Netherlands Coach Louis van Gaal believes Mexico’s will to win will be a crucial factor in the nations’ World Cup meeting.
The sides meet later today in the Round of 16 and van Gaal has compared Mexico to Chile, who his side faced and beat in the group stage.
Chile pushed Brazil to the limit yesterday, taking the hosts to a penalty shootout before Brazil emerged victorious, and van Gaal sees a lot of similarities between La Roja and El Tri.
“Chile and Mexico play almost identically. They play according to their qualities and they are eager to win,” Marca reports van Gaal as saying.
“That desire to win is the best in football. Mexicans have even more desire to win than Chile and that is wonderful and important.
“Mexico can grow even more, as can all teams. My impression is that Mexican players are open to what their Coach says. They take it on and believe it.
“There’s not much difference between Chile and Mexico. But Chile have two excellent players that Mexico don’t, so that’s why Mexico are a better team.”
Van Gaal added that barring Leroy Fer, he has a full squad to pick from, but with five days to prepare for the game, the future Manchester United manager feels the Oranje are ready.
“We had plenty of time to prepare for Spain but against Chile and Australia it was more or less the same,” he said.
“We’ve had five days before Mexico and we allowed the players to take a day off to be prepared for a bit of everything.
“If we can progress further it shows their physical condition is very good. We’ve come a long way and we are happy to be at this level. But we can still grow.”