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Media back on Sanchez bandwagon

June 29, 2007|Jaime Cardenas | Times Staff Writer

It didn't take long for the Mexican media to forgive Hugo Sanchez.

Three days after being labeled a failure, Sanchez is now hailed as a hero after Mexico's impressive 2-0 win over Brazil on Wednesday in its first game at the Copa America tournament. One newspaper's headline read: " 'Hugo Sanchez for President!' "

The fact that the media in Mexico has done a 180-degree turn is not surprising, but the speed of the turnaround was.

On Monday, after Mexico's 2-1 loss in the Gold Cup final to the U.S., many news outlets in Mexico were ready to call for Sanchez's resignation if his team didn't perform well during the next three weeks at Copa America in Venezuela.

But after witnessing how convincingly El Tri dominated the Brazilians, the Mexican media changed its tune Thursday.

"It was one small step for the national team, one giant leap for Hugo Sanchez," wrote ESPNDeportes columnist David Faitelson, who Monday blasted the coach for maybe alienating some of the players on the team.

"That's how we like it," Ovaciones said. "Our national team beat Brazil 2-0 with authority."

El Record, which on Monday gave Sanchez an "F" said, "Last night, Hugo Sanchez's national team finally came alive."

There was no shortage of niceties being given to the coach.

El Universal reported that the euphoria of the victory spilled out to El Angel de Independencia -- a place in Mexico City where fans of the Mexican team usually celebrate World Cup victories, not group-stage victories in Copa America. The newspaper reported that about 600 people showed up at the Angel of Independence statute.

One fan, during the post-game celebration, suggested that Sanchez should run for president of Mexico.

"Are you sure of what you are saying?" the reporter asked. "It never crossed your mind that he should resign as coach of the national team?"

"Never," responded the fan. "Only with larger than life personalities does one grow. Hugo has shown to be just that, and the players are beginning to understand. So I repeat, 'Mexico for Copa America Champions and Hugo Sanchez for President!' "

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jaime.cardenas@latimes.com

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