Mexico's Andres Guardado defends players after party controversy

COPENHAGEN -- Mexico midfielder Andres Guardado has said the players "are people before being footballers" after they were criticised for partying after Saturday's 1-0 win over Scotland in Mexico City.

Mexican magazine TV Notas published photos of at least eight players at the party, which took place on Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

Midfielder Hector Herrera missed training on Wednesday to deal with a family issue which reports said had arisen from the party.

"We are people before being footballers," Guardado said in a news conference ahead of El Tri's friendly against Denmark on Saturday. "We have the right to do what we want in our lives in our free time.

"Obviously when a situation like this comes up ... it's important to be right mentally and for your personal life to be well so you can perform on the pitch.

"But honestly, in that respect we are very calm. Unfortunately Herrera had to leave the camp to sort out some personal things and he's back, he's good, and that's what is important.

"We've not committed any act of indiscipline because we weren't in camp, and we're calm. The group is very united and focused on something so important coming up -- the World Cup."

Coach Juan Carlos Osorio said he knew about the gathering and gave players permission to get together on Saturday evening.

"It was their free time and I value that they were always honest about what was going on," he said.

"In the case of Hector, we and I thought it was right to go and fix his personal problem. The most important thing is the human being.

"Hector left, missed one training and has come back with renewed energy and is happy after being with his family, which is important."