MIAMI, Florida – There are still many years left in the career of FW Rogelio Funes Mori, but at age 29 he has already accomplished many things, including domestic titles in Portugal and a Liga MX title with Monterrey.
However, when the Argentine thinks about his crowing achievement thus far, all signs point toward the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League when Monterrey downed city rivals Tigres UANL.
“Without a doubt the SCCL was one of the greatest achievements in my career here at Rayados because of what it meant, its significance of being an international tournament and that it qualifies you for the [FIFA] Club World Cup,” said Funes Mori in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com. “Also, the fact that the club was able to defeat our long-time rival Tigres was important, so without a doubt it was one of the most important in my career.”
Any time there is a Clasico Regiomontano between Monterrey and Tigres, there is an electricity that reverberates within the city. Funes Mori acknowledges that the Monterrey players felt that pressure leading up to the two legs.
“Obviously when you play an international final against your main rival, there is pressure, it generates pressure, but once the referee blows the whistle, that pressure goes away and you try to do as best as possible on the field of play,” said Funes Mori.
For Monterrey, it was a fourth SCCL title in just five appearances in the tournament. There is no doubt that when a player suits up for Rayados in the SCCL, they know that the expectations are high.
“The Champions League is a cup that is very prestigious and one that Rayados have always approached with a lot of responsibility, of wanting to win it, of wanting to represent your city, your country. There is no question that at the international level, Rayados have done things very well and have represented the country very well,” said Funes Mori.
By winning the 2019 SCCL, Monterrey also appeared in their fourth FIFA Club World Cup and finished in Third Place. Yet it was a narrow 2-1 semifinal defeat to 2018-19 UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool, in which Funes Mori scored the Monterrey goal, that the former River Plate man wishes he could play again.
“I would want to play the Liverpool match again, because it is such an important match and you never know when you might get to play it. I got to enjoy it as a player and we represented Mexico at the highest level. It was a match that the whole world watched and it would be really nice to play it again,” said Funes Mori.
On a personal level, Funes Mori enjoys his free time with family and friends and likes to make the most of Monterrey’s sunny weather by cooking and spending time outdoors. His affinity for grilling is so much that if he were not a footballer, he would try to open his own barbecue establishment.
“When I was very little I always wanted to play football, but if I hadn’t achieved that, I would have liked to have had a barbecue place because I like to grill and cook out, so if I wasn’t in football, I would try to have a barbecue,” said Funes Mori.
Like everyone else in the Concacaf region, Funes Mori is doing his part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home and maintaining good social distance. The Argentine also extended his appreciation to all of the tireless health care workers and medical professionals.
“We know that it is a difficult moment in which we are living, so the only way in which I can help is remaining at home and respecting the people who have to go out and work,” concluded Funes Mori.