10 Reasons Why Mexican Football Is On the Up

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2011

10 Reasons Why Mexican Football Is On the Up

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    In Mexico, there are three topics that usually strike a chord when they come up in any conversation: politics, religion and football.

    All three of them promote debate. Sometimes they even bring discomfort and heated discussions.

    This sport has the ability to paralyze the whole country, no matter if it's the local league, the Olympics or a World Cup. To know what's happening with Mexican football is a must.

    Luckily, football continues to consolidate and grow in various ways. Here are 10 of them.

Local League

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    It's not La Liga or the Premier League, but Mexico's Primera División is the strongest local tournament in the Concacaf area, according to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

    In July 2011, the IFFHS published a list in which Mexico appears in 12th place of the top leagues.

    Tigres is the most recent champion, having defeated Santos last weekend.

Foreign Players

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    The Primera División is a league that receives a lot of foreign players. Last season (Apertura 2011) Uruguay's Alonso Iván, who plays for Toluca, was the top scorer (11 goals).

    Many players from South America come to Mexico seeking better opportunities and even a chance to go to Europe.

José Manuel De La Torre

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    The new manager of the national team has given the squad a different face.

    El Tri seems in better shape and has shown more discipline than in previous years. De la Torre has given youngsters a shot with the first team. He knows that some of the veterans may not make it to Brazil 2014.

    Chepo has only lost one game, against Brazil, out of 16 matches in front of the squad.

Panamerican Games

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    The last time Mexico won the gold medal in the Pan-American Games was at Winnipeg 1999, when the team defeated Honduras 3-1.

    Last summer, at Guadalajara 2011, El Tri U-22 defeated Argentina, showing that despite the young age, these footballers are poised to win and earn a place in the first team.

U-17 World Championship

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    If there's a sign that Mexican football is on the up, it is precisely this title.

    For the second time in six years, the little Tri conquered the championship, giving the country joy, happiness and hope that there are better things to come.

U-20 World Championship

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    Mexico hadn't had such a good performance in this tournament since the inaugural edition in Tunisia 1977, where the team reached the final match and lost to the Soviet Union.

    After 34 years, the squad showed that there's a new bright generation and managed to finish third.

Players in Europe

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    As time goes by, we see more and more Mexican footballers leaving to go to Europe. Some of them are key players for their teams, such as Javier Chicharito Hernández.

    The best part of it is that they leave Mexico when they are young enough to prepare themselves with B teams and become stronger and tougher, something that many local clubs can't offer.

Young Talents

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    Each season it is more common to see young players make their debut with big teams, some of them even make a huge difference when playing.

    One of them is Erick Cubo Torres, who at age 18 has appeared 28 times with Chivas de Guadalajara and scored 11 times.

    He was linked to Manchester United and called the new Chicharito. Nevertheless, he stayed in Mexico and if he continues to train and perform as he has it's probable that he leaves the country. 

Consecutive World Cups

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    Since USA 1994, the Mexico national football team has qualified to the 16the round, the longest streak in its World Cup history.

    It was precisely in the States where the squad advanced for the first time to that stage, when playing in another country.

Fans

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    Passion is a must in any sport and Mexican fans really know how to have fun and live a match to the fullest. No matter what happens, they'll always be there to support the team.

    In the 2009 Concacaf qualifier, Mexico faced the USA at the Estadio Azteca. The match took place on Wednesday, August 12 at 14:30. Instead of people staying at the office, working, Mexico City was deserted and the stadium was at its full capacity.

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