Learn All About the Mexican Soccer League

The Mexican Soccer League is divided into two annual championships: the Apertura and Clausura. In addition, it has several classics each season.
Learn All About the Mexican Soccer League

Last update: 03 July, 2020

The first division tournament in Mexico or Liga MX is the most important in that country. In this article, we’ll tell you all about the Mexican Soccer League, the most important and competitive in Concacaf.

Origins of the Mexican Soccer League

In 1902, the amateur Mexican League was founded. Then, in 1920, the National League was created. Both competed at the same time until 1922. Here, the Mexican Federation of Football Association (currently FMF) was born and became a professional group.

With the union of the two rival leagues, the first FMF championship was organized for the 1922-1923 season. In 1930, it was suspended due to managerial conflicts and was renamed the Liga Mayor. Here, they divided it into two competitions: the preferential (six teams) and the ordinary (16 teams).

A new crisis in Mexican soccer during 1942 led to professional players- who earned a salary– having to join an interstate championship. Thus, in 1943, they decided that the Mexican Soccer League should become professional and that being a soccer player should be considered a profession.

Also, they decided that each team could have up to four foreign players. The first champion of this stage was the Asturias Club.

A Mexican soccer team on the field.

Liga MX competition system

With several changes from the beginning of professionalism to now, the Mexican Soccer League made a season divided into two short tournaments. Each of them has a final phase, called the League. Also, the opening tournament starts in July/August and ends in January.

The competition consists of 18 clubs, which play 17 matches so everyone plays each other. The eight best-rated clubs go through to the final phase. Then, they face each other according to their standing: 1 with 8, 2 with 7, 3 with 6, 4 with 5. The matches are a “roundtrip” with quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals.

In the Mexican Soccer League, there are several classics: the “National” or “Classic of Classics” between Club América and Guadalajara; the “Young Classic” between Club América and Cruz Azul; the “Capital Classic” between America and the National University; the “Classic Tapatío” between Guadalajara and Atlas; and the “Classic Regiomontano” between Monterrey and Tigres.

Top winners of the Mexican Soccer League

The team with the most tournament wins is Club América de México, with 13 titles (and ten subtitles). In second place is Club Guadalajara (12 and nine). Finally, following them is Deportivo Toluca (ten and seven).

A player in Guadalajara, Mexico.

One of the interesting things about the Mexican Soccer League- the most important in the Concacaf- is that the top scorer isn’t a native to Mexico- he’s Brazilian! This is Evanivaldo Castro, who scored 312 goals between 1974 and 1987 playing for four different teams: UNAM, Atlante, León, and Tigres.

The player with the most number of games played in the league is the Mexican Oscar PérezEl Conejo served as a goalkeeper in 741 matches for the following teams: Cruz Azul- most of his career-, Pachuca, San Luis, Necaxa, Tigres, and Chiapas.

Another Brazilian appears in the records of the Mexican Soccer League, but this time as the coach with the most directed games. We’re talking about Ricardo “El Tica” Ferretti, who has been on the bench for more than 1,100 games- UNAM, Guadalajara, Toluca, Morelia, and Tigres, whom he continues to direct- since 1991.

Also, Ferretti is one of two successful coaches– with the most titles won- along with the Mexican, Ignacio Trelles. In fact, both have collected seven trophies each. The Brazilian-born achieved five with the UANL Tigres, one with Guadalajara and the other with UNAM. The local won two with Cruz Azul, two with Deportivo Toluca, two with Zacatepec, and one with Mars.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.