Jürgen Klinsmann has gotten shit over the years for failing to cheerlead for MLS. He has called for the league to get better, and for his players to challenge themselves at the highest levels of the sport. To some, this is evidence not of Klinsmann’s ability to recognize the obvious, but of some sort of shortcoming. But would any other manager worth his salt behave any differently in similar circumstances?
The answer is of course not. Proof of this is Juan Carlos Osorio, the manager of the Mexican national team. Like Klinsmann, he has had to face the prospect of a number of his potential charges being tempted to trade in the stress and uncertainty of Europe’s leagues for a fat check and inferior competition in MLS. Like Klinsmann, he does not want to see his players slumming it in a retirement league, not when they’re still in their prime. From Excélsior:
In an exclusive interview with Excélsior, the tricolor strategist expressed his views on the choices players like Giovani dos Santos have made, who opted for soccer in the United States and the rumors that have placed Carlos Vela in MLS also. Osorio was critical, saying that the league of our northern neighbors is not for players who are in the most important point of their careers, both for the schedule and the level it has, a situation which has ended up keeping Giovani out of the first Tricolar training camp this year. Therefore, the Colombian strategist has already made it known to Carlos Vela, as of yet still a Real Sociedad player, that the decision to migrate to the MLS could marginalize him for future call ups.
“I have expressed this to Carlos Vela last year when I was in Europe, and I think the objective of all the world’s players is to go to Europe or at least that’s the primary objective, because there they have the best leagues, the best tournaments and thus they are seen all over the world. Now, every situation has its particular circumstances that merit further analysis, and I don’t know those of Giovani (dos Santos) so I dare not give an opinion about it, but I do believe that the objective of the Mexican players and all the young players who emerge is to play in Europe and stay there for long time.”
Pretty straightforward stuff. Of course Europe has the best leagues, and every player’s goal should be to at least aspire to reach the top. But how does he feel about players joining MLS specifically?
“I think that at some point they should go to America because it may be a long-term goal, but I think the time when a player is at his peak performance is to to be spent in Europe and not in MLS. I think at this time, that league is for the end of a career and not to play there as a player still has much to give,” he said.
Hard to argue with that!
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