2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

14 June - 15 July

Russia 2018

Herrera: Mexico must stop thinking we’re a small team

Mexico's Hector Herrera in action against Germany at Russia 2017
© Getty Images
  • Mexico have suffered Round-of-16 elimination in six straight World Cups
  • Hector Herrera wants Mexicans to stop mentioning ‘the fifth game’
  • The midfielder revealed he obsesses over the World Cup

Hector Herrera has urged Mexico to shed its small-side mentality and start thinking about winning the FIFA World Cup™.

El Tri have been eliminated from the Round of 16 at each of the past six global finals – by Bulgaria in 1994, Germany in 1998, USA in 2002, Argentina in 2006 and 2010, and the Netherlands in 2014.

“We have to stop these fears, stop believing we’re a small team, stop going on about ‘the fifth game’, believing that we won't reach the fifth match,” Herrera told Marca. “We have to think about becoming champions, in wanting to lift the World Cup.

“I think if we reach the next round, it is proof that we are up for big things and can cause that surprise and impose the feeling that we are a great side at the World Cup."

Despite winning 63 caps since his 2012 debut for Mexico, being an ever-present at Brazil 2014 and the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017, and being one of Porto’s most impressive players in their 2017/18 Portuguese Liga conquest, Herrera revealed he still frets about missing out on Juan Carlos Osorio’s squad for the 21st World Cup.

“Russia [2018] is a dream, an objective, a goal, a motivation to keep on doing things well to be among those players considered to represent the country,” said the multifunctional midfielder. “I don’t know if I’ll go. I have never felt my place is safe – I always try to give 100 per cent.

“I think about the World Cup, doing things well, winning for my country, for my people, for me, my family, for Mexico, and not because I want to move to a bigger club.”

Russia 2018 will be Mexico’s 16th World Cup – a figure bettered only by Brazil (21), Germany (19), Italy (18) and Argentina (17). England, France and Spain are next on the list (15 participations apiece).

Mexico face Germany, Korea Republic and Sweden in Group F.

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