ES: What were your Sports ambitions as a child
CR: Since I can remember, I dreamed of being a soccer player. I lived very close to the Bombonera Stadium of my beloved team Toluca F.C., and always snuck into the stadium to see the training. I made good friendships with many of the players at that time.
ES: Tell me about some youth Soccer experiences
CR: A sad but true story that happened to me in Soccer, was when I got kicked out of Toluca at the age of 15. I only lived to train and play, unfortunately the coach did not seem to think I was a good player and took me off the team. I cried for days, until I started to wonder why I had been released, and then analyzed the situation with a calmer attitude. I decided to go back to training on my own, on all of my deficiencies to become a more complete player.
I went to play for the team, Neza Coyotes, and the truth is that I became a much improved player, and that allowed me to return to my beloved team of Toluca. I Always tried to meet my limitations, with total dedication on the field, was very pleased that I never was taken off a team again for lack of ability.
ES: What successes did you have in your youth soccer experiences ?
CR: Actually my successes as a player were few and far between. The truth is I have been fortunate as a Coach to have had wonderful experiences with some fantastic groups of disciplined young players. It certainly was an amazing experience, and satisfaction as a coach.
ES: How about Youth Selection for State and/or Country?
CR: As I mentioned before, I had a few great achievements as a player, but I was the only player selected in my state, to have the amazing experience of playing in the many local and national tournaments. I remember playing against the Urawa Japan Youth Team. This was an amazing memory in my childhood.
ES: The FIFA Coaching Course experience
CR: Just about when I was playing better, and bringing more to the team in which I was playing, unfortunately I had to retire from active football for personal family reasons, when I was 24 years old.
This was a major decision in my life and I admit that I had a hard time adjusting to leaving the world of professional Soccer. The truth is that it took me a bit of getting used to, not to train, much less not play, but I knew I had to find ways to stay tied to the game I loved, so one day I accepted the invitation to coach a women’s team.
I found that I enjoyed trying to convey some knowledge to others. I decided that If I wanted to do this, I should try and gain as much knowledge as possible, so while reading the newspaper one day, I read about the opportunity to enter the National School of Technical Directors.
I formed some amazing friendships, and am grateful for the support of my companions. It was great to realize that first title of Instructor, and then as Assistant Coach, Professional Trainer, and then ultimately the Title of Professional Technical Director
ES: What advice and guidance do you have for the younger players that enter into your soccer academy?
CR: Today we see many first division players here in Mexico that have a profession after their career is over, and for me it is an important factor that we make sure that all young people who aspire to participate in professional sports, maintain their studies.
Sadly we see stories of some great players as well, who have stopped playing, and didn’t have the adequate preparation for the after-sports life.
Coaches need to help prepare their players in every way, to help them overcome the obstacles that arise along the way.
ES: What is the best game you’ve ever seen in the stadium?
CR: Without a doubt in my mind, the best game I ever saw was the final between Toluca and Necaxa in the old Bombanera Stadum, now known as Nemesio Diez Stadium. The stadium was filled to capacity, and Toluca had not won a championship in Twenty-Three years.
It was the second game of the home and away Championship, and after a few minutes Necaxa had increased their lead to 3-1. Later on the lead was 4-2, but the fans stood behind the team, and heroically, Toluca tied the game, and then scored two more goals to win by an aggregate score of 6-4.
It was an incredible experience and honor to watch that team led by Prof. Enrique Meza, and players like Estay, Ruiz, Rangel, Cardozo, Abundis, amongst others. This was the best game I have ever seen, and I believe it will be hard to see another one like it.