- *Mexico the latest stop on a pre-Russia 2017 trophy tour *
- Argentina icon's Confederations Cup win & World Cup penalty heroics discussed
- Tour set to continue in Chile
Argentina legend Sergio Goycochea today finished a two-day visit to Mexico, where he stopped by the headquarters of the Mexican Football Association in Toluca and enjoyed a get-together with the organisation's president, Decio de Maria.
The former keeper was accompanied throughout by the FIFA Confederations Cup trophy, continuing the prize's tour of the eight nations represented at Russia 2017. Mexico represents the fourth stop on that tour, following on from Australia, New Zealand and Portugal, with Chile next on the itinerary.
During his stay, Goycochea spoke to several local media outlets about the Confederations Cup and his experience of winning the first edition of the tournament, then known as the King Fahd Cup, in 1992.
"Since then, the Confederations Cup has cemented its status as the Tournament of Champions,” he said. “Featuring in it would be a highlight of any player's career. Lots of countries would love to take part, but only eight have the honour of doing so. Over in Russia, they are working flat out to provide the best possible facilities for the teams involved this year and I'm sure that the competition will be a resounding success."
Facing Mexican sides has always been a major challenge.
Goycochea also looked back on his own career, reflecting fondly on one life-altering match in particular . “The game against the Soviet Union at the 1990 World Cup changed my career forever. Following the injury to my team-mate Nery Pumpido at the tournament, I had taken over the job as Argentina’s keeper. That enabled me to live some great moments in Italy and in the years that followed, when we won two Copa America titles as well as the King Fahd trophy in 1992.”
When quizzed about the Mexican national team's prospects for the event, the former goalkeeper – a two-time Copa America champion who is perhaps best remembered for his penalty-saving exploits at the 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy™ – suggested that El Tri will be a force to be reckoned with. "Mexico have shown on numerous occasions that they are always contenders in this sort of tournament, as they have players who can pop up and turn games at any moment, like Chicharito [Javier Hernandez], Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela, to name but a few,” he explained. “Facing Mexican sides has always been a major challenge."
Goycochea made the most of his time in Mexico City, also catching up with his contemporary and fellow keeper Jorge Campos, who won the Confederations Cup in 1999 and is now working as a commentator. He also met some of the Mexican volunteers who will be in attendance at this summer Tournament of Champions.