Mexico play Canada at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Tuesday in the round of 16 of the Concacaf Round of 16 at Qatar 2022. Tata Martino’s side know they will have to face the fangs of the cold: a temperature of -10 degrees. He is also aware that the Canadian team is no longer a comfortable rival. The country of ice hockey, statistics in its favor, is approaching a qualification for the World Cup for the second time in its history.
Canada has only participated in one World Cup. He did it in Mexico in 1986 and with a performance to forget: three defeats, five goals conceded and none for. However, this year the maple leaf team sits third in the octagon. They have 13 points – one less than the United States and Mexico – and are yet to lose. For decades, the pride of Canadian soccer has rested on its women’s team, one of the strongest on the planet. Football players won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. But the men’s team is taking off, with Alphonso Davies up front, and taking firm steps to play on the courts in Qatar.
This path of good results has many responsible. The practice of football has developed considerably in the country. A good legion of immigrants have joined Canada’s lifelong ball lovers, and the kids’ leagues keep growing. This Tuesday, some 50,000 supporters are expected at the Edmonton forum. The contribution of Briton John Herdman, Canada’s coach since 2018, was significant. “We had good players but something was missing,” Herdman told Sky Sports on Sunday. “We had to build the culture and the team spirit,” he added.
Canada’s national team mainly includes players from the MLS. Three Canadian cities have teams in the US League: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Career patient work pays off. Some footballers have made the jump to Europe, although two of them are extremely dazzling due to their quality. Jonathan David has established himself as a deadly striker for Lille in the French league. The second is a skilled roadrunner named Davies.
There are not a few voices that already place Alphonso Davies as the greatest player in Canadian history, despite the fact that he turned 21 earlier this month. Davies was born in a refugee camp in Ghana – in a Liberian family – and arrived in the country of Leonard Cohen five years later, precisely in Edmonton. After showing talent in spades in the children’s and youth championships, he was signed by the Vancouver Whitecaps. In July 2018, Bayern Munich announced their incorporation in exchange for ten million euros. One of Alphonso Davies’ most memorable performances took place on August 14, 2020 in Lisbon. That day, the Bavarian club beat Barcelona 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-finals. Davies was a demon on the left flank.
Canada drew 1-1 with Mexico on October 7 when they visited Azteca Stadium. “I hope we can get the three points and show Edmonton and all of Canada that we are a serious team,” FC Montreal midfielder Samuel Piette said at a press conference on Monday. “We can face anyone,” he added. The confidence of Canadians is not flying low. The selection of Alphonso Davies cherishes a ticket to Qatar.
subscribe here wing newsletter of EL PAÍS Mexico and receive all the informative keys to the news of this country