Tata Martino named Mexico national team manager

Mexico got its man, announcing on Monday it has hired Gerardo “Tata” Martino to manage the men’s national team.

The length of the deal is yet to be announced, though the Mexican federation stated that Martino will be the man to lead El Tri “on the way to Qatar 2022”.

Martino takes over a team that has been remarkably consistent in recent history. El Tri have qualified for the last seven World Cups and been eliminated at the round of 16 stage of each of them. That has set off a near-obsessive quest to make the ‘fifth game’, a quarterfinal, for the first time on foreign soil.

He’ll first be tasked with re-establishing regional supremacy. Mexico’s strongest team was at the Confederations Cup in 2017 but an alternate team failed to win the Gold Cup. Martino will have Mexico’s best at his disposal for this summer’s Gold Cup.

That includes an exciting new generation of players, led by PSV star Hirving Lozano, who are taking over from a generation of stars that won the U-20 World Cup and Olympic gold but were unable to turn those youth trophies into major achievements on the senior national team level.

The El Tri job had been vacant since Juan Carlos Osorio declined a contract extension after the 2018 World Cup, leaving to eventually take over the Paraguay national team. It was with that same Paraguay team that Martino first made his name in international soccer.

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