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FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017: Two-time champions Mexico ready to script new history, says coach Mario Arteaga

Kolkata: Two-time champions Mexico are not willing to rest on their past laurels and are ready to make history when they get their campaign underway against Iraq in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday, their coach Mario Arteaga said.

Mexico are the only team in Group F to win the tournament in 2005 and 2011. None among England, Chile and Iraq have laid their hands on the coveted crown.

The Mexican U-17 team celebrate their win in the South American Championship. AFP

The Mexican U-17 team celebrate their win in the South American Championship. AFP

"Whatever happened is history. We are here to make new history and we have capabilities to achieve success here. We can go the distance," Arteaga told reporters after the team's first practice session at the SAI complex in Kolkata.

"We can't consider any team easy. All teams have their own style and pedigree like Brazil has their own, Germany has their own. So we cannot take any team lightly," the coach said when asked to pick an opponent he is wary of.

Mexico, who arrived in Kolkata on Wednesday evening, have been training in Spain for the tournament.

"I have been working for the last 20 months since 2016 (with the team). This will be a different experience so let's see," Arteaga said.

Chile have been struggling to cope with the hot and humid weather conditions in India. But Mexico have not faced any such problem so far, their coach said.

"They (the boys) have been practicing for past few months. We have adapted to the weather and it is not a problem for us. We have played in so many grounds around the world so this is not a problem for us," he said.

On their first opponents Iraq, Arteaga said: "Iraq have changed their players so many times. We cannot take any rival easily. Anything can happen in a football game. We have played with them a few times before."

Mexico have four new players since winning the CONCACAF U-17 Championship to qualify for the tournament.

"One is a goalkeeper. We are working closely with them. We have a lot of emotion attached to the tournament," Arteaga said.


Published Date: Oct 05, 2017 15:19 PM | Updated Date: Oct 05, 2017 15:24 PM

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