Mario Arteaga (pictured) was named head coach of the Mexico under-17 national team on February 5, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican Football Federation announced Wednesday that it has named Mario Arteaga as head coach of the men’s under-17 national team.
Arteaga takes over a program that won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2011 and finished runner-up two years later under the guidance of Raul Gutierrez, who was put in charge of the Olympic squad last month.
The 43-year-old was an assistant on both of those history-making sides. His experience and familiarity with the set-up is considered to be valuable in extending recent successes.
“They (the U-17 World Cups) mean very much because one always prepares himself for a competition and wants to give their best performance, do their best role,” said Arteaga, a member of Mexico’s 1992 Olympic Games team. “And, well, what happened in 2011 was something that made me very satisfied because the work that was done was very complicated, but in the end the reward was the championship.”
“In 2013, the difference was that we come across with a team that was better that us and it is necessary to acknowledge it also.”
While those chapters in the Mexico’s football history will always be cherished, Arteaga looks forward to writing new ones.
"The challenge that we have with this under-17 selection is trying to reach where we’ve been before,” expressed the former Guadalajara forward. “The commitment that’s there is strong because results of the selection in that last two World Cups have been very good. Then, the responsibility that we have is to not fall short of those instances. It is finding the best team and taking the youngsters to that level of competition.”
Over the course of the next year, Arteaga will be forming a roster to participate in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship at a location to be determined. As part of the preparation process, the U17s are scheduled to tour South America, participate in the Gradisca Tournament in Italy, the Copa Saprissa in Costa Rica and the Nations Cup, which it will host.”
"I dream to be champion again. In giving weapons, tools, to these young people who also surely have that dream, that illusion lived by previously,” Arteaga finished. “We simply, along with all the coaching staff, will try to have them develop the best as possible.”