Rogelio Funes Mori is officially no longer a part of Rayados’ roster and is actually no longer in the city of Monterrey altogether. The striker was stopped by cameras and microphones at the airport earlier today on his way to Mexico City to join his new club commanded by manager Gustavo Lema.
As to why he decided to leave the blue and white, he appears to place the blame fully on the front office, who explicitly told him his future wasn’t with them. He also mentions the fact that while he disagrees with their decision, he respects it fully and understands that’s the way football works. In short, the remainder of his contract would’ve played out with the club and he would’ve become a free agent. He just decided to speed things up and make the change now. The full soundbite is below for you to witness.
Últimas palabras de Funes Mori antes de ir a CDMX.pic.twitter.com/rjC4DEPS3B— Soy Rayado (@SomosRayados) January 8, 2024
He arrived for the start of the Apertura 2015, the same season Rayados made the switch to the Estadio BBVA. His stint with La Pandilla lasted a total of 8 and a half years (17 seasons, 1 cut short due to COVID pandemic). During that span, he recorded 160 goals (club record), won 5 titles (1 Liga MX, 2 Copa MX, 2 CONCACAF Champions League), and made 328 total appearances. He arrived a youngster aged 24 with a bright future and leaves a 32-year-old seasoned veteran looking to close out his career in style.
While he did score some amazing goals and recorded amazing numbers with the club, it’s no secret his production had been in decline for at least a couple years, if not a bit more. His inconsistencies on the pitch were apparent, struggling to appear in key moments and failing to make a difference when it counted most. He’s been part of a group of players who’ve failed to reach their expectation on both a personal level as well as a collective one, helping the club win a title, and have done so embarrasingly at times, such as this past season’s exit to the hands of Atlético San Luis, where the team appeared to walk around with their head chopped off, as they have done many times before.
What’s next for Funes Mori?
His new club, Pumas UNAM, await. Following their solid performance from last season, Gustavo Lema will look to build on that and return Pumas to the place many believe they belong, but just haven’t done so consistently over the past couple decades: winning titles. And they believe they’ve gotten their ace in the hole in Funes Mori, who’ll replace a departing Juan Ignacio Dinenno in favor of Cruzeiro in Brazil. Whether the Argentine can carry the load for Lema remains to be seen.
What’s next for Rayados?
If ‘Tato’ Noriega and company are truly serious about turning this thing around, they’ve only just begun with the rebuild (or retooling) phase. Funes Mori should be the first of a few who should be on the shortlist for a potential transfer due to poor performance on the pitch, such as Joao Rojas, ‘Ponchito’ González, Stefan Medina, and others.
In terms of his replacement, Germán Berterame appears to be the next man up along with newly acquired Brandon Vázquez, making his arrival straight from MLS club FC Cincinnati, where he scored 35 goals in 4 years. Rodrigo Aguirre might also be in the mix, but he’s proven to be somewhat inconsistent.
But if anything, Noriega is sending his players a message stating nobody is safe, not even the club’s highest historic goalscorer. Whether or not he gets the rest of the team to fall in line remains to be seen, but the Funes Mori move was a necessary one for Monterrey to move into their next chapter in search of a higher league title success rate.