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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Guillermo Cantu backs Ricardo La Volpe as Mexico coach option

Former Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera sits down in an exclusive interview with ESPN's Jose Ramon Fernandez to discuss his firing and the future of El Tri.

Guillermo Cantu, new general secretary at the Mexico Football Federation, told ESPN on Tuesday that Ricardo Antonio La Volpe is among several of his personal preferences for the new permanent coach for El Tri.

"In my mind, I have a few," Cantu told ESPN's Jose Ramon Fernandez. "There are interesting coaches. Rayo Vallecano's coach [Paco Jemez], I like his proposal. Unai Emery [Sevilla], I like. They may or may not be options for the national team, but I like them."

Cantu said that he also admired Ricardo Antonio La Volpe, who coached him when he was a player.

"I like Ricardo La Volpe, he taught a lot of us how to see football and some of those people are now coaches and have adapted what he taught them," he said. "Miguel Herrera is an example of that, as is Raul 'Potro' Gutierrez [Mexico U21 coach]. He [Gutierrez] explains to you why he plays with a formation of four and not five. You can spend four hours talking about tactics with him, Raul is unique in that he has been competing internationally for a long time and that makes him different."

Cantu said he is very pleased with the choice of Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti as interim manager, adding that he has known him a long time and he likes his coaching style. Ferretti, who coaches Tigres UANL in the Mexican League, was contracted to coach Mexico for four upcoming matches, including a crucial Confederations Cup single-match playoff against the United States on Oct. 10.

"He coached me. I know him and I respect him. He has had an impressive career and I still remember a lot of the things he taught me that had similar shades to those coaching directions La Volpe would use inside the pitch," he said. "I loved how he explained everything he was going to do and I had a powerful connection to his coaching plan."

Cantu said he is not very interested in the candidacies of Marcelo Bielsa nor Juan Carlos Osorio.

He also said that very few Mexican coaches have interest in managing in Europe, especially since the salaries in the Mexican League are so good that it "limits the hunger to leave [Mexico].

"The fact that we have such an important football league that pays good wages, it limits us, unlike other countries such as Uruguay, who produce players and coaches," Cantu said. "Here the basic need is to finish first [in the league] rather than leave [the country]. In Europe they turn to Argentina and Brazil a lot because they export players and coaches."

Cantu also said that the only coaches who have a chance at a European team "are young managers."

Cantu said he regrets that Mexico's coaches don't get to study more and said that the reason Mexico's coaches are not sought after in Europe is because they have little free time outside of Liga MX.

"Between Copa, Libertadores, CONCACAF and the league you are always trying to get a team ready and any trip to Europe is 10 hours," Cantu explained. "Whether it is Liga MX or Ascenso, coaches have very little free time to travel. You learn things from trips and in that sense it is a good habit for coaches to be able to travel and speak and meet with other coaches. It is enriching."

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