Juan Carlos Osorio insists World Cup draw 'a very good one' for Mexico
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio called El Tri's World Cup draw "a very good one" despite being drawn with reigning champions Germany in Group F.
Germany controlled Mexico 4-1 at the Confederations Cup this past June, and the two countries will play again in Russia next summer, with Sweden and South Korea also in the group."
Mexico has never beaten Germany in three World Cup meetings, losing 6-0 in 1978, falling on penalties after a 0-0 game in 1986, and losing 2-1 in 1998, but Osorio was looking forward to the rematch.
"It is a difficult group, but a very good one for Mexico," Osorio told TV Azteca. "We are going to be going up against Germany, ranked first and the reigning World Cup champion. I don't think I am stating any big discovery [about who they are].
"We faced them in the Confederations Cup and we didn't have our entire squad, but now we are going to be competing against the best. They are very well coached. I think we have very good possibilities and we are going to prepare very well so we can advance."
Mexico have a 51 percent chace to advance to the round of 16, and Osorio was not downplaying the challenge of facing Sweden and South Korea.
"Sweden beat Netherlands and Bulgaria, and that is no small detail, along with the fact that in the playoff they eliminated Italy," he said. "They come into the World Cup with a great chance. They will be bringing a well coached and very experienced team.
"And last is Korea, a rival that represents the Asia continent well. Their coach has been with the team since their youth days and is very familiar with all of his players."
Still, Osorio knows Germany will be crucial for his side's chances to advance.
"This is the most important match, obviously we need to plan, prepare and consider it as though it were the first and last one," Osorio said of the Germany game on June 17. "Personally, I am very excited and I am of the belief that on any given day in football, anyone can win."
Midfielder Andres Guardado said the Confederations Cup result should be dismissed because Mexico was not at full strength.
"Mexico has a history of rising to the challenge against top rivals and I hope this will be no exception. I hope that we can show in the group phase that we are going to have a historic World Cup for Mexico," he said.
"If we can finish with a good result against Germany it will be clear that we will have a good chance of advancing. I am really motivated to face Mexico again.
"We played against them at Confederations Cup and we were left frustrated, we weren't playing with our best team and we had many players who had been injured in the previous phase of competition, and I was benched. But this time we will be bringing our best 11 and we will be able to compete."
This will be the first time Mexico plays in a group with two European squads since the 2002 World Cup, when they beat Croatia, drew against Italy and advanced to the second round.
With Mexico in the second pot of teams, Osorio said he expected to draw at least one major test in the group stage.
"I thought that we would draw one big team with a storied history," he said. "I imagined it would be between Argentina, Brazil, Germany or France, the last of which are one of the best at this moment. After that first round, we could be facing teams like Spain or England, so it is a very competitive field."
But goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa welcomed the challenge, saying: "None of us wanted an easy group. If you're playing the World Cup, you want to face the best. And if you want to reach the final, you have to play great matches."
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