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Aguirre's Mexico contract guaranteed thru 2010

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FMF officials say Javier Aguirre will remain with Mexico through the 2010 World Cup, whether the team qualifies or not.

Three days before officially presenting Mexico's newest manager, federation executive Nestor de la Torre discussed some terms of Aguirre's contract and revealed the levels of commitment between the two parties.

De la Torre, the FMF's director of national teams, said the contract Aguirre is guaranteed through the World Cup, which means he cannot be sacked prematurely, much the same way Hugo Sanchez and Sven-Goran Eriksson before him were.

"The contract is two-fold," de la Torre said. "The first part is for qualifying and the second for the World Cup. The responsibility is to advance past this phase and get to South Africa. The commitment is there on our part. There is no loophole or anything that would allow us not to fulfill our obligation."

With such job security, Aguirre will likely be free from the ever-present speculation that surrounded two of his predecessors. With failing results, both Sanchez and Eriksson were under constant scrutiny. Perhaps with this guaranteed contract, Aguirre will not face the media pressure even if results do not go his way.

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Aguirre, though, has enjoyed tremendous popularity since he turned around Mexico's near-dead World Cup qualifying campaign in 2001. With four wins and a draw from Mexico's final five qualifiers, Aguirre led Mexico to the 2002 World Cup.

Much like last time, Aguirre will not have much time to prepare before starting the qualifying campaign. Aguirre, who will reportedly live in Miami while he is managing El Tri, will not have a friendly match before Mexico play El Salvador on June 6 in its next World Cup qualifier. Additionally, he will not have much time with the team as a whole before the game.

Federation officials tried to facilitate the two without much success.

"To put together a game is very difficult. We tried but could not do it," de la Torre admitted. "Remember that next month is the final of the domestic tournament during which we cannot hold a national team camp because there are games midweek and on the weekend. What we are looking at is having a camp and have the manager call in his players ahead of the time when they were going to join the team before the next match. The only way to do that is to call in the players who will not participate in the finals."

De la Torre, himself new to the job, said his entire office and staff is committed to reaching the World Cup and said that's where everyone's focus must remain.

"We have to walk first, we have to take the first step in order to take the second," de la Torre said. "First is to qualify for the World Cup and then from there we'll re-establish ourselves and we'll reveal our next step. For now, it is an absolute priority to put our bodies and souls into this qualification campaign."