- The arrival of Florian Thauvin at the Tigres de Monterrey, alongside André-Pierre Gignac, has aroused enthusiasm in Mexico.
- La Liga MX, lucrative, of a good level and rather spectacular, can allow the Marseillais to follow in the footsteps of his glorious elder.
In his child’s room, Florian Thauvin had probably not posted a poster of the Mexican legend Cuauhtémoc Blanco, the specialist
suddenly the toad during the 1998 World Cup. However, the Marseille striker chose to join the Liga MX rather than extend a contract ending with OM or go to the Premier League, at Crystal Palace.
Obviously, despite the André-Pierre Gignac case law, quite happy to have attracted his friend to the Tigres de Monterrey, some sorrowful spirits coughed. For a world champion of only 28 years old, going into exile in the country of Salma Hayek would amount, according to them, to a kind of early retirement, less the starting pot. Even if Thauvin has already moved away from the Blues without leaving France, since his tenth and last selection dates back almost two years, on June 11, 2019 in Andorra (0-4). This condescension gently smiles the Franco-Mexican journalist Diego Tonatiuh Calmard, correspondent of Opposite skylight and So Foot.
– Club Tigres Oficial 🐯 (@TigresOficial) May 7, 2021
“Already there is the money. For Gignac as for Thauvin, Tigres offered more than Marseille. Then, it’s far from being a bad championship. Let’s talk big bucks first. In Monterrey, Flotov will palpate five million euros per year, for a five-season contract. According to Provence, a clause would however allow him to leave at the end of each exercise, if the epic turned short as for Andy Delort and Timothée Kolodziecjzak.
“An incredible country”
“Being paid five million in Mexico is not the same as in France,” continues Diego Tonatiuh Calmard. Life is cheaper. There are regions with a lot of violence, but when you have enough money and you can live in a “safe” neighborhood, it’s an incredible country, in terms of culture, food, sense of party and hospitality. “
That said, Thauvin did not only cross the Atlantic to fill his bank account and update the Backpacker’s Guide. Let’s talk about sport: “I would say that the level is roughly similar to the Dutch or Portuguese championships, judges the journalist. Maybe you don’t have a team like Ajax or Porto, but Liga MX becomes homogeneous very quickly. In France, if you put Tigres or America in Ligue 1, it fights for the Europa League. And in bad L1 seasons, one of these clubs can manage to grab third place. “
Since the start of the Gignac era in 2015, seven different teams have shared nine domestic titles, between opening and closing championships (Pachuca, Tigres, Chivas, Santos, Club América, Monterrey, Léon). We are far from Munich’s “tyranny” in the Bundesliga. There is suspense, even if the hierarchy in the long term is more defined. “We can talk about four great historical clubs, details Diego Tonatiuh Calmard. There are three of them in Mexico City, with America, which is the biggest, one of the richest, the most arrogant too, with a lot of supporters, but also Cruz Azul and the Pumas. And then Chivas in Guadalajara. “
Achille Emana has precisely evolved in Cruz Azul (2013-2015), during his travels which led him from TFC in Spain, via Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Japan and India. In 2014, six years before Gignac, the Cameroonian globetrotter won the Concacaf Champions League, planting a hat-trick – “the first of my career” – for his first match.
“On Instagram, I have lots of supporters who ask me to come back”, smiles the inexhaustible midfielder (39 years old on June 5) free from any contract, who trains with a physical trainer in his Sevillian home, while waiting to find a final challenge. “I played in Cruz Azul but also in Cancún [avec le club de l’Atalante CF en 2015] and frankly, I had fun. Sometimes people in France have a bad idea of the Mexican league. But each championship has its specificities. In Ligue 1 or in Italy, the game is rather closed. In Mexico, it’s open, like in Spain. All the teams try to play good football. “
Diego Tonatiuh Calmard nods:
Here, a Dijon – Metz which ends on a 0-0 with barely five shots on each side, that does not exist. The championship is not very strong defensively. So yes, we can say that Ligue 1 is better, but Liga MX is more interesting to follow. It’s a bit like the Premier League of Latin America, with many internationals from Argentina, Colombia and Chile. “
Not sure that the comparison with England thrills Thauvin, whose time in Newcastle remains as unmemorable as that of Jérémy Ménez at Club América.
Tigers, concrete finances
In popularity deficit compared to its rivals, the Tigers have decided to put the package to shine at the national and continental level. “For ten years, Tigres and Monterrey, the big rival of the city which we also call the“ Rayados ”, are in the process of making their place, they win a lot of titles. These are two very economically supported clubs. Tigres is the club of the State University of Nuevo León, but above all a construction company, Cemex, which invests colossal sums. “
If, unlike the clubs of the capital, those of Monterrey arouse at best a polite indifference in the rest of Mexico, the derby generates an overflowing passion in the third city of the country (1.1 million inhabitants), located in the northeast, not far from the United States border.
This atmosphere left only good memories to Achille Emana. “For the supporters, I put Brazil first, then Spain and Argentina, and Mexico in fourth position,” said former TFC Pitchoun. When people like a club, they are all behind it whether they win or not. Gignac, I can tell you that he is happier today in Mexico than in Toulouse or Marseille! “
For the former teammate of “Dédé” in Toulouse, there is no doubt, “Thauvin will have fun if he takes things seriously. If he does not let himself be distracted by life outside, he will have fun ”. We do not know if, in 2022, a slew of Florian will emerge in the mentalities of Monterrey. But the old Bastiais leaves with a a priori favorable, while remaining shrouded in mystery, according to Diego Tonatiuh Calmard.
Thauvin, a little-known star?
“The supporters reacted very well to his arrival. But it is especially the French side and the World Cup label that makes it there because most Mexicans did not know this player. Ligue 1 is hardly watched and casually, Thauvin has no reference matches in the France team or in the European Cup. It is a surprise to many Tigers fans that this player has been world champion. They went to the Internet to see. “
They may also have listened to the coach of their rivals the “Rayados”. Asked by Fox Sports Mexico, Javier Aguirre praised “an extraordinary player” and an arrival which “gives prestige to Mexican football”. With a championship of a good level without being extraordinary and defenses sometimes as generous as the salaries paid, Thauvin may have found Eldorado, like Gignac before him …