Kolkata: A 21-member Mexico squad along with team officials arrived in the city on Wednesday evening to take part in the FIFA U-17 World Cup starting on October 6.
Mexico, who have won the competition twice (2005, 2011), are in Group F along with England, Chile and Iraq and will play their first match on Sunday against the Iraqis. Two-time champions Mexico wants to start afresh in their bid to rewrite history at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, chief coach Mario Arteaga said on Thursday.
The Mexican U-17 team are the only former champions in the group F, having won the title in Peru-2005, and at home soil in 2011.
Among the 24 teams, Mexico, who also finished runners-up in UAE-2013, are one of the most consistent sides since the turn of century in the U-17 World Cup.
“Whatever happened was history. This team is all set to make a new history come whatever may. We have it in us to do anything,” Mexico chief coach Mario Arteaga told reporters after their first practice session.
“The FIFA U-17 World Cup has a rich history. There’re so many emotions attached to this tournament. We are looking forward to make history again. Let’s see what happens.”
“We are not taking any competitor lightly. Everyone has their own strengths like Brazil, Germany and Spain,” said Arteaga, who had a 15-day conditioning camp with the youngsters in Spain.
While Chile are battling to cope with the high heat and humidity of Kolkata, Mexico are not in a mood to complain despite their late arrival.
“We have been practising in such conditions for last few months, and we are flexible in any kind of weather. We don’t think weather will make it difficult for us. We have played in so many grounds and have adapted to different conditions,” Arteaga said.
Mexico, who open their campaign against Asian champions Iraq in the 8pm match on October 8, were the last to arrive here while their group F opponents Chile were the first to come followed by Iraq and England.
“They have changed their players so many times. But as I said I’m not taking any team easily. Anything can happen in the match,” he concluded