Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has warned against overly focusing on Cristiano Ronaldo when El Tri kicks off its Confederations Cup campaign on Sunday against Portugal in Kazan.
“It’s Portugal, not just Cristiano,” Ochoa told the press in Kazan after Wednesday’s training. “We know what type of player he is, but aside from him there are other quality players that we have to stop.”
The 32-year-old Portugal international is coming into the Confederations Cup in form and on a high having led Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double last season, but Mexico won’t have a specific man-marker for Ronaldo.
“No way,” stated Marco Fabian. “We have trained focusing on Portugal, not Cristiano Ronaldo and the team is in good shape. We have to make an example on Sunday and try to start off with a win.”
Goalkeeper Ochoa has started Mexico’s last two games and has faced Ronaldo in La Liga while playing for Granada, but thinks El Tri has to look after what it does collectively to get a result.
“We focus on our football and on what we want to do on the field … on what the ‘Profe’ [coach Juan Carlos Osorio] is looking for us to do and what we are strong at, as well as what we have to improve,” added Ochoa.
The former Club America goalkeeper is likely to move on this summer, with his loan deal to relegated Granada over and Ochoa’s contract with Malaga reportedly expiring at the end of this month.
A good Confederations Cup would boost Ochoa’s chances in the transfer market and the 31-year-old has his goals fixed high for El Tri at the competition.
“We have confidence in our team and in what Mexico can do and we are sure that we can compete with any other national team,” he said. “Those that are here are here to compete and to look to try to get to the final, which is Mexico’s objective.”