Sven-Goran Eriksson appointed Mexico’s national coach

June 4th, 2008 - 12:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, June 4 (DPA) Former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson was appointed Mexico’s national football coach Tuesday, and will lead the team on the path to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Justino Compean, president of the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), announced the deal with Eriksson at the end of a meeting of the owners of the 18 teams in the top category of Mexican football, who backed the designation “unanimously”.

“I will try to do better than (Mexico has done) in the past,” the Swede told reporters in rudimentary Spanish after his designation was made public. “I think we are going to have a good relationship in future.”

Eriksson, 60, said the move is “a great challenge because Mexico is a great country.”

“I am very proud of the players in the Mexican national team,” he said.

Compean explained that Eriksson will take on his full functions as coach on August 20.

FMF secretary general Decio de Maria said the Swede is to have two foreign aides, but noted that the rest of his team - a physical trainer, a doctor, a goalkeeper coach and a general aide - will be Mexicans. They are set to be appointed within a couple of weeks.

De Maria added that one representative of Mexico’s technical team is to be based in Spain, to keep in permanent contact with Mexican players active in Europe.

Speculation had been rife for weeks that the former England manager Eriksson was the favourite to coach Mexico ahead of the South Africa 2010 World Cup, and CNN en Espanol reported in mid-May that he had reached a preliminary 9-million-dollar deal to coach Mexico.

Eriksson coached England from 2001 to 2006. In 2007 he joined Manchester City on a three-year contract. His exit from the club was announced Monday, two years early, following a review by owner Thaksin Shinawatra of the club’s performance last season.

Mexico had been coached by national football legend Hugo Sanchez since 2006. However, Sanchez was fired in March following poor results including the U-23 side’s failure to obtain a spot at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Interim coach Jesus Ramirez is currently at the helm.

Mexico are to play friendlies with Argentina and Peru in the coming days.

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