HOUSTON, Texas – Former Mexico midfielder Pavel Pardo knows what it’s like to win the Concacaf Gold Cup. Pardo was part of the Mexican teams in 1998 and 2003 who won the trophy, which he regards as two of the many important milestones he achieved in his decorated career.
Like any other fan of the Mexico National Team, Pardo has been closely following the development of the Tricolor in the current edition of the Gold Cup and he feels that Team Azteca is peaking in the biggest part of the tournament heading into the semifinal against Canada on Thursday in Houston.
“Mexico has continuously improved in this Gold Cup. In the first game they tied against Trinidad and Tobago, then there were wins against Guatemala and El Salvador., I think against Honduras it is where they showed their potential ”, said Pardo in an interview with Concacaf.com
“Now they face another semifinal and in Concacaf, Mexico is the team to beat. They are still missing some football things, but I think they look good. They are doing well. I like the process, I like the management of the coach Gerardo Martino and always when the players are in good moments, good things happen ”, added Pardo.
One of those players in good shape right now is the forward Rogelio Funes Mori. Since joining the Mexico national team earlier this summer, the naturalized Argentine from Mexico has scored three goals in four Gold Cup games, including the first goal in Saturday’s 3-0 quarter-final triumph over Honduras. .
Pardo has been very impressed by what he has seen of the Rayados de Monterrey striker.
“He is a player who contributes, he does not limit himself to scoring goals. We saw it from him in Monterrey and you can see that his game is to help make plays for the team. We know that he is a footballer who always has a chance or two during a match, and he is always there. That’s what he gives the national team and that’s what I like about him. He is a player with good technique, who plays well with others and also scores goals. It helps Mexico’s attack a lot, not only with its goals, but also with its participation in the plays, ”Pardo said.
The Mexico national team will face a confident young team from Canada after they managed a 2-0 victory against Costa Rica in the quarterfinals on Sunday. Pardo expects tough competition, but believes that if Mexico keeps things in order at the back, he could emerge victorious.
“I think the key to the Canadian game is for Mexico to stay focused. It does not mean that Canada is not a good team, but if Mexico is vigilant and makes the fewest percentage of errors, it will advance. It will not be easy. Canada is a renewed team, a team that defends well, so it won’t be easy for Mexico, but I think that will be the key; that Mexico continue playing, that it continues to seek to create chances and that it be attentive to set pieces and make minimal mistakes, ”explained Pardo.
Looking back on his career in the Gold Cup, Pardo enjoyed three appearances in the tournament, playing in the 2007 edition in addition to the titles achieved in 1998 and 2003. Lifting the trophy on those two occasions is something he remembers fondly.
“I became champion twice in the Gold Cup and it means a lot because you want to be the best in Concacaf and that’s what winning the Gold Cup gives you. Mexico has to be thinking about that now and winning this important game against Canada and then think about the final ”, concluded Pardo.
This article was taken in its entirety from the official Concacaf site.