TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – When it comes to winning finals, one would be hard pressed to find a player with a better trophy-lifting pedigree than Junior Izaguirre.
The former defender earned seven domestic titles with Motagua and the club holds a very special place in his heart. It is no surprise to see that Izaguirre beams with pride at the fact that the club are in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League Final against Saprissa of Costa Rica in which the Ticos own a 1-0 edge on aggregate heading into Tuesday’s second leg.
“I’m happy to see the team that gave me the opportunity to be in the club so many years, that gave me the possibility to achieve very many wonderful things, championships, unforgettable moments,” said Izaguirre in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com. “I’m happy to see the team fighting in an international final.”
Like every Motagua fan on the planet, it was disappointing to see the club fall just short in last year’s Final against Herediano (3-2 on aggregate)
“I think, above all, Motagua played a great tournament, they played a great final. You also have to praise Herediano for playing a great final, and those matches, those finals are decided by the smallest of details,” said Izaguirre.
With that memory fresh in the minds of all, Izaguirre stressed that if Motagua can stay focused on the task at hand on Tuesday, they can claim the title.
“Motagua needs to keep playing the way they have been playing, with all of the desire to seek the result and win, to not get desperate, to take care of all of the footballing details and be focused for all 90 minutes of the match,” said Izaguirre.
As the winner of seven domestic titles, there is no better person to speak to the keys of winning a Final.
“You have to have concentration, desire, effort, the fight, the hunger to be able to play that final and win it, to be convinced that you can win it and transmit that throughout the team,” said Izaguirre.
Helping Motagua is the fact that they defeat Marathon in the Honduran Apertura playoffs on Friday. Izaguirre believes that win will provide a confidence boost.
“It’s always good to come off a good result, to win away in San Pedro, it is a tough opponent, a good team and they won, so they come in with more motivation on Tuesday,” said Izaguirre.
Among all the finals won by Izaguirre in his illustrious career, the 2001 final against Marathon stands out because of his hat-trick, but at the end of the day it is the fact that he helped Motagua win another trophy that makes every title special.
“All of them are special, all of them are unforgettable, it is what every player desires, what every fan wants, so all of them are special. Maybe one is more special because I had the blessing of scoring three goals in that 2001 final against Marathon, but all of the titles I won were unforgettable and it hard to describe the joy one feels to raise a cup,” concluded Izaguirre.