The Liga MX is the top level of the Mexican soccer league system. Liga MX is widely considered to be one of the strongest soccer leagues on the American continent. The International Federation of Football History and Statistics currently ranks the league as the 20th most popular league in the world.
Since the inception of the league in 1943, Liga Mx has birthed several top stars including Jared Borgetti, Javier Hernandez, Jorge Campos, Carlos Salcido, Florian Thauvin, and Alexis Vega. To this day, the league is still producing top talents. The league exports most of its top talents to the top European leagues.
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History of Liga MX
Liga MX was founded in 1943. Before the formation of the league, soccer was played in Mexico. However, there wasn’t any centralized soccer league system. Rather, soccer leagues covered relatively small geographical regions. The Federacion Mexicana de Futbol Asociacion (F.M.F) is credited with forming the first centralized soccer league system in the country. The first top tier league consisted of 10 clubs. Six of the clubs came from the Primera Fuerza in Mexico City. Two clubs came from the Liga Occidental while two others came from Liga Veracruzana.
From 1948 to 1970, the top tier league in Mexico failed to blossom as many people had anticipated. This was largely attributed to low revenue streams. Often, the clubs that excelled in the league failed to participate in the prestigious regional tournament the Copa Libertadores owing to financial constraints.
Things however changed after Mexico’s successful hosting of the 1970 World Cup. The year after the World Cup, F.M.F introduced the playoff phase dubbed the Liguilla. The Liguilla in the successive years was played using various formats but the ultimate aim was to crown the undisputed champion. The league kept on taking various formats until the start of the 2012 -2013 season when the F.M.F paved way for Liga MX. The rebrand came with several changes including the introduction of a new logo.
Liga MX Format
18 teams participate in Liga MX. The 18 teams at the start are divided into two groups. This, therefore, means each season, two champions emerge in Mexico’s top soccer league. The soccer season in Mexico is divided into two parts. There is the Apertura which runs from July to December. There is also the Clausura which runs from January to May. The top four teams in the two groups qualify directly for the Liguilla while the next eight teams qualify for the play-in round. Only four teams qualify from the play-in round. The teams that qualify from the play-in round compete with those that qualified directly to the Liguilla. The winning team is awarded the championship trophy and receives automatic qualification into the regional soccer tournament.
In days gone by, there used to be promotions and relegations in the Mexico soccer pyramid. The lowest-ranked team from the Liga MX league would be relegated to the second division, the Ascenso MX. Likewise, the winner from Ascenso MX would be promoted to Liga MX. However, Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla during the 2019/20 season suspended promotions and relegations for five years. This, therefore, means that currently, all teams remain in their respective leagues despite their performances.
Top Teams in LIGA MX
The top teams that have managed to scoop the prestigious awards in the Mexican soccer pyramid include the following:
- Cruz Azul
- C.D. Guadalajara
- Club Universidad Nacional
- C.F. Monterrey
- C.F. Pachuca
- Tigres UANL
- Club America
Liga MX over the years has produced some top soccer talents. Some of these talents include the following players:
- Oscar Perez
- Oswaldo Sanchez
- Rodrigo Ruiz
- Alfonso Ortega
- Jared Borgetti
- Evanildo Castro
- Osvaldo Castro
- Jose Cardozo
- Carlos Hermosillo
Interesting Facts on Liga MX
- C.F. Pachuca is the oldest team in Liga MX having been founded in 1901
- C.F Pachuca was founded by English miners from Cornwall in England who introduced soccer to Mexico
- Club America has won the most league titles in Liga MX
- The first Mexico National Team played the first recorded game in 1923 against Guatemala
- There are currently no promotions or relegations in the Mexico soccer pyramid regardless of how great or poor a team performs