Martino: Liga MX transfer policies curb growth

Former Mexico coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino said Liga MX clubs’ transfer policy is preventing football from growing in the country.

Martino’s four-year stint as coach of El Tri ended after Mexico’s elimination at the group stages of the World Cup in Qatar.

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According to Martino, Liga MX clubs prefer to transfer their young stars to rival clubs for lucrative reasons instead of trying to place them in European teams, where they could improve.

“You can notice the business side too much,” Martino told Radio 780 Paraguay. “I’m not against the business side because we all live thanks to that and we couldn’t survive without it, but actually I like something more equitable.

“I understand that this is needed for this to continue growing, but don’t put aside the football side and that football also has a plan, and it is not only to profit but not to let football die because the business also dies.”

The Argentinian-born Martino said he discussed with Mexico Football Federation (FMF) president Yon de Luisa and other executives, the need to make changes to raise the standard of football in the country.

According to Martino, giving preference to the local market “damages” players “because they stay at home and they cannot reach their full potential.”

“In Europe probably everything works, in the United States as well,” Martino said. “I would recently speak a lot to De Luisa, [Gerado] Torrado, [Guillermo] Cantu, [Jaime] Ordiales about having an objective and for Mexico to have a clear idea of where it’s going; to work more with youth and that they can be transferred overseas and play in the elite.”

Martino said he struggled to understand how a player can be worth a certain amount of money yet not have any transfer value abroad.

“In Mexico something particular happens that there are internal sales from club to club of players that are worth eight or 10 million dollars and I can’t imagine that in Argentina, where it doesn’t happen but if it did, a player would be worth $10m internationally yet not have an international market.

“For me it’s a case of finding a balance, listening to people who know football and those that know about the business.”

Martino gave the example of Mexico international Cesar Montes.

Montes, 25, joined LaLiga side Espanyol from Monterrey in a €8m transfer on Jan.1.

“He is a great player, professional,” Martino said. “After playing at the World Cup, he joined Espanyol and is already a starter.

“This is the way a country can grow because it benefits the national team.”

Martino, meanwhile, admitted the tournament in Qatar was a failure for Mexico.

“It wasn’t the expected result,” he said. “it was a failure because Mexico had qualified for the knockout stages in seven previous World Cups and we didn’t achieve that.”

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