TORREON, Mexico – With seven goals in 13 matches, former FW Jared Borgetti was a staple of Mexico’s 2003, 2005 and 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup teams, winning the title in the 2003 edition.
The second-leading all-time scorer in Mexican National Team history with 46 goals in 89 matches, Borgetti marvels at how the Gold Cup continues to grow and evolve.
“I think that little by little the Gold Cup is becoming stronger. The Caribbean teams are growing and assuredly with time we will see better editions of the Gold Cup,” said Borgetti in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com. “Sometimes teams who are regularly champions, like the U.S. and Mexico, go through tough moments, but it’s important that everyone keeps working to make sure that the Gold Cup is a good spectacle for the fans.”
When El Tricolor took home the trophy in 2003, it did so in front of the home fans at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca in a 1-0 win over Brazil. Earlier in the tournament in the group stage, a Borgetti goal proved decisive in a 1-0 win over the South Americans at the Azteca. Coincidentally, it was one of three game-winning goals scored by Borgetti for Mexico against Brazil in an official tournament, the other two being the 2001 Copa America and the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, each of which also ended 1-0 in favor of Mexico.
“Thankfully I have good history against Brazil, the majority of the times that I faced them, I ended up winning; many times 1-0 and with me scoring the goal. The truth is that I have great memories of playing against Brazil, but scoring at home in front of the fans means a lot more,” said Borgetti.
Scoring at home was a trait of Borgetti’s while with El Tricolor and it paved the way for him to become not only the top scorer in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying for Germany 2006 with 14 goals in 14 matches, but in all of World Cup Qualifying.
All told, Borgetti hung up his boots with 23 goals in 24 Concacaf WCQ matches, good for third on the all-time list. Borgetti credits those performances in helping grab the attention of English Premier League side Bolton, who signed Borgetti in 2005, making him the first Mexican player in Premier League history.
“It is an honor to be the first Mexican in Premier League history, and above all for doing it at such an age. I was 32. I was trying to take advantage of the moment and open the way and although I didn’t play very much in the short time I was there, I think I left enough of an impression that English teams could trust Mexican players, like [Raul] Jimenez in Wolverhampton. I was there when Carlos Vela was signed by Arsenal and so it was about showing that the Mexican player could fit into teams in leagues like the Premier League,” said Borgetti.
At the club level, Borgetti will always be remembered for his time at Santos Laguna, where he spent eight prolific seasons, scoring 205 goals to rank as the club’s all-time leading scorer. Yet the ever-selfless Borgetti holds out hope that his scoring mark will be broken one day.
“I hope it’s not an unbreakable record. I sincerely hope not. We need the team to have goalscorers so they can win games and win titles. When I was the national team’s all-time leading scorer, many people asked me if I felt bad that [Javier] “Chicharito” [Hernandez] would surpass me and that I was no longer number one, but on the contrary I believe that someone had to pass me and then later someone needs to pass Chicharito. We need to be thinking about developing better players, better goalscorers. We need to serve as a motivation for future generations so they can improve upon what’s been done,” concluded Borgetti.