Ajaccio stopper Guillermo Ochoa believes being the first Mexican goalkeeper to feature in one of Europe’s top leagues comes with responsibility.
The 28-year-old feels his trajectory is being watched closely by European teams and, if he is successful, Ochoa hopes more doors will open for Mexican goalkeepers in the Old Continent.
“I’m the first goalkeeper to play in Europe, the first that is looking to open up the path and I want to convince people here to believe more in Mexican goalkeepers and look more to the Mexican market,” said Ochoa in an interview with El Informador. “Here in France, they look more to Africans leagues than our football.”
On the flip side, Ochoa believes Mexicans in Europe are undervalued back home, something he struggles to come to terms with.
“It is strange because in Mexico you hear that leaving for Europe is a dream, the goal of every player,” said Ochoa. “But when it doesn’t suit people, they say the opposite, that in Mexico there is the same quality.”
“It isn’t easy, (getting people to) value what is done over here is still lacking,” he added.
Ochoa also spoke of the risk he took in leaving America to join Ajaccio and said he doesn’t regret the decision, adding that he has improved all-round as a ‘keeper, even if he hasn’t been able to nail down Mexico’s No. 1 spot as was widely predicted after the last World Cup.