Mexico goalkeeper Ochoa calls for more competition in regional leagues

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Mexico goalkeeper Ochoa calls for more competition in regional leagues

Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa during the World Cup group C match between Saudi Arabia and Mexico, Nov 30, 2022, at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar. JULIO CORTEZ AP Players in the CONCACAF region need to gain valuable experience in Europe and national teams to raise their game before the 2026 World Cup hosted by Mexico, United States and Canada, Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa said.

With all three nations set to participate in the tournament as co-hosts, Ochoa called for an action plan that includes teams in the region getting more opportunities to compete in different continental competitions.

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I hope we can go to the Asian Cup, Copa America, and not just play friendlies in the United States. Ochoa told ESPN that's not going to benefit us.

There are things to build and add, there are talented people who have to push and go to Europe. The confederations of Asia, Africa, South America and Europe had at least two teams in the last 16 of the ongoing World Cup in Qatar, while CONCACAF had only one -- the United States -- eliminated by the Netherlands.

Ochoa said that players had to compete in major European leagues at a younger age, which was echoed by Paris St Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas of Costa Rica.

Navas said that all the youngsters should be able to compete at a high level every Sunday and not just in a World Cup.