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A Glimpse at Liga MX: One of CONCACAF's Greatest Contenders

The Leagues Cup is underway.

MLS v. Liga MX.

Liga MX is the highest degree of Mexican football. Liga is also, currently, the 10th strongest league in the world. Liga attracts an audience only lagging behind the NFL, and MLB, in North America. If you're new to soccer, of are just tuning in for the first time, Liga MX can be daunting.

For newcomers, this is the guide for you:

These teams are known as the "Cuatro Grandes."

Club América —

Club de Fútbol América S.A. de C.V., commonly referred to as Club América (or just América), is debatably the greatest traditional soccer club in Mexico City. Hosting their home games at Estadio Azteca, alongside Cruz Azul, América has racked up a record 13 Liga titles in their 106 years. Oftentimes América can be compared to Manchester United, due to the love and hatred felt internationally. The most supported club in Mexico City, América is the history of Mexican football.

Chelsea v. Club America
Photo Credit: Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire
CD Guadalajara —

Club Deportivo Guadalajara, warmly referred to as either Guadalajara or the Chivas, are more widely known in the U.S. as the parent team to the MLS subsidiary, Chivas US. After sharing ownership for a decade, Chivas US folded while Chivas MX exploded.

Their biggest rival is América, in one of the largest classics in Mexican soccer:

"El Súper Clásico."

Fans showing support at El Super Clasico, 2019.
Photo Credit: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Chivas are one title behind América, but a lot of their statistics are similar:

Both are founding teams of Primera División (the highest league in Mexican football), have never been relegated, and are two of the most successful teams in Mexican history.

Pumas —

Club Universidad Nacional, A.C., commonly referred to as UNAM or the Pumas, was originally an amateur team for college students. Built with the colors blue and gold to enshrine the University of Notre Dame in 1954, and 7 Liga Cups later, UNAM is now one of the biggest leagues in the country. The Pumas' home games are played at Estadio Olímpico Universitario, the venue for the 1968 Summer Olympics.

UNAM is known for its youth development programs, spitting out international stars like Jesús Gallardo (left-back for Monterrey and the Mexico National Team) and Hugo Sánchez (great Mexican footballer of all time).

Cruz Azul —

In 1925, Carlos Garces López was noted as a Mexican national team striker. López was also one of the founding members for Club América.

Cruz Azul fans waving flag at Inter Miami game.
Photo Credit: Arturo Jimenez/Anadolu Agency

López was also a dentist.

As soccer wasn't a lucrative career option at the time, López worked at Cemento Cruz Azul providing dental care. He would take the train from Jasso to Mexico City to attend training and games.

After much lobbying to change the company's sport from baseball to football, Cruz Azul was created. Cruz Azul was founded in Hidalgo but plays their games in Mexico City. Though not as successful as América or Guadalajara; internationally, they are a CONCACAF powerhouse. Cruz Azul has six titles in the Champions League, second in the League.


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