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2:00 AM UTC Jul 20, 2018
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Bahia
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12:00 AM UTC Jul 20, 2018
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 By Tom Marshall

Mexico needs more players in Europe to compete at World Cup - Juan Carlos Osorio

Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez look at Mexico's mental struggle against Brazil, Juan Carlos Osorio's legacy and assessing Brazil going forward.
Sebi Salazar sounds off on why he can't be proud of Mexico after a seventh straight World Cup exit in the last 16, even against a team like Brazil.
ESPN's Tom Marshall recaps the main talking points after Mexico crashed out of the round of 16 for the seventh straight World Cup.
In the latest episode of Project Russia, ESPN's Charlie Gibson and Tom Marshall bear witness as Mexico's round-of-16 misery continues at the hands of Brazil.

SAMARA, Russia -- Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio stressed that Mexico needs to export more players to Europe in order to compete with the likes of Brazil in World Cups and said his future with the team will be decided at a later date.

Osorio's side fell 2-0 to Brazil on Monday and exited Russia at the round-of-16 stage, as Mexico has done at each of the past seven World Cups.

And while Osorio insisted the national team was still on the right path, he said the experience that Brazil's players have gained with top clubs in Europe made a difference.

"We played toe-to-toe against a team like Brazil and that speaks very well of Mexico's posture and attitude," Osorio said in his news conference after the game. "I believe we lacked effectiveness and that extra quality that they have in the final third.

"You have to remember the clubs [Brazilian players] play in; going toe-to-toe speaks well of Mexican football.

"This is a process in which you have to look to have more Mexican players in Europe and competing -- like the Brazilians have -- in the best leagues and the best teams in the world.

"To the extent that Mexican football exports more players that compete and train with the best, the national team will eventually make that jump in quality."

Osorio has been widely expected to leave the Mexico job after the World Cup, but he didn't want to talk about whether he may continue in the position.

"At this time that is the least relevant [issue]," Osorio said. "We just lost a very important game.

"It hurts us all and we'll have to give it the right mourning period. In the coming days the bosses will take a decision and I will take mine."

Mexico captain Rafa Marquez, who confirmed his retirement from the game, said he was relatively happy with El Tri's performance in Russia.

"We feel proud of having gone toe-to-toe and having created chances [against Brazil]," the 39-year-old said. "Obviously it is a team that aspires to win the title and I am proud of what we showed today, even though I'm sad about the result."

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa finished his World Cup with 20 saves, the most for El Tri at a single tournament since at least 1966, but he wasn't thinking of statistics after the defeat.

"Well, maybe the personal accomplishment is good, but I cannot be happy about it because Mexico did not advance," Ochoa told FIFA TV. "The accomplishments of one player are never more important than the entire team.

"I would have loved to have won today. You try to give it your best for the team. Things just did not go Mexico's way today."

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.

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