|Founded||17 October 1943|
|Number of teams||18|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Ascenso MX|
|Domestic cup(s)||Copa MX
Campeón de Campeones
|International cup(s)||CONCACAF Champions League
|Most championships||América (11 titles)
Guadalajara (11 titles)
|TV partners||ESPN Latin America
Fox Sports Latinoamérica
|2013–14 Liga MX season|
The Mexican first division was established in 1943. From 2012 the league comprised 18 participating clubs. Up to June 2011, it was divided into three groups competing for league titles until July 2011 when groups were removed in favor of a single table format. Each season the league holds two tournaments: the Apertura, which starts in the summer, and the Clausura, which starts in the winter. The league is currently ranked number 11 in the world and number 10 in the last decade (2001–2010) by the IFFHS.
The two most successful clubs are Club America and C.D. Guadalajara with 11 titles each, they are followed by Toluca with 10, Cruz Azul with 8 and UNAM with 7 titles respectively. Club America and C.D. Guadalajara are also the two most popular teams.
- 1 History
- 2 Competition format
- 3 Sponsorship
- 4 Media coverage
- 5 Clubs
- 6 Stadia and locations
- 7 Managers
- 8 Primera División – league system champions (1943–1970)
- 9 Primera División – liguilla system champions (1970–1996)
- 10 Primera División – short tournament champions (1996–present)
- 11 Titles by club
- 12 Promotion and relegation
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Prior to the Liga Mayor, there was no national football league in Mexico, and football competitions were held within relatively small geographical regions. The winners of the Primera Fuerza, a local league consisting of teams near and around Mexican Federal District, was considered the national competition. There were other regional leagues such as the Liga Veracruzana, Liga Occidental of Jalisco and Liga del Bajío that also had notable clubs. Many club owners were not keen on the idea of establishing a professional league, despite paying players under the table. With the increasing demand of football, there was a sense of urgency to unite all the local amateur leagues in Mexico to progress as a football nation. The professional national league was finally established in 1943.
When the F.M.F. announced the formation of the nation's first professional league, many clubs petitioned to join the newly formed league. The F.M.F. announced that ten clubs would form the Liga Mayor (Major League). The first members of the league were founded by six clubs of the Primera Fuerza of Mexico City, two clubs from the Liga Occidental and two members from the Liga Veracruzana Managed by Eduardo Escoto "Shrek".
- Primera Fuerza: América, Asturias, Atlante, Real España, and Marte.
- Liga Occidental De Jalisco: Atlas and Guadalajara.
- Liga Amateur de Veracruz : Orizaba, Veracruz and Moctezuma.
Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, many small clubs faced economic difficulties which were attributed to the lack of international competition by Mexican clubs and an unrewarding league format. Mexican clubs that placed high in the league standings could not afford to participate in prestigious international tournaments such as the Copa Libertadores as did many South American and European clubs.
The Mexican league boom
The 1970 World Cup held in Mexico was the first World Cup televised on a grand scale. The season following the FIFA World Cup, the F.M.F. changed the league format and established a playoff phase to determine the national champion. This was done to regenerate interest and reward teams that placed fairly high in the standings.
The playoff, called in Mexico "liguilla", was played in different ways to get two finalists and play two games to define the champion. The regular way was by direct elimination rounds using the top eight teams of the table or, when groups existed, the top two teams of each group. During some sessions, the best third placed teams were allowed to play a match against the lowest two second places in a repechaje in a chance to be promoted to the playoffs. This was eliminated as long as the calendar was modified to fit with the international compromises of both teams and Mexican National Team members.
Other way practiced to define finalists was by doing two groups of four teams and making them play round robin games in home/away stadiums so they can complete six games and then the top team in the group passed to the Finals. This was used very few as long as the teams found out that teams that had not much to fight after three or four plays began to lost support for the last games.
The change in the rules affected teams that traditionally dominated the table as happen with Chivas del Guadalajara and favored other teams that, even not being so regular in the regular seasons, were able to perform well in the play-offs winning several championships due to that, as happens with Cruz Azul in the 70s, America in the 80s and Toluca in the 2000s.
Regular season tournaments
Liga MX is a single table of 18 teams that play two annual tournaments resulting in two champions per season. The season opens with the apertura tournament (opening tournament- running from July to December) followed by the clausura (closing - running from January to May). This format matches other Latin American schedules and correspond with FIFA's world footballing calendar, which "opens" in July/August and "closes" in April/May of the next year. Each team plays a different team each week, accruing points for wins and ties over the 17 week tournament. Based on these points, the top eight teams reach the liguilla phase of the respective tournament where a new champion is crowned.
From 1996 to 2002, the league followed a similar two-tournament schedule called invierno (winter) and verano (summer) but in 2002 to the 2010/2011 season they divided the 18 teams into three groups of six, called group one, group two, and group three. They remained in their respective groups throughout the two tournaments played that season. The qualification phase of the tournament lasted 17 weeks, with all teams playing each other once per tournament in a home and away series over both tournaments. The top two teams from each group and the two best third place teams qualified to reach the liguilla.
La liguilla (the playoffs)
The liguilla (Spanish for "little league") is the playoff phase of the tournament. This phase starts with eight qualifying teams and is played in the "tie" format in two-leg aggregate-score, similar to the quarterfinals and semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. The first six qualifying teams are the two best clubs from each of the three groups. The best two clubs on the General Classification Table who are not among the top two in their respective group round up the eight qualifiers. The Elimination bracket goes from an 8 team quarterfinal, to a 4 team semifinal, and a final. The Champion team is awarded the First division trophy, and the runner up is awarded a smaller version of the trophy as well. Each player receives a medal respective to their team's placement. The birth of La liguilla in 1970, modernized the league despite the disagreements between the traditionalists and the modernists. Clubs that were near bankruptcy were now better able to compete and generate profits.
At the end of a season, after the Apertura and Clausura tournaments, one team is relegated to the next lower division, Ascenso MX, and one team from that division is promoted and takes the place left open by the relegated team. Currently, the relegated team is determined by computing the points-per-game-played ratio for each team, considering all the games played by the team during the last three seasons (six tournaments). The team with the lowest ratio is relegated. For teams recently promoted, only the games played since their promotion are considered (two or four tournaments). The team promoted from Ascenso MX is the winner of a two-leg match between the champions of the Apertura and Clausura tournaments of that division. If a team becomes the champion in both tournaments, it is automatically promoted.
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In theory, all First Division clubs have the right to sell their own broadcast rights. What this means in practice is that the league is effectively divided between teams broadcast on Televisa, TV Azteca, Fox Sports, ESPN Dos in México, and ESPN Deportes, Telemundo, and Univision in the United States. ESPN also own English broadcast rights in the United States. Televisa and TV Azteca have an agreement in which Televisa will take 10 teams' rights and Azteca 8. In previous years, when a team got relegated, the team that got promoted could only negotiate with the company that had the television rights of the team that got relegated. This agreement was cancelled in 2012 by the Liga MX when the promotion of Club León caused a television rights dispute with Televisa. Currently, Club León matches are broadcast in Mexico by Fox Sports and other online media sites, and in the USA by Telemundo.
Telelatino and Fox Sports World hold broadcasting rights in Canada; Fox Sports is the only network that holds rights to broadcast selected matches in United States and South America. Additionally, Televisa-owned networks Sky Sports and TDN hold exclusive broadcasting rights over selected matches throughout the regular season, although the majority of the most important ones are broadcast live on the national networks.
Most of the Saturday afternoon and evening matches broadcast by Televisa are shown primarily on Galavision, though some Saturday games, those played by Televisa's club America, are played on Televisa's flagship network, Canal de las Estrellas. However, a blackout policy is usually applied, so Galavision affiliates are forced to air alternate programming during the matches. Sunday noon and afternoon games broadcast by Televisa are shown on Canal de las Estrellas. All of the games broadcast by TV Azteca on Saturday and Sunday are shown on Azteca 13; Friday's matches however are shown on Azteca 7. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (aka Fecha DOBLE) matches picked by the national networks are shown on Canal 5 and Azteca 7 and the rest of the matches air on Sky Sports and TDN.
A recent rule, in effect since 2011, requires teams to play the final game of every season on Sunday during prime time, regardless of whether the team used to play local games in another timeslot, in order to capture more television audience during the game.
Liga Bancomer's games are broadcast internationally by six companies; Azteca America, ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports, Telemundo, Univision and Aljazeera. In September 2011, Brazilian company Traffic acquired the rights to Liga Bancomer mx and the Mexican National Team, according to reports by consulting firm Sports Pro with the deal set to expire at the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After its purchase, Traffic resold the rights to Arabian network Aljazeera for transmission in the Middle East, North Africa and France. The Asian network has 16 transmission channels by internet that carry the name of AlJazeerasport.tv in which one Liga Bancomer game is transmitted per week. This coverage includes 23 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Also, Oromar TV and Oromar HD has the exclusive rights in Ecuador. In Central America league games can be seen through ESPN Latin America, Fox Sports and TDN. The overall reach of the Mexican league covers all 5 continents and 41 countries.
|Club||Mexico||United States||Time and Date|
|América||Canal de las Estrellas||Univision||Saturday 5:00pm|
|Atlante||Sky Sports||UDN/Galavision||Saturday 7:00pm|
|Atlas||Azteca 13||UDN||Saturday 9:00pm|
|Chiapas||Gala TV||UDN||Saturday 9:00pm|
|Cruz Azul||Azteca 13||Univision||Saturday 5:00pm|
|Guadalajara||Canal de las Estrellas||UniMas||Sunday 5:00pm|
|León||Fox Sports||Telemundo/mun2||Saturday 8:06pm|
|Monterrey||Gala TV||UniMas/UDN||Saturday 7:00pm|
|Morelia||Azteca 7||Azteca America||Friday 7:30pm|
|Pachuca||Azteca 13||UniMas/UDN||Saturday 7:00pm|
|Puebla||Azteca 13||Azteca America||Sunday 12:00pm|
|Querétaro||Azteca 7||Azteca America||Friday 7:30pm|
|Santos Laguna||Azteca 7||UDN||Friday 9:30pm|
|Tijuana||Azteca 7||Azteca America||Friday 9:30pm|
|Toluca||Canal de las Estrellas||Univision||Sunday 12:00pm|
|UANL||Gala TV||UniMas/UDN||Saturday 7:00pm|
|UNAM||Canal de las Estrellas||Univision||Sunday 12:00pm|
|Veracruz||Gala TV||UDN||Saturday 5:00pm|
The following 18 clubs will compete in Liga MX during the 2013–14 season.
|Club||First season in
|Number of seasons
in top division
|First season of
current spell in
|Number of seasons
in Liga MX
Stadia and locations
|Team||Home city||Stadium||Stadium capacity|
|Atlante||Cancún, Quintana Roo||Andrés Quintana Roo||20,000|
|Chiapas||Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas||Víctor Manuel Reyna||31,500|
|Cruz Azul||Mexico City||Azul||35,161|
|Monterrey||Monterrey, Nuevo León||Tecnológico||38,622|
|Tijuana||Tijuana, Baja California||Caliente||21,000|
|Toluca||Toluca, Estado de México||Nemesio Díez||27,000|
|UANL||San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León||Universitario||42,000|
|UNAM||Mexico City||Olímpico Universitario||52,000|
|Veracruz||Veracruz, Veracruz||Luis de la Fuente||26,148|
The current managers in Liga Bancomer MX are:
|Mohamed, AntonioAntonio Mohamed||América||17 December 2013|
|Israel, RubénRubén Israel||Atlante||3 September 2013|
|Boy, TomásTomás Boy||Atlas||6 December 2013|
|Bueno, SergioSergio Bueno||Chiapas||5 June 2013|
|Tena, Luis FernandoLuis Fernando Tena||Cruz Azul||11 December 2013|
|Real, José LuisJosé Luis Real||Guadalajara||25 November 2013|
|Matosas, GustavoGustavo Matosas||León||20 September 2011|
|Cruz, José GuadalupeJosé Guadalupe Cruz||Monterrey||25 August 2013|
|Bustos, CarlosCarlos Bustos||Morelia||18 February 2013|
|Meza, EnriqueEnrique Meza||Pachuca||3 September 2013|
|Romano, Ruben OmarRuben Omar Romano||Puebla||14 August 2013|
|Ambríz, IgnacioIgnacio Ambríz||Querétaro||4 February 2013|
|Caixinha, PedroPedro Caixinha||Santos||20 November 2012|
|Farías, CésarCésar Farías||Tijuana||3 December 2013|
|Cardozo, JoséJosé Cardozo||Toluca||7 May 2013|
|Ferretti, RicardoRicardo Ferretti||UANL||20 May 2010|
|Trejo, José LuisJosé Luis Trejo||UNAM||4 September 2013|
|Luna, Juan AntonioJuan Antonio Luna||Veracruz||24 May 2013|
Primera División – league system champions (1943–1970)
Primera División – liguilla system champions (1970–1996)
- **Decided on goal difference
Primera División – short tournament champions (1996–present)
- *Not official/recognized title
Titles by club
|Guadalajara||11||1956-57, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1969–70, 1986–87, Verano 1997, Apertura 2006|
|América||11||1965-66, 1970–71, 1975–76, 1983–84, 1984–85, PRODE 85, 1987–88, 1988–89, Verano 2002, Clausura 2005, Clausura 2013|
|Toluca||10||1966-67, 1967–68, 1974–75, Verano 1998, Verano 1999, Verano 2000, Apertura 2002, Apertura 2005, Apertura 2008, Bicentenario 2010|
|Cruz Azul||8||1968-69, Mexico 70, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1978–79, 1979–80, Invierno 1997|
|UNAM||7||1976-77, 1980–81, 1990–91, Clausura 2004, Apertura 2004, Clausura 2009, Clausura 2011|
|León||6||1947-48, 1948–49, 1951–52, 1955–56, 1991–92, Apertura 2013|
|Pachuca||5||Invierno 1999, Invierno 2001, Apertura 2003, Clausura 2006, Clausura 2007|
|Santos Laguna||4||Invierno 1996, Verano 2001, Clausura 2008, Clausura 2012|
|Monterrey||4||Mexico 86, Clausura 2003, Apertura 2009, Apertura 2010|
|Tigres UANL||3||1977-78, 1981–82, Apertura 2011|
|Atlante||3||1946-47, 1992–93, Apertura 2007|
|Necaxa†||3||1994-95, 1995–96, Invierno 1998|
|Real Club España†||1||1944-45|
† Teams no longer in the First Division.
Promotion and relegation
Relegation and Promotion by Club
- 1976-77: Tampico bought San Luis's spot in first division
- 1977-78: Deportivo Neza is bought Club de Fútbol Laguna and took its spot.
- 1981-82: Tampico bought Atletas Campesinos and took over its spot
- 1983-84: Ángeles de Puebla bought Oaxtepec and took over its spot
- 1988-89: Veracruz bought Neza and took over its spot
- 1992-93: U.T. Neza changes its name to Toros Neza
- Ver. 99: Puebla bought U.D Curtidores and took over its spot
- 2013-2014: Veracruz bought La Piedad's spot in first division
- Primera Fuerza
- Ascenso MX
- Segunda División de México
- Tercera División de México
- Campeón de Campeones
- Copa MX
- Football in Mexico
- Mexican Football Federation
- Mexican football transfers 2006–07
- includes Canal 5, Canal de las Estrellas, Gala TV, SKY México and TDN
- includes Azteca 7 and Azteca Trece
- (Spanish) "Liga mx patrocinio". cnnexpansion..com. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "The strongest Leagues in the World in the 1st Decade of 21st Century (2001-2010)". IFFHS. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "The strongest National League in the World 2012:". IFFHS. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "Historia del futbol en México". Femexfut. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- "Carlos Slim And Multi-Ownership In Mexico". businessofsoccer.com. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- Fox Sports adquiere los derechos de transmisión del Club Mexicano León F.C.
- (Spanish) "La Liga se transmite en todo el mundo". El Economista. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- "Infografias Estadio Azteca". Esmas.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Atlante construirá nuevo estadio en Cancún". MedioTiempo.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Inmuebla". EstadioJalisco.net. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Jaguares de Chiapas". transfermarkt.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "CD Cruz Azul". transfermarkt.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Ficha Chivas". Terra.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Estadio Club León". clubleon-fc.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "CF Monterrey". transfermarkt.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Estadio Morelos". fuerzamonarca.com/. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "CF Pachuca". transfermarkt.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Estadio Cuauhtémoc". puebla-fc.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "HISTORIA ESTADIO CORREGIDORA". clubqueretaro.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Stadium Official Website". territoriosantosmodelo.com.mx. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "ESTADIO CALIENTE - XOLOITZCUINTLES TERRITORY". xolosofficial.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Deportivo Toluca". transfermarkt.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Estadio Universitario". tigres.com.mx. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Estadio Olímpico". clubpumasunam.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz". transfermarkt.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- Official website (Spanish)
- Map of all Mexican clubs
- Results, Games, Standings (Spanish) (English)
- MedioTiempo Website (Spanish)
- Mexican League Top Goalscorers, Season by Season (Spanish)
- Mexico - List of Champions, RSSSF.com (English)