Less than 24 hours after being appointed interim manager of the Mexico national team, Chivas vice president Efrain Flores spoke exclusively to ManUtd.com...
So Manchester United will be the first visitors to Chivas’ new stadium?
That’s right. Everybody at Chivas is delighted to have Manchester United in town for our opening ceremony. We’re looking forward to meeting everybody involved with the club and we hope the game is a big success.
What prompted the change of ground?
It’s a way of saying thank you to the fans. The owners recognise the huge support that the Chivas fans give the team so they wanted to build a new stadium for them. It’s probably the best ground in Latin America. In my mind it’s similar to a lot of the stadiums in Europe – it’s very modern and very comfortable. For the players and the fans, I hope it will be like a party every game.
How popular are United in Mexico?
Manchester United are certainly one of the three or four most popular teams in the world. There are many fans here in Mexico – it’s fair to say United is on a par with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.
And now there’ll be even more Mexicans taking an interest in United…
Yes, definitely. When I mentioned Barcelona as one of the most popular clubs outside of Mexico that is largely because of [Mexican players] Rafael Marquez and Giovani dos Santos. But now, with Javier Hernandez playing at Old Trafford, you can bet United will pick up many, many new fans from Mexico.
Can Chicharito be successful in England?
Of course. He’s a very good player and he’s very young so he can still learn a lot. He has a very good character, is very skilful and his speed is always a problem for defenders. I think he has everything he needs to be a success in England.
He’s certainly different to a lot of English strikers…
Yes, but I think that’s why Sir Alex Ferguson was interested in him. He wanted something different and he liked what he saw in Chicharito. He’s not too strong and he’s not too tall, but he’s very quick and he’s very clever.