Every technical director who has passed through the Mexican team he usually leaves an essence in his groups, from controversies to sporting exploits. Manuel Lapuente He was one of the Mexican technicians who achieved outstanding achievements with the team.
He lived through two processes with the Tri when he took command of the national team and in his second stage at the head of the national team he participated in the France World Cup 1998. Although Mexico did not go to the famous “fifth game”, it did give some joy to the fans.
During the regular phase of the competition, the Tri de Lapuente showed determination against the rivals he faced. Part of the strategy of the former national team coach consisted of motivate your players with self-improvement movies and sportsmanship, so on one occasion he prepared the team with a film of Rocky Balboa, the figure of American cinema who played Sylvester Stallone.
Who was in charge of airing this anecdote was the sports journalist Fernando Schwartz. Former associate of Televisa shared the anecdote on the YouTube channel of Toño of Valdes. When Schwartz had the coverage of the Tri, inA study of the television station was established in the concentration of the national team to have a high coverage of their participation in the 98 World Cup.
It was like that approached Manuel Lapuente and discovered his facet as a “motivational coach” through film products. Prior to his commitment against Belgium, the coach of the Tricolor approached Fernando Schwartz to ask him about a american boxer movie, since their intention was to mentally prepare them to show that the rival had no potential to defeat them.
“They were going to play against Belgium and Lapuente told me: ‘Hey, I can’t get Rocky where the Russian is pissed off, I want them to see it so they can see that the high-class men from Belgium aren’t going to do anything to us”
Thanks to the means that the reporter from Televisa managed to get the video and give it to Manuel Lapuente for the whole club to see and get motivated before going out onto the Parc Lescure pitch.
Fernando Schwartz immediately contacted a producer from the Chapultepec television station to have the recording on time and give it to Lapuente.
“I had a satellite dish with a round trip to Mexico at the concentration. I spoke to Benjamín Hidalgo, ‘hey get yourself Rocky V in Blockbuster and send it to me. He sent it to me at dawn by satellite Y we gave it to Lapuente to show it to the playersSchwartz recalled.
That match Mexico managed to come back from a score of 2 – 0 against and finish it with a draw. During the first, those led by Lapuente lost with two annotations against him; but at minute 75 Ricardo Peláez made it 2-1 and later on Luis Hernandez The matador agreed 2 – 2.
The tie served to qualify for the round of 16 where they lost 2 – 1 against Germany.
As Fernando Schwartz recalled, he was in charge of accompanying the helmsman of the Tricolor to look for different inspirational films to work with the mental aspect of the players during the 98 World Cup.
“I had accompanied him here in Mexico to buy motivational films, one day he showed them how a friend survived 100 degrees below zero in a refrigerator, the resistance, the resilience,” he explained.
Although the participation of the Mexican team ended up being defeated by Germany, to 1999 Lapuente achieved the Confederations Cup by defeating Brazil, one of the favorite countries for the title, on the field of Aztec stadium.
Manuel Lapuente left the Tri in the year 2000 shortly after being eliminated from the Gold Cup in the quarterfinal phase.