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Say it ain’t so: Ferretti’s last regular season match as Tigres HC

The end of Tigres’ most successful era in franchise history is quickly coming to an end as Tuca Ferretti won’t be extended when his contract expires this summer.

Tigres UANL v Ulsan Hyundai FC - FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 Photo by David Ramos - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The end of an era is near for Tigres. But the thing is, it isn’t just any era; it’s their golden era. That’s right. For the past 11 years, we’ve seen nothing but high levels of competitiveness, success, titles, but more than anything, consistency. Despite Tigres not always obtaining the results they wanted during the regular season, rarely did they look bad on the pitch under Ferretti. There was always intensity, always a gameplan, and for better or worse, if any player dared to get funny, he was immediately taken out. Tuca simply wouldn’t have it.

Almost 11 years ago, a young 56-year-old Tuca Ferretti sat at his press conference alongside Miguel Ángel Garza as he promised the media hard work and commitment. And boy did he ever deliver. We stand here today, 5 league titles (7 league finals played), 1 CONCACAF CL title (4 CONCACAF CL finals played), 1 Copa MX title, and 1 Copa Libertadores final played later. If that doesn’t seem like much, since his arrival back in July 2010, Ferretti has managed Tigres for 20 full seasons (1 incomplete season due to COVID). Tigres reached the playoffs on 17 occasions. If they win tomorrow, he’ll make it 18 of 21. The last time they didn’t make the playoffs was the Clausura 2014; in other words, 12 straight seasons making the playoffs. This whole paragraph is simply unheard of for one head coach in Liga MX.

On Wednesday, Tuca confirmed during his press conference that the front office have decided to not extend his contract which expires at the conclusion of this season, meaning tomorrow could be Ferretti’s final game in charge of the yellow and blue. And indeed it could. The club left the city of Monterrey today to head to Guadalajara, where they’ll pay a visit to Vucetich and his suddenly surging Chivas. Both teams are tied in points (22), with Vuce’s squad owning a better goal difference.

The problem isn’t that the match isn’t winnable, but more like the amount of players that didn’t make the trip due to injuries. Tomorrow, Tigres will be without Nico López, Luis Quiñones, Jesús Dueñas, Hugo Ayala, Chaka Rodríguez, and now you can add Javier Aquino and Francisco Meza to that list as well. Seven players are out and Tigres will really be forced to call upon Gignac and Carlos González for production as they need the win in order to clinch a playoff berth. Anything but, leaves them in danger of missing out.

Whatever the result for Tigres tomorrow, what a run it’s been. What a story and what a team this was to watch being led by one of the greatest (if not THE GREATEST) head coaches in Liga MX history. Like him or not, that much can’t be argued. Now, ironically or not, he will be facing none other than Víctor Manuel Vucetich one more time in what could be his final match as Tigres head coach. Is this destiny’s way of being comedic or is it part of a bigger story? One thing is for sure; Gignac and company won’t let their head coach sail off into the night silently. Chivas better be ready for a war tomorrow in Estadio AKRON. Does it get any better than this?