Mexico Exit 2014 World Cup with Good Vibes
Photo Courtesy of the Official FIFA World Cup Facebook Page
It was a game which many believed that Mexico could win and finally reach the quarterfinals of a World Cup for the first time outside home soil. Most importantly, the players and coaches on the Mexican National Team where convinced that they could defeat the Netherlands on Sunday in their respective Round of 16 match. And sure enough, 3 minutes into the second half, Giovani Dos Santos would put Mexico up 1-0 and take a somewhat surprising lead given how they took the lead. And yet, within the span of five minutes, thoughts of winning withered away in Fortaleza midday heat as the Netherlands overturned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win.
I can spend my time writing an article where I analyze as to why Mexico ended up losing this game and what it could mean for the team and the coach Miguel Herrera going forward. However, that is not what this article is about.
Instead, I am grateful and give thanks to a coaching staff and team which made me love them more than any other Mexican National Team before. This Mexican National Team at the 2014 World Cup showed incredible team spirit and the credit for that goes to the coach Miguel Herrera who created a family atmosphere. This atmosphere was transmitted by the players at all times, was seen in how they celebrated goals, and it allowed for us fans to connect and embrace this team like never before.
I want to thank Miguel Herrera for in a short time being able to give this team a tactical identity which is something that has rarely happened for a Mexican National Team in the past 20 years which in turn made watching them play a pleasure. It was refreshing and at the same time great to see that a team was able to develop its own stamp. I want to thank the 23 players who comprised the squad who while all of them did not play during the tournament, at the very least it felt like all of them were ready to come in and contribute if called upon. it was clear that each of the players were committed and went about the task at hand in a very professional manner and stepped up to answer the call.
I am not one to get too high or too low when one of my favorite teams wins or losses, especially if it happens during a playoff and or knockout stage of a tournament or competition. That said, I can honestly say that once the referee blew the whistle for full time, I found myself feeling like I could shed a tear, something that I have not done after a sporting event in at least 20 years. Yes, this loss hurt than any other loss in recent memory given everything leading up to the game and then what transpired during the game. Seeing of the the Mexican National Team players shed tears reminded me of the tears I had shed in recent time after receiving disappointing news with recent years.
In the past couple of years, I found myself shedding a tear or two because I was told I was not seen as qualified enough to serve in an important role for an educational conference I was involved in for a number of years. I found myself shedding a few tears over the past year after I was told I was no longer wanted back as a member for the same conference. Yet today, in addition to feeling the pain of being told thanks but your no longer wanted, I will also remember all the wonderful memories I have from my time volunteering at said conference.
The point is that is how much seeing this loss hit me as a loyal and unwavering fan of the Mexican National Team. Yet as the day went by, some of the disappointment also gave way to feeling prideful of this team and what they had done during the tournament. Their performance filled me with immediate optimism of what can be accomplished four years from now. While this loss still and will always sting, I will also remember how much fun I had rooting for this particular Mexican National Team and remember those as well. Gracias Miguel Herrera y tus 23 Guerreros.
Lucas Carreras is a contributing Mexican National Team and Liga MX writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him @maldini3fan