After Mexico’s “great defeat” at the World Cup, Tata Martino declared his contract had ended, and he would not be returning as Mexico’s coach.
El Tri’s exit from the group stage at Qatar 2022 on Wednesday did not help Martino’s reputation, which was already very low.
Mexico nearly advanced to the round of 16 for a record eighth straight World Cup, but they finished third behind Poland in Group C and were eliminated as a result.
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Henry Martin and Luis Chavez scored in the second half as Mexico defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1 at Lusail Stadium to draw level with Poland in the group stage.
The match between Poland and Argentina had already ended when Salem Al Dawsari scored an equaliser for Saudi Arabia in the 95th minute. This sent Mexico packing because of their poor fair play record.
Martino’s team had left it too late to mount a comeback; much of the booing before the game was directed at their coach.
Told of his status as a “villain” in Mexico, Martino replied: “I can’t tell you anything about people’s opinions.
“I am the main [person] responsible for the frustrations we have. I’m responsible, and it’s a source of great sadness.
“I assume all the responsibility for this huge failure. It’s been eight World Cups. This hasn’t happened.”
As his contract was about to expire after the World Cup, Martino said, “I have no reasons at the moment to think the future should be different. The contract expired with the final whistle, and there is nothing else to do.”
Later in the news conference, when asked for his thoughts, Chavez added: “We are the players; we assume full responsibility.
In the second match [against Argentina], we didn’t fully understand what he [Martino] wanted to see on the pitch.
“We defended well for some time but didn’t create enough chances.”
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s coach Herve Renard admitted his team deservedly lost to Mexico and should not have advanced.
But he tried to shift the conversation to the team’s overall campaign, which included their surprising first-game victory over Argentina.
He congratulated the players and stated, “We did our best. Today was more difficult for us, but we don’t have to forget what we did together. I will always protect them. I’m proud of their World Cup.”
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