The 10 Mexican soccer teams you should know about

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February 23rd, 2022

Mexico is a soccer mad nation with a buzzing hive of talent in the domestic league. With some of the most heated and explosive rivalries in the modern game, and a wide array of quality in the top tier, here are the 10 Mexican soccer teams you need to know.

10. C.F. Pachuca

Nickname: The Gophers
Founded: 1901
League: Liga MX

One of the oldest soccer clubs in the Americas, C.F. Pachuca rarely had much success for the first 90 years of its existence – bouncing between the 1st and 2nd Division. However, since 1998 they have been one of Mexico’s most successful teams, winning six league titles and five CONCACAF Champions League trophies.

9. Santos Laguna

Nickname: The Warriors
Founded: 1983
League: Liga MX

Despite only launching less than 40 years ago, Santos have quickly become one of Mexico’s most popular clubs. Since 1996 they have won six league titles and a Mexican Cup and made two CONCACAF Champions League finals, although they’ve fallen short in both. They changed their logo in 2018 to celebrate their 35th anniversary, and have played in the green and white stripes since.    

8. Deportivo Toluca F.C.

Nickname: Red Devils
Founded: 1917
League: Liga MX

Deportivo Toluca F.C. are one of Mexico’s most successful teams, having won the league title 10 times, albeit not since 2010. They are also two-time Mexican Cup winners and two-time CONCACAF Champions League winners – their most recent success coming in 2003 as they beat Morelia in a thrilling 5-4 victory over two legs.

7. Club Leon

Nickname: The Green Bellies
Founded: 1944
League: Liga MX

Club Leon were the first Mexican "Campeonisimo" – the title given to exceptional soccer clubs who complete the league and cup double domestically, something The Green Bellies managed to do in 1949, just five years after they were founded. That success hasn’t stopped, and Club Leon now have won eight league titles and five Mexican Cups in total.

6. Tigres UANL

Nickname: The Tigers
Founded: 1960
League: Liga MX

The Tigers are the official team of the University of the state of Nuevo Leon, and they have played in the Liga MX for the last 60 years. They secured their first major honor in 1976 when they beat Club America to lift the Mexican Cup, and have gone on to win seven league titles. Their biggest success, however, came in 2020 as they came from behind to beat Los Angeles FC 2-1 in the CONCACAF Champions League final to lift the trophy for the first time.

5. C.F. Monterrey

Nickname: The Striped Ones
Founded: 1945
League: Liga MX

The Tigers’ most heated rivals are Monterrey, and the teams regularly play each other in the derby, which is coined the Clasico Regiomontano. It is one of Mexico’s most heated derbies between two very popular and successful teams. Monterrey are five-time Liga MX winners, three-time Mexican Cup winners, and one of the most successful teams in the CONCACAF Champions League with five titles. In 2020 they completed the treble, winning all three trophies in one season, something that had only ever been done once before in Mexico.

4. Cruz Azul

Nickname: The Machine
Founded: 1927
League: Liga MX

One team that has more Champions League titles than Monterrey is Cruz Azul. The Machine have won six of them, including back-to-back championships in 1970 and 1971, and again in 1996 and 1997. Cruz Azul have won nine Liga MX titles and four Mexican Cups, although they were said to be cursed between 1997 and 2021. In that 23-year span the club never won the league title and lost several finals, which was believed to be a curse in blood following an injury to star striker Carlos Hermosillo in 1997. The curse was broken last year when they won the league title again.

3. Club Universidad Nacional

Nickname: The Pumas
Founded: 1954
League: Liga MX

The Pumas represent the National Autonomous University of Mexico and are considered one of the "Big Four" in Mexican soccer, alongside Cruz Azul, America, and Guadalajara. They are seven-time winners of Liga MX, most recently in 2011, and are three-time CONCACAF Champions League winners, although they haven’t lifted that trophy for almost 35 years.

2. Club America

Nickname: The Eagles
Founded: 1916
League: Liga MX

Club America are one of two teams never to have been relegated from the Mexican top tier. They also contest one of the biggest rivalries in the world with Guadalajara – the El Super Clasico. No team has won as many league titles as The Eagles (13) or as many Mexican Cups (six). Domestically, no team has more victories in the Liga MX or as many points as Club America, and they’ve won the CONCACAF Champions League seven times.

1. C.D. Guadalajara

Nickname: The Goats
Founded: 1906
League: Liga MX

Guadalajara are the only club in Mexico who do not allow foreign players on their team, and they have been the launching pad for many of Mexico’s top international stars. The red, white, and blue on the club’s colors stand for fraternity, union, and sport, and the club have won 12 titles – one short of Club America’s record. They have four Mexican Cups and two CONCACAF Champions League titles to their name and are the league’s most valuable club.