Club America head coach Ricardo LA Volpe (pictured) looks on during his team's FIFA Club World Cup match for third place against Atletico Nacional on December 18, 2016, in Yokohama, Japan. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, Japan – Club America head coach Ricardo La Volpe was satisfied by his team’s showing at the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup (FCWC). The seven-time CONCACAF champion played three games in the competition, posting a 1W-1D-1L record, ultimately falling on penalty kicks to Colombia’s Atletico Nacional in the match for third place.
It was the second time that the Aguilas finished fourth in the FCWC in three attempts.
“They (the players) have to be of conscience because we won the first game (Jeonbuk Hyundai), lost the second against an opponent (Real Madrid) we all knew was the strongest,” said La Volpe after the Atletico Nacional encounter. “The performance is acceptable because today they once again showed that the team is competitive. They weren’t defeated in the 90 minutes against ones of the strongest teams there is in South America. We showed character, mentality. We didn’t get our heads down. The team found itself down 2-0 and did not get desperate.”
The Argentine manager also believes that despite a long trip back to Mexico from Japan, Club America should be rested and ready for the first leg of the 2016 Liga MX Apertura final against visiting Tigres on Thursday.
“Physiologically, the human body adapts,” La Volpe remarked. “We are going to have some rest on Monday and Tuesday. It’s logical. The team is mentally good because today they were being beaten and they had a reaction and effort. That gives you morale because third place was lost, not because of the opponent’s superiority, but by penalties, which are like a coin flip.”
Club America has won 12 Mexican league titles, but none since the 2014 Apertura.