“My team has come here to play football, not make friends and do some sightseeing,” Aguirre told a heaving press room on Thursday in the confines of the enormous Soccer City stadium that resembles a giant African pot.
In less than 24 hours the two countries will meet there for the World Cup’s opening game.
“I don’t think the team with more friends in the stadium will win the match,” he said, speaking of the amazing show of patriotic support all over South Africa that has left Johannesburg’s streets awash with noise and colour.
“I’ve also played one at home so I know exactly what it feels like. I think it’s going to be a beautiful party and we’re happy to be here. We want to play well and win the match,” added the 51-year-old, who played in the 1986 tournament and was sent off in the quarter-final defeat on penalties to Germany.
Mexico have a poor record whenever they have featured in an opening game but Aguirre thinks his troops will fare better this time around.
“Of course there’s a lot of emotion playing the opening game but once you overcome all the butterflies in your stomach I‘m sure Mexico will play very well.”
The result of any team’s first group match is never decisive but Mexico will hope for a good result given they face former winners France and Uruguay in their other Group A matches.
Editing by Jon Bramley; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org