Here’s the Drama that Led Up to the Firing of Miguel ‘El Piojo’ Herrera

Miguel Herrera credit: Buda Mendes / Getty

Last year, EVERYONE seemed to love Mexico soccer coach Miguel Herrera.

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His team was having fun at the 2014 World Cup…

La selfie con los seleccionados

A photo posted by Miguel Herrera (@miguelherreradt) on

Fans couldn’t get enough of “El Piojo”…

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Photo Credit: Robert Cianflone / Getty

And his goal celebrations became one of the highlights of the 2014 World Cup.

Aguilar Memo Gif Miguel Herrera celebration Miguel Herrera GIF

But this summer, several incidents began chipping away at his popularity.

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Photo Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty

In June, on election day in Mexico, he published a tweet in support of El Partido Verde.

El Partido Verde is a political party associated with the PRI party. In Mexico, it’s against the law for political parties to campaign on election day. Herrera maintained that he acted on his own and was not prompted to tweet by El Partido Verde. He was later fined for the tweets.

Before the Copa America in Chile, Herrera promised Mexico would play to win the cup.

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Photo Credit: Carlos Vera / Getty

Herrera promised this despite taking what many believed was a “B” squad with very few players – no Chicharito, no Giovani Dos Santos, no Guillermo Ochoa – from his 2014 World Cup team. Mexico did not advance past the group stage at Copa America, drawing two matches and losing one.

At the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Mexico’s lackluster performances led many to question whether Herrera’s job would be safe.

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Photo Credit: UniMas / Deadspin

After a 6-0 drubbing of Cuba, Mexico’s inconsistent play in following matches led to more criticism. Herrera’s job appeared to be on the line unless Mexico won the Gold Cup. Controversial refereeing decisions versus Costa Rica and Panama led to victories for Mexico, but it only gave ammo to those who believed Mexico couldn’t advance without help. Herrera brushed off the criticism.

One of the most vocal critics of Herrera was Azteca TV announcer Christian Martinoli. Here’s a tweet from Martinoli calling out Herrera:

“I love the elegance of [Mexico’s] coach. He’s not a cheerleader, he’s a hooligan.”

Herrera was paying close attention.

“That’s not what I am but hopefully I can find you somewhere. So we can sort out our differences.”

Martinoli fired shots at Herrera for being more concerned with starring in commercials than coaching his team.

Credit: Eduardo Cordova / YouTube

Later, Herrera called out Martinoli during a press conference. The tension was palpable.

Credit: SinCensuraMX / YouTube

When asked about how he handles media criticism, Herrera replied: “There’s only one pendejo who attacks me. You all know who it is. And one day I’m going to cross paths with him.” Herrera then added, “And there I’ll discuss it with him.”

Well, Herrera and Martinoli finally crossed paths.

After Mexico’s Gold Cup victory over Jamaica, Herrera’s job appeared to be safe. End of story, right? Not quite. On the way back to Mexico, Herrera ran into Martinoli and his broadcast partner, Luis Garcia, at the Philadelphia Airport.

And according to several reports, Herrera threw a punch at Martinoli.

Herrera’s daughter, Michelle, allegedly threw a punch at Martinoli and slapped Luis Garcia.

Here’s video footage of the aftermath.

Credit: Univision Noticias / YouTube

Wait, is El Piojo really capable of letting his anger get out of control?

Credit: regiofutbol2014 / YouTube

Yes. Here’s footage of Herrera attacking a fan during his days as a player.

Once the news got out, the Internet had a field day with it.

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Would Miguel Herrera survive the controversy? No.

Just one day after the incident, Decio de Maria, the executive director of Mexico’s Soccer Federation, announced that Miguel Herrera was let go as head coach of Mexico.  “Our values and principles are greater than any result,” said de Maria.

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