Ignacio Basaguren, a member of the 1968 Mexican National Team that fell to Japan, in the fight for the bronze medal, told the story of that occasion prior to the duel that El Tri will hold against the Japanese in Tokyo 2020
This Friday, Mexico and Japan will be measured for the bronze medal of the Tokyo Olympics, this meeting will be the second time in history that Aztecs and Nipponese will measure for third place in a summer fair, the first time was in 1968 in the Olympic Games in Mexico in a match where the Asians won 2-0 in the capital of the Mexican Republic.
That game is part of a black history of Mexican soccer as Javier Vargas, the goalkeeper of that team, declared that the players decided to lose the semifinal and the third-place match against Japan due to differences with the managers, a situation that Ignacio Basaguren, a member of that team, denies in exclusive talk for ESPN.
“It seems stupid to me in every sense, let’s suppose it was true, why did you say it? What is your purpose in saying it? Imagine if that idiot Javier Vargas sold a game that for me was the beginning of my career and That it could be finished in that game and this idiot sold it, the slob has nothing to brag about and if a lot to regret because not even we sold ourselves And he had no right to do that and now he presumes it, it seems to me that it is sovereign stupidity, he also somehow muddled Vicente Pereda in these statements because Pereda missed a penalty that threw him quite badly, today Vicente lives absolutely marginalized Everything that is Soccer, unfortunately you cannot show your face if they accuse you of something as serious as that, imagine the damage that that caused to Mexico and everything according to him by the directors of the Federation, I do not understand the mentality of this man We already know that soccer managers have always been horrible, how can anyone presume that they sold a game? It is something implausible.
Despite denying match fixing, Basaguren acknowledges that that afternoon in 1968 the Mexican team entered the match against Japan defeated before the start of the match.
“I remember it as the worst game that I had to play, the lack of enthusiasm was remarkable, I played with some tired teammates and when you are tired nothing comes to mind, in football you have to solve the plays in an instantYou have to have a very fresh mind, you have to have a lot of courage and a lot of desire to win but we came from an emotionally overwhelming defeat in Guadalajara against Bulgaria and we were fed up, I remember the episode of the return from Guadalajara to Mexico to fight for the bronze medal was unfortunate, we came on the train and at one in the morning the train stops and they get off the train to Arévalo and Bustos because they were drunk and because they were bothering a passenger and they got off, that affected us all, that was a sign of the state spirit of a team that had made it Olympic champion before its time and that was collapsing. “
“The effort of so much time fell and especially of the last three months of concentration without going to the houses, all this indicates a fatigue, while you have the illusion of going forward in a championship you overcome yourself and you overcome fatigue, distraction or whatever, but when you are defeated, your brain no longer works, especially emotionally, and that’s what happened in that game, including very serious mistakes, especially from the Goalkeeper, which comes to mind every time I According to that match, it is Kamamoto’s first goal of 30 meters completely standable that entered almost half of the goal and was not stopped by Javier Vargas, that is the memory that comes to mind when I remember the game. “
Basaguren hopes that this feeling of defeat and discouragement is not in the Mexican team that will contest the bronze of Tokyo 2020 and for this the work of Guillermo Ochoa, Luis Romo and the team leaders will be very important.
“I don’t think the same thing happens to them, but if the only solution that exists is the leadership of someone who wants to win and who has weight in the team, the Mexican team now needs a leader who will jump on top of the team that face any of your teammates who loosen the intensity and activate it, Unfortunately in the Mexican National Team that I had to play there were no leaders, None had the sizes that Regueiro should have had because he was the captain and he did not, in that match Luis Regueiro, who had a lot of character, did not appear at all and of course the others less, in this team that is going to play next Friday if they had a problem of this nature someone has to command, a player who makes themselves felt and who understands how they can win, who demands the right movements from their teammates, the right efforts, transmits the desire to triumph and does what a leader does, unfortunately we didn’t have it and we paid the price. “
It has been 53 years since that match in which Japan took the bronze from Mexican territory, Basaguren hopes that now the tricolor will take that affront, however he does not see it as revenge for the 1968 team.
“For me it means nothing because I am already avenged, what I never imagined happened, that Mexico was a gold medal in soccer with Luis Fernando Tena, there I was in holy peace with everyone, that is the greatest achievement of Mexican soccer and it happened in an Olympiad, I hope they avenge us in this sense that you say but I am already avenged, I still enjoy the gold medal of that team. “
“The bronze medal is not fought although in the Olympiad it has a little more meaning, but third places are not fought Now, there are already two losers to that game and that counts a lot, a final is all vitality, all enthusiasm and all illusion while third place is not, it does not have those characteristics, of course it is about finishing with dignity but it does not have the same meaning, even so, let’s hope that Mexico wins next Friday, “concluded Ignacio Basaguren for ESPN.