Ricardo “El Tuca” Ferretti has become the new manager for the Mexican National Team as announced by the Mexican Football Federation president Decio de María, but for only on an interim basis.
Ferretti is one of the longest tenured managers in Mexico having been at the helm of five teams (Chivas, Tigres, Pumas, Toluca, and Monarcas) since 1991 and having won league championships with Chivas in 1997, Pumas in 2009, and most recently with Tigres in 2011.
It has become commonplace for El Tri to get an interim manager while their search for “the one” continues on, and Ferretti becomes the seventh manager Mexico has had since 2010. However, Mexico might have well found their new long-term manager, but they don’t want to jump aboard the Brazilian’s ship just yet.
Inversely, Tuca has stated that he committed to finish his time with Tigres, as he has three years left in his contract, and is still currently at the helm of los Universitarios and was at his usual spot on the bench during their 2-1 win against Xolos in Tijuana.
El Tuca said about his appointment as manager, “I’m doing it out of gratitude to [Mexican] football, which has given me so much, as a player and as a coach.” He continued, “I don’t see any possibility of doing all the [World Cup] process, because I have a commitment with Tigres,” he said at a news conference in Mexico City. “I suggested I could help with these four games.”
Those four games are three friendlies in September and October against Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, and Panama and the much anticipated Confederations Cup playoff against the United States on October 10, with a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup at stake.
If Ferretti gets good results in the next four fixtures you can bet that the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) will be more than happy to offer him a contract to coach the Selección full-time. The deciding fixture will be the match against the United States and if he fails to clinch the Confederations Cup birth, Mexico will more than likely look for another manager.
Many analysts have said that the only reason the FMF is letting Ferretti take the reigns is because he is one of the trendiest managers in the game right now, with his recent success with Tigres in the Copa Libertadores being the catalyst for his temporary hiring.
Tuca is known as one of the strictest, not to mention most controversial and temperamental, managers in the game and his tolerance for nonsense will be at a minimum and many fans see this as much needed change as Miguel Herrera was believed to be losing the respect and control of the locker room near the end of his stint as Mexico manager.
One thing he did promise is that he, unlike his predecessor before him, will not film any commercials and will focus only on preparing the squad for his month long stay with the team.
But the question remains, why now? After a career of bashing the National Team job, saying he would rather “sweep sidewalks” than take over as Mexico manager, is Ferretti really obliged to Mexican soccer enough to be a caretaker manager for a month? Or is Tuca finally flirting with a job that has so long eluded him, a job that never came calling, but now that it is at his doorstep he is trying to play it cool and will eventually become the new long-term manager? Who really knows?
What is certain is that Ferretti is in charge for the time being and, while his future is uncertain with the Mexican squad after the four games are up, he seems to be the right fit for La Selección but a lot of factors will play into his decision if he would want the job permanently.