Josue Lopez is one of the players who were part of Mexico's successful 2021 season

Set to return to the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship for the first time since 2014, the Mexican national team have already started their preparations for the event that will take place from August 26 to September 11.

A group of players led by head coach Jorge Azair returned to work in Monterrey to prepare for the most important event of the 2022 international season. This year’s World Championship will mark the first appearance of the country’s national team in a major international event since the Mexicans finished 11th at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“We actually never stopped training,” said Azair. “And the plan is to continue working until August. Several of our players retired after Rio and we had to refresh the team. I have really high expectations about this generation. I would go as far as saying that they’re the most talented group of players I’ve worked with and they’re hungry to make it to the next level.”

There is a good reason for the early start to the team’s preparations as the Mexicans are trying to carry the momentum of a prolific 2021 season into the new year. Last season, they won gold medals at both the Pan-American Cup and the U23 Pan-American Cup, took silver at the U23 Pan-American Games and bronze at the NORCECA Championship.

After finalizing their preparations in Monterrey, the national team will compete in a pair of continental tournaments and take part in a training camp in Europe.

“2021 was a very good year for us and we’re working so 2022 is just as successful,” said outside hitter Josue Lopez. “Our goal is to take Mexico as far as possible in the World Championship. We know it won’t be easy as we’ll be playing the best teams in the world, but we’re preparing the best we can.”

Mexico are in World Championship Pool C and will take on defending champions Poland, NORCECA rivals the United States and Bulgaria as their first opponents in the competition.