Antonio Mohamed: A promise fulfilled

The picture of CF Monterrey coach Antonio Mohamed bursting in tears after the winning penalty shootout at the Mexico Apertura final vs. Club America was one of the stunning last moments of the past year. The match was held in December 30th, Monterrey went on to win her 5th Liga Mexicana title. But Mohamed’s tears weren’t only of joy. It was a personal fulfillment achieved.

Born in 1970 at Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mohamed started his football career in Velez Sarsfield before making an impact as a teenager at Huracan. He found a decent paying package in Toros Neza, a now-defunct second level Mexican Club and stayed there for five seasons before transferring to first class CF Monterrey. Despite scoring 12 goals in 50 matches he didn’t achieve anything, but his two seasons with the team was the best in his life, as he met his wife and gave birth to a son named Faryd.

After that Mohamed played another three years in Mexico before retiring in 2003, at the age of 33. Child Faryd had already made his choice, telling his father that he will always remain a loyal Monterrey fan. He actually acquired his father promise that someday he will return to Monterrey, obviously as a coach, to help the club win a title.

Unfortunately, Faryd was killed in a car accident during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.  Mohamed himself suffered severe injuries in the accident and was in danger of losing his leg. Mohamed never stopped blaming himself about this, as he promised his son a super birthday present, to travel in Germany and live the experience of a World Cup. But he said that, no matter how many years it would take, he was going to keep his promise, help Monterrey win a title.

After coaching for more than ten years in Mexico and Argentina, Mohamed grabbed his first chance of being CF Monterrey’s coach in February 2015. He led “Los Albiazules” to the championship finals two times: In May 2016 he lost the Clausura title by one goal from Pachuca and in December 2017 had the same fate, losing the title from arch-rivals Tigres UANL.

After two brief coaching periods at Spanish club Celta Vigo and Argentinian Huracan in 2019, Mohamed decided to return once more to Monterrey just before the Clausura beginning. The third time he reached the final was his lucky one. He admitted that after the last penalty, which secured the title, he looked up in the sky and though that his son’s soul will be happy, at last.

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