The September FIFA Date that begins today and October, in which the first six days of the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers will be played, have many victims, but a great winner: Rogelio Funes Mori.
The forced absence of Raúl Jiménez, who did not receive permission from Wolverhampton Wanderers to join the Mexican National Team due to the regulation of the Premier League against countries with a high risk of contagion from Covid-19, is added to others due to injuries (Diego Lainez and Johan Vásquez) or consensual decision (Hector Herrera, Hirving Lozano).
Jiménez will also not be released by Wolverhampton in October, leaving Mexico with the option of Funes Mori as the main forward, as Santiago Giménez is still in the process of adapting to the Tri Mayor and will not be a competition for the naturalized.
If to all this the absences due to technical decision are added, starting with Javier Hernández, José Juan Macías and Alan Pulido, the list of ‘rivals’ for the position for Funes Mori is reduced to very young players, such as ‘Chaquito’, or without a solid prior process in the Tri major, like Henry Martín.
For Funes Mori it will not be much of a problem to respond to that indisputable role that has already been won with Martino.
Jamaica will visit the Azteca Stadium with numerous absences for the same reason that prevented Raúl Jiménez from concentrating with El Tri. So before a diminished rival and despite being played behind closed doors, Mexico’s debut in the Octagonal heading to Qatar 2022 will feature a Funes Mori backed by Martino.
A little over a year after the Qatar World Cup, the Mexican National Team has a wide deck at the front, but disciplinary, tactical and power group issues reduce it to Funes Mori and a few others.
It is a risk assumed by Martino in El Tri, and except for a serious injury or a miraculous irruption by Giménez, Martín or Macías, it seems that it will be an uneven competition with Jiménez, who barely takes competition pace after nine months of recovery.
That disadvantage will increase for each call that is denied, due to the pandemic, but also due to lack of tact to negotiate.
It will be six knockout games without Jiménez. Let Funes Mori take advantage of them, because the Mexican Wolf will want to regain his place in El Tri.
Funes Mori made his debut for Mexico in a friendly match against Nigeria and scored a goal on July 4. He then participated as a starter in all six Gold Cup games, in which he scored three goals: a double against Guatemala and a goal against Honduras. He went blank in the Semifinal against Canada and in the Final that El Tri lost to the United States.