Justino Compean, President of the Mexican Football Association, visited FIFA House on Wednesday 24 September 2008 for a meeting on the organisation of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 and an audience with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. FIFA.com caught up with the head of the Mexican FA after his meeting.
FIFA.com: Mr Compean, what was the purpose of your visit to Zurich?
Justino Compean: FIFA invited us here to participate in a series of meetings on preparations for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2011, which takes place in Mexico. We discussed all aspects of the competition, from marketing and financial considerations, to matters of logistics and sporting development.
How are you doing in terms of the event's organisation?
We're ready to begin work and excited to be hosting another global event after the 1970 and 1986 World Cups and the FIFA Confederations Cup of 1999, which Mexico won. We'll be welcoming 24 teams to this World Cup in 2011, and to this end we're building five new stadiums, in the northern cities of Monterrey, Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez and Torreon, and also in Guadalajara.
And in sporting terms?
We won the 2005 title in Peru due in no small part to the work of our coach Jesus Ramirez. He was able to prepare that group of players technically and mentally, enabling them to perform without pressure and go on to lift the trophy. Now, we face the twin challenges of hosting a winning tournament in organisation terms and reclaiming the title on home soil.
What are your impressions of new coach Sven Goran Eriksson?
We decided to appoint Eriksson because we needed a radical change in the coaching of the national team. Mexico need to aspire to everything and to reach the highest level in every FIFA competition. We want to be the leading country in the CONCACAF and a team that competes for top honours globally.
From the start, we sought a European coach who could impose discipline and his own style of play. The thinking was that our players would be able to assimilate this quickly, given that 14 of them are already playing in Europe. So far, the results have been as expected, with three wins from three in the South Africa 2010 qualifiers.
What is Eriksson's principal goal for the team?
It's clear that the biggest challenge Eriksson will have to face is getting the team past the quarter-final barrier at a World Cup. Mexico have sufficient talent and quality to improve their results and ascend the FIFA Ranking.