Munoz’s joy for Mexico, national team shines

Goalkeeper Moises Muñoz (pictured) celebrates during Mexico's win over the USA in the CONCACAF Cup on October 10, 2015, in Pasadena, California. (Photo: Mexsport)

PASADENA, California -- Moises Muñoz tried to keep his distance from the herd of media in the post-match mixed zone at the Rose Bowl Saturday night. 

The Mexico goalkeeper, though, wasn’t trying to avoid interviews after a 3-2 win against the United States in the CONCACAF Cup. He just didn’t want to spread his germs.  Muñoz was ill, coughing and sneezing while trying to cover his mouth and nose with tissue paper. 

“I couldn’t miss this game, so I played it even with sickness that I have,” Muñoz expressed. “But right now I want to forget everything and try to enjoy the win.” 

The Club America star enjoyed the dramatic win. A scenario with which he has become accustomed throughout his career in Liga MX and with the national team. This experience, however, will stay with him for a long time.   

“It’s one of the top. I don’t know. Top three, maybe,” Muñoz said when asked where the win ranks. “Definitely, a great game. It meant a championship for the Confederations Cup and it’s very important for us. It’s very important for our country because football in Mexico is a religion. Every time the national team wins, it’s something to celebrate.” 

He has celebrated Mexican league and Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League titles with Club America and success in a World Cup qualification playoff over New Zealand in 2013. The win over the U.S. holds special meaning to Muñoz because of the late heroics and that he competed with flu-like symptoms. 

“The way we did it,” the 35-year-old remarked. “I mean we never settled for a score. We always looked for the winning goal and we found it before the end of the second extra time because it would have been really unfair if the game would have gone into penalty kicks. 

“I enjoy them a lot, these dramatics. I don’t know, but it’s probably something that I am made for.” 

Although not always called upon as the first-choice goalkeeper, Muñoz is a national-team veteran. There are times when Guillermo Ochoa or Jesus Corona are chosen ahead of him. It doesn’t matter to him. He’ll always be there for Mexico, savoring the experiences and hoping to continue playing in big matches. 

“These type of games, I really enjoy them a lot with the stadium crowded and lots of people following the game back in Mexico and all over the world,” Muñoz finished. “It’s something that I love and that I want to keep doing for many years to come.”