‘In Mexico there is a lot of curiosity about Russia’ - Mexican embassy official
Mexico has a deep footballing history. The country has hosted the World Cup twice - in 1970 and 1986 - and through the years their national football team has boasted some of the tournament’s standout players.
They include world stars Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández, formerly of Manchester United; Champions League winner Rafael Márquez; and Cuauhtémoc Blanco, a veteran of three World Cup finals.
And of course, who could forget Mexico team manager at the 2014 World Cup, Miguel Herrera and his animated touchline antics.
Mexico also became the first host team to win the Confederations Cup in 1999, and will be looking to make their mark against some tough opposition at to the 2017 tournament this summer, which is also the first to be held in Russia.
The country also boasts some of the most voracious fans in world football - Pancho Villa's Army - who fill the stadium in which their heroes play with vibrant color and music.
Jorge Reynoso told RT Sport that, despite the difference in culture, climate and language of both Russia and Mexico, the countries are united in one shared passion.
RT: What does the Eight Flags Junior Cup represent?
JR: It’s a tournament that is built with a group of youngsters. They are going to participate, youngsters from 10 to 12 years old. They are going to represent the eight countries that are going to play in the Confederations Cup. It’s going to be in Khimki inside Moscow, very close to Moscow city on May 27.
RT: Mexico are one of the eight teams in the Confederations Cup. Mexican and Russian culture is extremely contrasting - how much are Mexicans looking forward to coming to Russia?
JR: Yes there is a long distance. But I think there is a lot of curiosity in Mexico about Russia - a lot of things in Russian history and culture. But also, it’s a different kind of country with the weather and language, but it’s a thing I consider fascinating about football: about the players but also about the people that is following the sport because with the help of things like the Confederations Cup and later on the World Cup, the people have the chance to know a little, or a lot about the countries that host these kinds of events.
There is a bond, a relationship, and also it is a relationship that is based in emotion and sport and peace and things like that so I think from the side of Mexico, there is a willingness to participate and also a willingness to see, to test the waters for the World Cup.
RT: Mexico became one of the stars of the last World Cup in 2014, will we see the same again at the 2018 World Cup?
JR: Well, let’s say, the teams that form each soccer representation depends on some strategies. Of course we are a year ahead of the World Cup and the technical directors of the teams need to test and need to find out how some players work best with other ones.
So it’s say a rehearsal and it’s important to mix the popular figures like Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez with other players in order to find out how the team is working, the chemistry between the team. I am looking forward to the selection that is going to be established for the championship and how they are going to play in this event in 2017.