Mexican Football Coach Miguel ‘Piojo’ Herrera Knows How to Celebrate a World Cup Win

Thousands gather to watch the first game of the Mexican National Team

Cardboard Miguel “Piojo” Herrera watches the game from the bench. Image by Débora Poo Soto, reserved rights by Demotix (June 13, 2014).

Mexican national football team defeated Croatia 3-1 in Recife at the World Cup on June 24, 2014. In contrast to the previous match during which goalkeeper Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa was the center of attention, many reactions were focused on the passion with which coach Miguel “Piojo” Herrera lived the game (piojo is the Spanish word for lice).

On Twitter, the sports account of USA Today shared this image:

The Guardian's sports section account named Herrera the new World Cup hero:

Also, the sports site TiempoReal (Real Time) referred to Herrera's fame:

Durante el Mundial, ‘El Piojo’ ha conseguido que su ‘descontrol’ sea conocido alrededor del mundo por la pasión con la que vive todos los encuentros del TRI, pues tras el segundo gol en la victoria 3-1 ante Croacia, explotó con Memo Ochoa, pues el pase estaba casi amarrado.

During the World Cup, “Piojo” has managed to make his “crazyness” known across the world because of the passion with which he lives every TRI match, given that after the second goal for the 3-1 victory over Croatia he exploded over Memo Ochoa because the pass was almost controlled.

Tri, short for Tricolor, is the name fans gave to their team because of their three-colored uniforms they use which resemble the country's national flag. Newspaper El País identified Herrera as the key factor in Mexico's victory:

Un México desatado tumbó a Croacia con todas las de la ley (3-1). El valiente Miguel Piojo Herrera se la jugó con un par de delanteros cuando el partido tenía que tomar rumbo mediada la segunda parte y a fe que le salió bien. A los mexicanos les valía el empate para clasificarse a la siguiente ronda pero en vez de echarse atrás y esperar en la cueva, Herrera mandó a los suyos al frente con una voracidad extraordinaria. Márquez marcó el primero de un cabezazo tras elevarse entre las torres croatas, una faena que remataron Guardado y Javier Chicharito Hernández, un invitado de última hora.

An unleashed Mexico knocked out Croatia with authority (3-1). Brave Miguel Piojo Herrera risked choosing two attackers when the match needed to be decided past the second half, and his faith was rewarded. A tie was enough for the Mexican team to get to the next round, but instead of playing defensively and wait behind, Herrera ordered its people to attack with an extraordinary drive. Márquez scored the first goal with the head after raising above the Croatian towers, a job finished by Guardado and Javier Chicharito Hernández, a last minute guest.

It was a sports victory that changed the focus of attention over the insulting and homophobic expressions of the Mexican fans at the stadiums during the Tri's matches. El Zappo, from the website Homzzaping, reported that such expressions will not be punished:

Por no considerarlo “insultante en este contexto específico”, la FIFA no sancionará a la Federación Mexicana de Futbol Asociación (Femexfut) por el grito de “puto” que aficionados realizaron partidos pasados.

For not considering it “insulting within this specific context”, FIFA will not sanction Mexican Football Federetion (Femexfut) for the “fag” shout that the fans used in past matches.

Regarding the decision, El Zappo added:

La investigación se inició después de que FARE, organización no gubernamental que lucha contra cualquier forma de discriminación en el futbol, señalara que la expresión es un insulto homófobo. Posteriormente, el Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación (Conapred) se sumaría a estas demandas asegurando que la palabra “puto” es una expresión de desprecio.

The investigation started after FARE, an non-government organization that fights any form of discrimination in football, pointed out that the expressión was an homophobic insult. Afterwards, the Nationa Counsil to Prevent Discrimination (Conapred) joined the demand sustaining the word “fag” was an expression of contempt.

Back to the sports issues, Mexico will face Netherlands on Sunday, June 29, 2014, in Castelão stadium in Fortaleza for its pass to the quarter final round. It is the first time since 2002 that the Mexican national football team succeeds on the elimination phase of the World Cup after achieving seven out of the nine points in game.

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