Mexico have a tough test against the Netherlands today, but Coach Miguel Herrera warned El Tri deserve respect.
The World Cup Round of 16 tie kicks off at 17.00 UK time (16.00 GMT) with Holland the undoubted favourites.
However, with Mexico, Costa Rica and USA in the last 16, the football landscape is changing.
“CONCACAF has grown,” insisted Herrera in a Press conference. “It should stop being seen as weak. We’re ready to fight toe-to-toe with other confederations.”
Dutch Coach Louis Van Gaal called for cooling breaks in Fortaleza and Herrera concedes the climate could help.
“The heat and humidity affects both teams but we might adapt better because we play in the same conditions at some places in Mexico.
“We also have Mexicans playing in Europe, though, so it is difficult for them to play in these conditions too. The team will give their all and hopefully the conditions will be in our favour.
“Mexicans will do everything possible to get to Brazil and to make us feel like a home team. We know they will create a very vibrant atmosphere and from the anthems on they make us feel proud.”
Juan Vazquez is suspended in midfield, so Herrera already confirmed Carlos Salcido will start instead and Manchester United forward Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez again on the bench.
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