24 de Noviembre del 2018 5:15 pm.
In a recent interview with TDN, Santos Laguna President Alejandro Irarragorri offered insight behind the teaser of the new Liguilla social media campaign #YaMeVII, aimed at uniting people around the idea of Santos’ seventh title, at the face of round 17’s game against Pumas.
“Within all of humanity’s great achievements, somebody dreamed them,” he began. “And so we’re here inside the team with this great illusion, with that dream and the power to be back-to-back champions. The football that we are playing makes us dream of that seventh championship, so that’s the reason behind the play on roman numerals.
“(VII) is for the (Spanish) word "Ví", (past tense from the verb "to see") and the implication that this would be a back to back championship (“Bi”). From there we started to build the idea of these seven games remaining (one final game of the 2018 Apertura’s regular phase vs. Pumas and the six games up for dispute in the Liguilla: three home-and-away series including the quarterfinals, semifinals and the final). These seven games also come together (with the aspirations for the seventh championship) to form VII.”
When asked about the implications of the 2018 Apertura tournament in the face of challenges, Irarragorri credited the collective effort of the institution, which is based on a 360 degree-focus of its people.
“I think you have to divide it into two parts,” he said. “Santos is distinguished by being a winning team with a collective effort, made up of great individuals. But the collective is the most important. (For example), before the departure of three important players: (Nestor) Araujo, our captain (Carlos Izquierdoz) and Djaniny (Tavares), our sports intelligence department had already foreseen these possible changes - apart from following the growth of players within our youth teams and the whole team in general. And clearly who you have as the head coach is extremely important, but the fundamental part of all of it lies in our working group which operates under the idea of that 360-degree focus on the people.”
Throughout the entire tournament, Los Guerreros have remained undefeated at Estadio Corona, have had two players in the top five league-leading goal scorers, boast the third-best defense, and lead in fair play. As the current Liga MX champions approach the end of their regular season campaign, Irarragorri says the focus on achieving the club’s seventh title begins with this Sunday’s game against Pumas.
“For us the regular tournament is over; the FIFA date marked that end. We know what we want to achieve for us, for our families, for the fans, all the people who work in the institution, and for the wonderful region that we represent. It has to be captured minute-by-minute within the next seven games and it is in our hands to play them, so this round 17 match for us is the first confrontation on our path to be able to be champions for the seventh time in the league, and be able to re-live the championship of the previous tournament.”
Since Irarragorri assumed the reigns of Club Santos Laguna in 2006, the team has won four league titles (2008, 2012, 2015, 2018), a Copa MX title (2014), and the 2015 Campeón de Campónes, disputed in Dallas, Texas. It currently boasts a league- best average for titles won in the last 11 years.