KAZAN, Russia – With its 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup opener against Portugal set for June 18, Mexico arrived in host nation Russia on Tuesday.
For head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, the match represents a battle between the CONCACAF and European champions, not the Tricolor against four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
“The collective is above the individual. Not only is there Cristiano, but Nani and [Ricardo] Quaresma are elite wide players,” said Osorio. “We are coming to compete, not just against Cristiano Ronaldo, although we will take him into special account because for being the magnificent player that he is.”
The last meeting between the sides came in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, a 2-1 win for the Portuguese. Ronaldo was on the bench, but did not play.
Mexico is appearing in a record-equaling seventh Confederations Cup (tied with Brazil) and will be seeking a second Confederations Cup title (1999).