Ricardo ‘Tuca’ Ferretti will take charge of his final match as interim coach of Mexico when they face Panama in a friendly on Tuesday night.
The 61-year-old agreed to combine the national team role with his position at Tigres UANL – who he guided to the final of the 2015 Copa Libertadores – in August, following the dismissal of Miguel Herrera after the 2015 Gold Cup triumph.
On Wednesday, the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) will present former Sao Paulo boss Juan Carlos Osorio as Herrera’s permanent replacement
Ferretti capped his tenure – which began with draws against both Trinidad and Tobago and Argentina in September – with a 3-2 extra-time victory over United States in the CONCACAF Confederations Cup play-off on Saturday, confirming Mexico’s place at the tournament in Russia in 2017.
He declared himself delighted at having been able to achieve what he was originally drafted in for and insisted he had no regrets about not taking the role on a full-time basis.
“I feel good for having accomplished what I was entrusted to do along with the players, which was obtain qualification to the Confederations Cup in Russia,” Ferretti told reporters. “Turning in good results makes me very calm and satisfied.
“Honestly, I don’t [have any regrets]. I’ve never been a person to say something and later regret it.”
The Brazilian’s work garnered praise from Watford defender Miguel Layun, who offered details on the close nature of his relationship with the temporary boss.
“Tuca is a coach who knows a lot, from whom I have learned a lot in these days,” he told reporters. “He taught me many things, not only in a sporting sense but also off the pitch.
“He is someone who enjoys what he does, who has an extraordinary passion for football and reinvigorated all of us.”
Ferretti will be without two influential players for the clash as Verona’s Rafael Marquez and Javier Hernandez – on loan at Bayer Leverkusen from Manchester United – have both returned to their respective clubs as per the terms of prior agreements.
Despite carrying a knock, PSV’s Andres Guardado started in the clash with USA at the Rose Bowl – for which over 90,000 people were in attendance – and could be rested.
Mexico required extra-time to beat Panama 2-1 during their previous meeting in the Gold Cup semi-finals in July.
Panama then finished third at the tournament after beating USA in a penalty shoot-out.
Hernan Dario Gomez’s men have failed to win any of their three subsequent games, however, with a 2-1 loss at home to Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday following a defeat to Uruguay and a draw with Venezuela.
They will be aiming to turn their fortunes around before commencing qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in November.
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