Mexico's Franco eager to get the party started

JOHANNESBURG Wed Jun 9, 2010 5:20pm IST

Mexico's Guillermo Franco celebrates after scoring against Costa Rica during their World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Ricardo Saprissa stadium in San Jose, September 5, 2009. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

Mexico's Guillermo Franco celebrates after scoring against Costa Rica during their World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Ricardo Saprissa stadium in San Jose, September 5, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Juan Carlos Ulate

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Mexican striker Guillermo Franco is itching to run on the pitch for the opening match of the World Cup on Friday against hosts South Africa.

"It's a blessing from God, not everyone has the opportunity to kick off the World Cup and we're aware that millions of people will be watching," he told reporters on Wednesday.

Among those watching the Group A game pitchside at 1400GMT in Soccer City could be 91-year-old Nelson Mandela though the former South African president has made very few public appearances in recent months.

South African president Jacob Zuma and Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderon are expected to attend.

"People who have made history such as Mandela will be there, people who have brought so much to society and to humanity," the Argentine-born naturalised Mexican said.

Franco added he was impressed by the effort made to hype up the June 11-July 11 tournament, where Mexico will also face France and Uruguay in the group stages.

"The whole world and all of Mexico is throwing itself into this event and for us this is so important. We know what a big deal it is to represent our country," he added.

Franco is among a number of players not assured a starting place in Javier Aguirre's team but with seven goals in 21 appearances he could feature. (Writing by Tom Pilcher; Editing by Jon Bramley)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

U.S. OPEN

REUTERS SHOWCASE

No Instant Fix

No Instant Fix

United's Van Gaal says Di Maria won't provide instant fix.  Full Article 

Steady Comeback

Steady Comeback

Swimming - Culture change helps Australia out of deep end.  Full Article 

F1 Collision

F1 Collision

FIA will take no action against Rosberg.  Full Article 

Injury Woes

Injury Woes

Boxer Vijender Singh out of Asian Games.  Full Article 

Lanka vs Pakistan

Lanka vs Pakistan

Mathews, Perera star as Sri Lanka square series.  Full Article 

Ban Lifted

Ban Lifted

Bangladesh lift ban on all-rounder Shakib.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage