Nigel Reo-Coker preparing for North American Champions League final in front of more than 100,000 people
- Nigel Reo-Coker playing for Montreal Impact in the MLS this year
- Canadian side face America in North American Champions League final
- Montreal could create history as first MLS side to win the competition
- Reo-Coker describes it as one of the biggest games of his life
Nigel Reo-Coker has played in an FA Cup final, in Europe and been part of the England set-up but he is preparing for the biggest game of his life in Mexico City on Wednesday.
The former West Ham and Aston Villa midfielder will be part of the Montreal Impact side when they take on Mexicans America in front of over 100,000 people at the Estadio Azteca in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final.
Reo-Coker is looking to make history as he prepares to captain the Montreal Impact.
Nigel Reo-Coker is preparing for the biggest game of his life for the Montreal Impact
Reo-Coker will captain Montreal in the North American Champions League final when they play America
He told the Telegraph: ‘I’ve played in an FA Cup final between two historic clubs (West Ham against Liverpool in 2006) which was a fantastic occasion, with the atmosphere both sets of fans generated, but this will be one of the biggest games I’ve played in.
‘I spoke to Emile Heskey the other day – who is a legend in the game – and he said the most he played in front of was 90,000 and here I am playing in front of 105,000 at the Azteca.
‘It’s the equivalent of being in the Champions League final in Europe and it couldn’t have worked out any better.’
Should Montreal overcome the odds, they will be the first MLS team to win the tournament and qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Estadio Azteca in Mexico City holds over 100,000 people and will host the first leg of the final
The 30-year-old midfielder had a three-year spell at West Ham and earned a call up to the England team
NIGEL REO-COKER’S CAREER
2004-07 West Ham
2007-11 Aston Villa
2013-14 Vancouver Whitecaps
2014 Chivas USA
2015- Montreal Impact
Reo-Coker started his career at Wimbledon before a move to West Ham in 2004. The 30-year-old earned a call-up to the England side as a standby midfielder for the 2006 World Cup.
After spells at Villa Park, Bolton and Ipswich, Reo-Coker moved to North America and the Vancouver Whitecaps at the start of 2013.
He now finds himself in Montreal, after a short stint at the now folded California-based side Chivas, having been selected as the No 1 pick in the MLS Waiver Draft late last year.
Montreal were the worst side in the MLS last season with just six wins and are still without a win this year.
Reo-Coker in action for West Ham against Liverpool in the 2006 FA Cup final in Cardiff
The midfielder joined Aston Villa from West Ham and stayed at the Midlands club for four years
But they qualified for the North American version of the Champions League thanks to their win in the Canadian Championship and have made it all the way to the final.
‘We’ve already made history by making the final and if we could win, it would be great for the club and the MLS. Right now we’re seen as the underdogs and that’s a great position to be in, no one expects us to beat Club America and it puts us in a better opportunity to shock a few people.’