FC Porto claimed Tecatito sustained an ankle injury and that he needs to rehab in Portugal.
Prior to the international exhibitions, Tata Martino discussed the Tecatito situation in San Diego, CA via Jon Arnold of Goal:
“Jesus, I made contact with him on the phone 17, 18 days before the call-up. He told me he was good. We did the call-up. Saturday he spoke with one of the doctors and told him he had a problem in his ankle, that he was playing with injections,” Martino told Univision.
“Sunday I was in touch with him and told him that although he might not be able to train and might not be able to play, he could be with us in this camp, getting to know us and seeing how we work, including that if it was necessary he could continue or start his ankle rehabilitation here without any commitment that he had to play.
“At first, Jesus agreed, but five hours more or less after, while we were in the airport he called me again to tell me that he’d talked – I don’t know if with his family or with his agent or with his club – and told me he’d decided to do his recovery there and he didn’t feel good enough to travel.
“I didn’t agree with his decision but I respected it. I also told him that it’s not a position that starts and ends with this camp. There is going to be some repercussion in the future.”
The growing problem here is what transpired this past weekend. Several days after the friendlies while Tecatito rehabbed his injury – He went the full 90 minutes for FC Porto.
Mexico, for some reason, just attracts drama. From Carlos Vela ignoring call-ups for several years (including a World Cup in his prime) to sex workers robbing players, Mexico seems to just have a tabloid loaded with off-the-field issues.
It is understandable that FC Porto would not like Tecatito to play in the friendlies, especially with the Liverpool matches coming up in the Champions League. Yet, the entire situation was poorly handled. Whether it was Tecatito’s decision or the club, ‘Tata’ Martino did deserve a more timely notification that Corona would not be playing.
Tecatito going the full match this past weekend is really making things worse. If he truly was nursing an ankle injury, then it would have been wise to have him sit out, or at the least, play late in the second half.
Yes, Tecatito is a very special player for FC Porto, as he has seemingly rejuvenated his career with the club this past season, but this situation may have just cost him a spot with Mexico. This could not only hurt Tecatito but Mexico altogether.
It’s not like Mexico has a plethora of European based players, especially those in the Champions League. Tecatito Corona and Héctor Herrera are massive players for both FC Porto and Mexico and losing one of them for the national team will sting.
For the fans, everyone’s fingers should be crossed that this gets sorted out because both parties would benefit from having the waters calmed in the near future.