Celso Ortiz (red jersey) is key addition for Monterrey ahead of the 2016/17 season. (Photo courtesy of CF Monterrey)
MONTERREY, Mexico – Monterrey midfielder Celso Ortiz says that he is already feeling right at home with the Rayados as they continue preparations for the 2016 Liga MX Apertura and the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
After seven seasons with the Netherlands’ AZ Alkmaar, where he appeared in 28 UEFA Europa League games, the Paraguay international was the first signing made by head coach Antonio Mohamed during the current offseason.
“The truth is that everyone has have spoken to me well, since the moment that it was said that I was going to come,” Ortiz said. “The people and the fans gave me all the support. That helped me and gives me every confidence that I am coming to a very big club.”
The 27-year-old is already targeting the 2016 Liga MX Apertura crown, following a campaign that saw Monterrey reach May’s Clausura final, only to fall narrowly to Pachuca, 2-1 on aggregate. Domestic play kicks off on July 16 at home against Puebla, while the pursuit of a fourth SCCL crown starts on August 3 with a visit to Haiti’s Don Bosco FC.
“Unfortunately, [the Liga MX title] slipped through our hands,” commented Ortiz, who played in all three of Paraguay’s games at the recently-completed Copa America Centenario. “I say it got away from us because I already feel like a Rayado, but now all you can think about is what is this season is going to be and try to go out as champions.”
Ortiz knows Monterrey is a club that has experienced tremendous success and, as a result, ambitions are high.
“The truth is that I am very happy to come to such a great club,” he finished. “I hope that the expectations we have are going to go well for us.”