Mexico national football team
|Association||Mexican Football Federation|
|Sub-confederation||NAFU (North America)|
|Head coach||Miguel Herrera|
|Most caps||Claudio Suárez (178)|
|Top scorer||Jared Borgetti (46)|
|Home stadium||Estadio Azteca|
|Highest FIFA ranking||4 (February–June 1998, May–June 2006)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||33 (July 2009)|
|Highest Elo ranking||5 (July 2011)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||47 (February 1979)|
| Guatemala 2–3 Mexico
(Guatemala, Guatemala; 1 January 1923)
| Mexico 13–0 Bahamas
(Toluca, Mexico; Apr 28, 1987)
| England 8–0 Mexico
(London, England; May 10, 1961)
|Appearances||14 (First in 1930)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals, 1970 and 1986|
& Gold Cup
|Appearances||20 (First in 1963)|
|Best result||Winners, 1965, 1971, 1977, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2011|
|Appearances||8 (First in 1993)|
|Best result||2nd place, 1993 and 2001|
|Appearances||6 (First in 1995)|
|Best result||Winners, 1999|
The Mexico national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is Miguel Herrera. The team is currently ranked 20 in the FIFA World Rankings2 and 22 in the World Football Elo Ratings.3
Mexico has qualified for fourteen World Cups and has qualified consecutively since 1994; Mexico played France in the very first match of the first World Cup on 13 July 1930. Mexico's best progression was reaching the Quarterfinals in both the 1970 and 1986 FIFA World Cups, both of which were staged on Mexican soil.
Mexico is historically the most successful national team in the CONCACAF region, as they are the only team from the region to win an official FIFA recognized title. They hold one FIFA Confederations Cup, nine CONCACAF championships, including six CONCACAF Gold Cups, one North American Nations Cup and three NAFC Championships.
Although Mexico is under the jurisdiction of CONCACAF, the national football team has been regularly invited to compete in the Copa América since Ecuador 1993 finishing as runner-up twice and obtaining the third place medal on three occasions.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early years
- 1.2 Formation
- 1.3 Post-WWII
- 1.4 Twenty-first century
- 2 Team image
- 3 Results and fixtures
- 4 Players
- 5 Player records
- 6 Competitive record
- 7 Honours
- 8 Managers
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Football in Mexico was first organized in the early 20th century by European immigrant groups, notably Cornish miners from Cornwall, England, and in later years Spanish exiles fleeing the Spanish Civil War. Their very first match was played against Guatemala, which the Mexican team won 3–2.4
A series of international friendlies were played against the national representation of Guatemala on December 9, 12, and 16 of 1923. The match on December 9 was played in Parque España and was won by Mexico with a final score of 2–1. On December 12, the match ended in a 2–0 win for Mexico, and the final game of the series ended in a 3–3 draw.5 The manager for this team was Rafael Garza Gutiérrez "Récord", and the assistant coach was Adolfo Frías.5 The fourteen players selected for this friendly series include: Nacho de la Garza, Pedro "Perico" Legorreta, Manuel "Güero" Yáñez, Enrique "La Matona" Esquivel, Agustín Ojeda, Roberto Jardón, Carlos Garcés, Horacio Ortiz, Adeodato López, Mauro Guadarrama "La Venada" Alatorre, Cornelio Cuevas, and Alfredo García Besné.5
It would be another four years before the national team would be represented in international friendlies. In preparation for a friendly against Spain, the team played a friendly against their "B" squad on June 12, 1927, winning 4–2. On June 19, 1927, the Mexican squad faced a selection from Spain, drawing 3–3. During this series, the squad also played against the Uruguayan club Nacional de Montevideo, losing 1–3.4
On 9 August 1927, the official governing body of the sport of football in Mexico was founded. From its inception, the federation has been the main body in charge of the promotion, administration, organization, management, and funding of the Mexican national football team as well as all football competition within Mexico. Club representatives from the federation's first division all vote on the direction, management, and coaching staff of the national football team. The 1928 Summer Olympics were hosts to Mexico's first international tournament. Prior to the tournament, the Mexican squad held friendlies against a representative Asturias side as well as two friendlies against Spain. These matches resulted in two draws and one loss. At the Olympic tournament, Mexico faced Spain in the Round of 16 on May 30, 1928, resulting in Mexico's defeat of 1–7.6
Mexico participated in the 1930 FIFA World Cup, having been grouped together with Argentina, Chile, and France. Mexico's first match was played against France at Estadio Pocitos in Montevideo, Uruguay on July 13, 1930. The match ended in a 4–1 win for France, but witnessed Mexico's first World Cup goal by Juan Carreño.7 This match occurred simultaneously with the USA–Belgium match. In their second match of the tournament, Mexico fell to Chile 3–0 at Montevideo's Estadio Gran Parque Central. Mexico's third match, against Argentina, featured the first penalty of the tournament, awarded in the 42' and scored by Mexico's Manuel Rosas. A total of five penalties were awarded during the match which was refereed by the Bolivian coach Ulises Saucedo, three of them controversial.8
Mexico did not appear again in a World Cup tournament until the 1950 FIFA World Cup. Before 1970, Mexico struggled to make much of an impact in the World Cup when competing against European and South American teams. However, goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal has the distinction of being the first player ever to appear in five consecutive FIFA World Cups.9
In 1970, Mexico hosted the World Cup and kicked off their campaign with a scoreless draw against the Soviet Union. This was followed by a win over El Salvador (4–0). Mexico advanced to the next round with a victory against Belgium thanks to a penalty scored by Gustavo Peña in the 14th minute. At the quarter-finals stage, Mexico was eliminated by Italy in a 4–1 match despite Mexico taking an early lead.
Mexico failed to qualify for the 1974 FIFA World Cup but did make it into the Argentina '78. Mexico suffered an early exit after three defeats: 0–6 against West Germany, 1–3 against Tunisia, and 1–3 to Poland. Mexico failed to qualify for Spain 1982.
In 1986, Mexico again hosted the World Cup. Coached by Bora Milutinović, Mexico was placed in Group B where they defeated Belgium 2–1, draw 1–1 with Paraguay, and defeated Iraq 1–0. With this performance, Mexico won the top spot in its group and advanced to the next round where Mexico faced Bulgaria in a 2–0 win. In the quarter-finals stage, Mexico lost to West Germany 0–0 (1–4 pens).
The Cachirules scandal
Mexico was disqualified from the 1990 FIFA World Cup (and any other international competition) after using players over the age limit allowed by FIFA in the qualifying round for the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship. The punishment originally was only going to be applied to the FIFA World Youth team and not the World Cup or Olympic Games team, but the penalty was applied to all Mexican national representatives of all FIFA sanctioned tournaments.
Post-1990 & The Road to USA '94
In the 1990s, after hiring coach César Luis Menotti, Mexican football began experiencing greater international success. An important turning point was its participation in the 1993 Copa America, where they finished second in the tournament, losing to Argentina 2–1 in the final. For the 1994 World Cup, players such as Hermosillo (Cruz Azul), Sanchez (Rayo Vallecano), Garcia Aspe (Necaxa), Chavez (America), Fernandez (Atlante), Galindo (Chivas) and Zaguinho (America) were named on the team roster even though not in their best conditions to do so. As for Pelaez, who was cut out from the 1994 roster, his time would come for the 1998 World Cup (held in France): he was able to make the squad and scored 2 memorable goals, against South Korea and Holland, at the age of 35. Mexico went on to win its group on tiebreakers, emerging from the tournament's "Group of death", composed of Mexico, Italy, Ireland, and Norway. However, Mexico eventually lost in the second round to Bulgaria on penalty kicks. Miguel Mejía Barón led this team into one of its most distinguished performances in a World Cup.
Since their second place finish in the 1993 Copa America, Mexico has been a regular participant in the South American tournament and has competed well. It earned third place in 1997, 1999 and 2007 and another second-place finish in 2001. Mexico has never failed to reach the quarter finals of the Copa America up until 2011 and twice has had the leading scorer in the tournament (Luis García in 1995 (sharing the title with Argentine striker Gabriel Batistuta) and Luis Hernández in 1997).
The Road to France '98
After its participation at the King Fahd Cup (which would eventually become the FIFA Confederation's Cup) and being coached again by Bora Milutinović then eventually Manuel Lapuente, in a very good qualifying round for France 1998, they came in first place in CONCACAF. At the World Cup, Mexico was placed in Group E, with the Netherlands, Korea Republic and Belgium. Mexico started against Korea Republic losing 0–1 but came back to win 3–1. Belgium had started beating Mexico 2–0 but they came back to tie 2–2. The third game against Netherlands ended in another 2–2 result which resulted in qualification to the Round of 16. In the next round, Mexico faced Germany. Although having the lead Mexico did not manage to hold onto it and lost the game 2–1.
The Road to Korea-Japan '02
Mexico became the first host nation to win the FIFA Confederations Cup. Mexico defeated the United States 1–0 in the semifinals thanks to a spectacular "Golden Goal" from Cuauhtemoc Blanco. Mexico won its first official FIFA World Championship tournament trophy by beating Brazil with a final score of 4–3. Mexico's star, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, shared the tournament's Golden Shoe award as top scorer with Ronaldinho, and was also awarded the Silver Ball.
2002 and 2006 World Cups
After a tough qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup, Mexico reached the finals and was placed in Group G alongside Italy, Croatia, and Ecuador. Mexico opened its participation with a 1–0 win over Croatia. In the second match, Mexico earned a 2–1 win over Ecuador with goals from Jared Borgetti and Gerardo Torrado. Mexico then achieved a 1–1 draw against Italy with a goal from Borgetti. In the second round Mexico played continental rivals United States, losing 2–0 in a controversial game, where Mexican captain Rafael Márquez was sent off for a brutal foul on Cobi Jones.10
Mexico was one of eight seeded teams in the first round at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. This was the second time a non-hosting CONCACAF nation was seeded. Mexico was put in Group D with Iran, Angola and Portugal. Mexico won their opening match 3–1 against Iran, with two goals from Omar Bravo and one by Sinha. In their second match, Mexico played to a 0–0 draw against Angola. Mexico joined Portugal as a qualifier in the Round of 16, despite losing to the Portuguese 2–1.
In the second round, Mexico played against Argentina. Mexico scored in the 5th minute with a goal by captain Rafael Márquez assisted by Pável Pardo. Four minutes later, Argentina equalized the match with a goal from Hernán Crespo. The score remained 1–1 after ninety minutes, and in extra time, a volley by Maxi Rodríguez in the second period of extra time brought about a 2–1 win for Argentina.
After losing the final match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2007 1–2 against the United States, Mexico successfully rebounded with a remarkable first-round performance at CONMEBOL Copa America 2007. Beginning by beating the recent champions Brazil 2–0 (goals from: Nery Castillo 23' and Ramón Morales 28') in their first match, they then went on to defeat Ecuador 2–1 (goals from: Nery Castillo 21' and Omar Bravo 79'). For their final match they tied 0–0 with Chile. With those results Mexico came first in Group B with seven points. In the quarterfinals, Mexico beat Paraguay 6–0 but lost in the semi-finals 3–0 to Argentina. With this defeat, Mexico was left to fight for third place against Uruguay, winning 3–1 and claiming the bronze trophy.
2010 World Cup
On October 10, 2009, Mexico qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup after defeating El Salvador 4–1 in Estadio Azteca.
For the 2010 FIFA World Cup Mexico was drawn into Group A along with the host South Africa, France and Uruguay. In the first match of the tournament they drew 1–1 against the host South Africa with a late strike from Rafael Márquez. The second match was against France, whom they defeated 2–0 thanks to a strike from Javier Hernández and a penalty by Cuauhtémoc Blanco, who with this goal became the first Mexican player ever to score in three different World Cups. Their last group game was against Uruguay where Mexico were defeated 1–0, but still advanced to the Round of 16 thanks to a better goal differential than South Africa.
In the second round, Mexico faced Argentina in a rematch of their Round of 16 loss at the hands of the Argentine team four years earlier. The Mexican team fell behind when a controversial goal was scored by Carlos Tevez in an offside position but it was declared a fair play. Gonzalo Higuaín scored a second for Argentina. Tévez later scored, giving Argentina a 3-goal lead, before Javier Hernandez scored Mexico's only goal for the match. As a result of their 1–3 defeat, the Mexican team was eliminated in the Round of 16 for the fifth straight World Cup.
The Road to Brazil '14
The 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup saw Mexico placed in Group A along with Costa Rica, El Salvador and Cuba. After the 5–0 win against Cuba, it was reported that 5 Mexican players tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol. The five players suspended were Guillermo Ochoa, Francisco Javier Rodriguez, Antonio Naelson "Zinha", Edgar Dueñas, and Christian Bermudez.11 Mexico won the group with three wins and no losses and scoring 14 goals, and being scored only once. They beat Guatemala in the quarter-finals 2–1, and beat Honduras in extra-time 2–0. For the third straight year in-a-row, the final was against the United States. After trailing 0–2, Mexico came back and scored 4 goals, and won the match 4–2, thus being crowned champions, and earning a spot in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
On June 28, 2011, eight players from the Under-22 squad that was to participate in the 2011 Copa America in Argentina, were expelled from the squad after it was discovered the players had brought prostitutes to the hotel the team was staying at in Quito, Ecuador.12
Mexico went 2-1 in the group stages of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, defeating Canada and Martinique but losing to Panama. Mexico then defeated Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 in the quarterfinal match, before facing Panama again in the semi-final.13 Mexico lost the semi-final match, 2-1, in front the largest crowd to ever watch a Gold Cup semifinal match held in the United States (over 81,000 were in attendance).citation needed The two losses to Panama were the first two times Panama had ever defeated Mexico in a Gold Cup match.14
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2013)|
The Estadio Azteca, (Aztec Stadium in English), also known in Spanish as "El Coloso de Santa Úrsula" is a stadium in Mexico City, Mexico built in the 1960s. It is the official home stadium of the Mexico national football team and the Mexican club team Club América. It has a capacity of 105,000 seats,16 making it the largest association football stadium in the Americas and the third largest stadium in the world for that sport.
The stadium has carried out many important sporting and historical events in its existence including the FIFA World Cup in 1970 where Pele won his last championship. The earthquake of 1985, which destroyed most of the city, did not damage the stadium. Thus, the stadium could host the FIFA World Cup in 1986 where Argentina won the cup.
It was the primary venue for association football at the 1968 Summer Olympics and is the only stadium ever to host two FIFA World Cup final matches, in 1970 and 1986. It also hosted the 1986 quarter-final between Argentina and England in which Diego Maradona scored the "Hand of God goal" . The stadium also hosted the "Game of the Century", when Italy defeated West Germany 4–3 in extra time.
All of Mexico's matches are shown live on over-the-air networks Televisa and TV Azteca in Mexico. In the United States all of Mexico's international friendlies and home World Cup qualifiers are shown on Spanish language network Univision while away World Cup qualifiers are shown on Telemundo.1718 On January 30, 2013, English language network ESPN and Univision announced and agreement to telecast the Mexico national team home World Cup qualifiers and international friendly matches in English in the United States.19
The Mexican national team utilizes a tricolor system, composed of colors Green, White and Red. The team's three colors originate from the national flag of Mexico, known as the tricolor. As of November 2009, the shirt now has two red trims on the shirt near the shoulders. Away colors are all black with red and gold trim. The team also designed an all-white jersey that celebrates 200 years since Mexico achieved freedom from the Spanish Crown, their independence starting in 1810. Two centuries later, the Mexican Football Association had asked Adidas to design a special home kit that the team would use in 2010. However, an all-green kit and an all-white kit have been used in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Also, in the 1966 FIFA World Cup the kit consisted of a white shirt with navy blue shorts. In the 1970 FIFA World Cup the away kit was a wine red shirt with navy blue short. An all white kit was also used in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in the group stage games against the Netherlands and Belgium. The Women's team still uses the old kit before November 2009. Socks have usually been red, as to resemble Mexico's flag, but this has been changed to white socks.20 In current kit, the socks reverted to red.21