Cruz Azul will give my career a boost, Pineda says

Mexico City, Jan 9 (epa-efe).- Midfielder Orbelin Pineda, one of the most promising players in Mexican soccer, said that joining Cruz Azul, which was the finalist in the 2018 Apertura tournament, would give his career a boost and open the way for playing abroad.

"Cruz Azul is a big-time team, it's always moving ahead with good things and good projects. I think it's a challenge to be here, it's like a springboard to head abroad, to other places," Pineda said in a press conference on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old Pineda, who previously played for Liga MX club Guadalajara, is one of the players Mexico will be looking to as it prepares to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"I always try to work on the field, I think it's something important in order to go far with the national team and I'm going to continue working on the field because that work and those projects are what really lead to great things," Pineda said.

Cruz Azul, managed by Portugal's Pedro Caixinha, is adding a player with a bright future in its bid to win the 2019 Clausura tournament.

Although Pineda acknowledged that a professional soccer player's career is full of ups and downs, and that it is impossible to always give 100 percent, he said he would seek to draw the attention of new national soccer team coach Gerardo Martino.

"We always have to think of ourselves as the best. If we don't believe in ourselves, then who will?" Pineda, one of several players expected to pump fresh blood into the national team, said.

During his introduction on Monday, Martino said Mexico has enough skilled players to achieve top-level results.

Cruz Azul, for its part, played to a 1-1 tie with Puebla on the first match-day of the 2019 Clausura tournament.

Ahead of the tournament, Cruz Azul bolstered its midfield with Peruvian Yoshimar Yotun and young Mexican Alexis Gutierrez, as well as Uruguayan striker Jonathan Rodriguez.