Monterrey coach Victor Manuel Vucetich on Tuesday praised his players' performance at the Club World Cup in Japan, where the Mexican team finished in third place.

"I am really happy with the bronze, but especially because of the way we played since the boys understood how we should undertake these types of competitions," the coach said on his return to Monterrey, the capital of the northern state of Nuevo Leon, from the championships.

Monterrey, the CONCACAF champions, defeated South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai, the Asian champion, 3-1, lost to Chelsea 3-1 and beat Egypt's Al-Ahly in the third-place match 2-0, matching the bronze won by Necaxa in 2000 as the best performance by a Mexican squad at the Club World Cup.

Vucetich and his players were greeted at the airport by about 50 fans, posing for photos with some of their admirers.

"We played against the Asian champion, the African (champion) and the European (champion), the result is positive and we should stay at a high level," Vucetich said.

The coach refused to comment on the Clausura 2013 tournament, which starts in January, and said team officials planned to evaluate some of the talent on the market before deciding who to sign.

Monterrey, known as "Los Rayados," expects to be one of the top teams in the Clausura tournament, but it is not clear how good of a start they can expect after their performance at the Club World Cup. EFE