CF Pachuca enjoy and learn during Future Cup: 'Today, we’re better than yesterday'

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Header Pachuca 1280 2

Since the summer of 2022, Ajax and CF Pachuca have been working together to share knowledge and talent development. The Mexican club participated in the Future Cup at sports complex De Toekomst during Easter weekend. This a wonderful milestone in the collaboration. "It's an honour for us to be here."


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Pachuca's participation marks the first time in history that a Mexican team joins in the prestigious youth tournament for U17 teams. Corné Groenendijk, manager of the Ajax Coaching Academy, is glad that the collaboration is taking this shape. "It’s wonderful to see that we can reach our international network by finding opponents like these and to gain more insight on the development of youth football in Mexico, a great football land. The participation of Pachuca at the Future Cup is an amazing milestone in the collaboration between both clubs."

A large delegation travelled from Latin America to Amsterdam. Amongst them was Alan Calleja, the club's Director of Football. Calleja is positive about the partnership with Ajax so far. During his visit to the Future Cup, he speaks positively and ambitiously about future plans. "The partnership with Ajax is great, both in sports and in education. We think it’s fantastic to receive Ajax's specialists in Mexico and the other way around. This creates an exchange of ideas and philosophies that benefits us both."

Fidel Martínez Garcia, coach of the Mexicans U17 team, is also positive about the partnership. "It fits like a glove", the manager says. He sees a lot of similarities between the two clubs. "To raise talent and work hard on our youth teams."

Edson Álvarez and Jorge Sánchez are currently the two Mexicans who play for Ajax its first team. Something Calleja wants to see more of. "We want to send players who are successful in Mexico, to Amsterdam. We also want, although we have the best youth academy in Mexico and that we've won the league with our first team, to improve ourselves in all aspects so we can be at our best in Europe. It's important for us that we educate our youth players so that more of them will start playing in Europe. We are self-critical and continue to evaluate ourselves to grow."

"It's an honour for us to be here", Calleja continues while he walks around the Futre Cup. "We are proud to play against these incredible teams at such a high level." Pachuca was put in Group A and played against host Ajax (0-2 loss), titleholder Juventus (1-2 loss) and another debutant: Borussia Mönchengladbach (3-2 victory). In the last match against the Germans, the Mexicans secured a victory in a spectacular duel. "We won against a very tough opponent and we've shown who we are to other excellent teams", the Director of Football concluded.

'A wonderful experience' the coach calls it. Despite the fact that the results do not completely fit into the expectations of the club, Garcia puts it in perspective. "It’s very different from Latin America. The pace, the intensity and the physical aspect are very different. This experience helps the development of these young players. Such a tournament with these opponents, and visiting an Ajax 1 match is incredible. I'll return to Mexico satisfied, despite the loss. Today, I am better than I was yesterday. This is because of everything we learned and experienced here", according to a content Garcia.

The battle for the seventh and eighth place was lost 2-1 to Chelsea. Despite that, players Gael Alvarez and Santiago Amador look back at an amazing tournament. "It’s an honour to play against clubs like these", Alvarez starts. He scored against Borussia Mönchengladbach. "That was an intense match." Goalkeeper Amador considers the victory against the Germans wonderful. The Mexicans were behind but ended the match winning 3-2. "We kept our heads high and fought for each other. We felt united as a family, which resulted in us keeping our lead."

Amador travels back to his home country with the fresh memory of a stopped penalty. Something he had never done in Mexico. "It was the first time I ever left my country, and to stop a penalty from going in is incredible. It's rather cold here tough", he says while laughing. "But the food was great." Alvarez liked Amsterdam, he says. "It’s a gorgeous city and a great trip in general. I have a lot to think about in Mexico and a lot to tell to my teammates who did not join."

On the eve of the final day, Pachuca got a pleasant surprise in the hotel.
Edson Álvarez, who briefly played at Pachuca during the start of his career, visited the team and technical staff. "It was a huge motivation", coach Garcia says. "He knows what the club represents and what we do. He is an example to the boys."

The Ajax player his visit resulted in happy faces and wonderful moments in the hotel. Alvarez took the words of his namesake to heart. "He told us about his experience in Mexico and everything you need to do to join Ajax. 'Fight for your dreams' was his message. His words help us to grow."

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Ajax and CF Pachuca to work together

Ajax and CF Pachuca join forces. Both parties will cooperate in the field of knowledge and talent development. In the presence of Klaas Jan Huntelaar, the cooperation was signed off this week in the Johan Cruijff ArenA.


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