- Funes Mori is Monterrey’s in-form marksman
- Player hoping to meet former club River Plate at Qatar 2019
- "I'm at an important moment," the Argentinian says
As Monterrey continue their preparations for next month’s FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019™, a lot of their hopes are riding on the goalscoring prowess of Rogelio Funes Mori.
And for very good reason. Since the Argentinian striker joined Los Rayados in 2015, his ruthless finishing has already brought him close to 100 goals.
However, the stats alone do not tell the whole story. His status as a club idol is also down to his tireless work rate on the pitch and an ability to come through difficult moments, a trait he has shown throughout his career.
A difficult start
Funes Mori began his senior career in 2009 at River Plate, the club closest to his heart. It would be fair to say that it was a tough spell for the front man, with goals hard to come by and demanding fans heaping pressure on him.
"I happened to be at River during a difficult time, when the club wasn't at its best. I considered it part of the learning process, as I knew I’d have worse things than that happen to me. I am who I am today because of River. I learned how to deal with the good and the bad and move on," he said during an exclusive interview with FIFA.com.
After a couple of seasons in Europe (2013-15), he signed for Monterrey, where his full potential as a striker would be unleashed.
"I’m at a very important moment right now. Thanks to this club, the fans and the city, where I’ve been treated so well, I’ve been able to improve and achieve a lot. I want to continue in the same vein – doing things right. There's always something to improve on if you want to keep scoring goals."
Right now, the player’s focus is on Qatar 2019, where he and his side will be hoping to break new ground in the game’s top club competition. "I’m very happy, very excited and ready to have a great World Cup. This will be my first one, and I'm delighted to go there representing a giant of Mexican football. Hopefully, our performances are the best possible and a reflection of the considerable responsibility we are shouldering."
Monterrey at the Club World Cup
- This will be the club’s fourth appearance at the competition, making them the CONCACAF side with the joint-most participations.
- Monterrey sealed their passage to Qatar 2019 by beating Tigres in the final of this year’s CONCACAF Champions League.
- They have finished fifth on two occasions (2011 and 2013), while in 2012 they secured third place.
- Los Rayados kick off their Qatar 2019 campaign on 14 December against the winners of the first-round match between Al-Sadd Sports Club and Hienghene Sport.
Should Monterrey overcome their opener and a looming semi-final with Liverpool, Funes Mori could be gifted a reunion. River Plate will be battling to represent South America at the competition when they go up against Flamengo in the final of this year’s Copa Libertadores on Saturday.
"I'd love to play against River. That River-Flamengo final is going to be really nice. I want River to win, because I'm a fan and also because I'd love to face them at the Club World Cup."
Monterrey are understandably anxious to show everyone that that they too are a top side. And while it remains to be seen if they can go all the way to the final, Funes Mori knows very well that this will be another opportunity to demonstrate his talent for overcoming adversity.
"We’re talking about some of the best teams in the world, so you just have to trust in what you have and your own side’s qualities. In football nothing is impossible – we can all beat any team on our day. We're a winning side that always goes on the attack, which is why we’re a big club and so good," he concluded.