SOCHI, Russian Federation, Jun 28 – Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio warned against underestimating a youthful Germany in Thursday’s Confederations Cup semi-final because of the wealth of experience many of them have already gained.
Of the eight teams at the tournament the Germans brought the youngest squad to Russia’s Confed Cup with an average age of just over 24.
Despite leaving their 2014 World Cup-winning stars at home, the Germans earned their semi-final place by topping their group after beating Australia and Cameroon and fighting back to draw 1-1 with South American champions Chile.
Osorio pointed out that the likes of Paris Saint-Germain’s Julian Draxler, 23, Liverpool’s Emre Can, 23, and Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi, 25, have already played in both the Bundesliga and Europe’s top leagues.
“You can be young and have a lot of experience,” said Osorio.
“A 30-year-old that starts studying cardiology will know a lot less than a 21 year old graduate, who already works in an emergency room in a big city and has already performed a lot of surgeries.
“Guys like Draxler and (Bayern Munich’s) Joshua Kimmich, have all played Champions League and have lots of Bundesliga experience, despite their ages.”
Osorio has chopped and changed the Mexico team for all three Confed Cup games so far.
Ex-Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez says whoever plays at Sochi’s Fisht Stadium will be capable of beating the world champions to reach Sunday’s final, against Portugal or Chile who meet in Wednesday’s other semi.
“I have been playing for two years in the Bundesliga, we need to see where their weaknesses are and where we can hurt them,” said Bayer Leverkusen striker Hernandez, who has started two of Mexico’s three games in Russia.
“But we’re focused on what we need to do, we don’t know who is going to play, it’s one of our qualities that anyone can come in and do the job.
“They are the world champions and we’re very happy to be in this match.”