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‘Vuce’ still determined as ever after reaching 1,000 match milestone

Rayados’ head coach wants to keep coaching (and winning) for the foreseeable future.

Monterrey v Atletico San Luis - Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Last Saturday, Rayados’ head coach Víctor Manuel Vucetich reached 1,000 matches coached at the top flight in Mexico when his club hosted Atlético de San Luis in their third match of the Clausura 2023, where the home side pulled away with a 3-1 victory. Out of those 1,000 matches... 877 have been Liga MX duties, 54 Copa MX, 52 CONCACAF duties, 6 Copa Libertadores, 5 Club World Cup, 4 Interliga, and 2 Mexican National Team matches.

It’s also worth noting his record in those matches is 419 wins, 289 draws, 292 losses, good for a 51.5% productivity rate. He’s now in unique company, as he’s become only the third head coach in Liga MX history to reach that milestone. The other two are Tuca Ferretti (1,209) and Nacho Trelles (1,081). There’s no denying the living legend that is Vucetich.

He started coaching in First Division in 1990, and in this 30+ year journey, his list of accolades is impressive to say the least and not seen often at all in Mexico; 5 Liga MX titles, 3 Copa MX titles, 3 CONCACAF Champions League titles, and 1 CONCACAF Cup Winners Cup title (now CONCACAF CL).

Now age 67, with so much success to his name and so much accomplished throughout his coaching career, it begs the question of how much longer he actually thinks of doing this, and more importantly, how much desire does he actually have to keep winning? That is in reality what every fan cares about the most every six months in Mexico.

In the postgame presser, ‘Vuce’ had this to say regarding his historic feat: “It’s a stat that makes me look back to when I started this career, and when I realize the road traveled, it’s a lot. It’s very comforting to have been able to travel the path in this way and overcoming the obstacles that have presented themselves along the way. I have to thank God immensely for this possibility I’ve had, and I have to continue along this same path.”

The best part, however, was his closing phrase: “It’s only been 1,000 games. Let’s see how many more we can have.” That statement was accompanied by a light chuckle.

While I can see him catching Ignacio Trelles in a couple years if he sustains this level of success and winning with Rayados, unfortunately for Vucetich, Ferretti is just too far away. He’d have to coach a few more years without Ferretti returning, which we know will be difficult, as Tuca has expressed his remaining desire to coach. But he could easily take over that number 2 slot, no questions asked.

But the biggest takeaway for any Rayado fan has to be the fact Vuce appears to still enjoy doing this. He doesn’t need the money or the fame, and has won everything a Mexican head coach can aspire to, and still wants to keep going. It’s worth admiring for sure. And it’s not like it’s charity work on the part of Monterrey’s front office giving this man a job. For Pete’s sake, he just led them to a 10 win, 35 point season (2nd in the league table). That’s any club’s dream season, so he still can coach (and win) at a very high level. He’s proven that.

And if he gets support from Manuel Filizola and ‘Tato’ Noriega in terms of signings and keeping this team strong, he can no doubt add to his already successful track record with the club. In the meantime, ‘Vuce’ will now look to win his 1,001st match as head coach when Rayados visit Puebla tomorrow night in the Cuauhtémoc.