Jump to content

Club Universidad Nacional

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Club Universidad Nacional
Full nameClub Universidad Nacional, A.C.[1]
Universitarios (Collegiates)
Universidad (University)
Auriazules (Gold-and-Blues)[2]
Los de Pedregal (The Guys from Pedregal)[3]
Founded2 August 1954; 69 years ago (1954-08-02)
as Club Deportivo Universidad[4][5]
GroundEstadio Olímpico Universitario
OwnerNational Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
ChairmanLuis Raúl González Pérez
ManagerGustavo Lema
LeagueLiga MX
Clausura 2024Regular phase: 8th
Final phase: Quarter-finals
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Club Universidad Nacional, A.C., more commonly referred to as Pumas UNAM, is a professional football club based in Mexico City, Mexico. The club competes in the Liga MX, the top division in the Mexican football league system. Founded in 1954, they play their home games at Estadio Olímpico Universitario.

Domestically, Pumas UNAM has won 11 trophies: 7 Liga MX, 1 Copa MX, the Campeón de Campeones twice, as well as 1 Segunda División de México. In international club football, the club has won 3 CONCACAF Champions Cups[7] and 1 Copa Interamericana.[8] The club has a long-standing rivalry with Club América in the derbi capitalino.[9]

The club is one of the most popular clubs in Mexico. It is considered to be one of the Cuatro Grandes of Mexican football, alongside Cruz Azul, Guadalajara, and Club América.[10][11]

The team is also known for its youth development system, which has produced international players such as Hugo Sánchez, Manuel Negrete, Luis Flores, Miguel España, Claudio Suárez, Luis García, Alberto García Aspe, David Patiño, Jorge Campos, Braulio Luna, Gerardo Torrado, Francisco Fonseca, Efraín Juárez, Héctor Moreno, Pablo Barrera, Israel Castro, Eduardo Herrera and Jesús Gallardo.

Los Pumas[edit]

Club Universidad Nacional (Pumas UNAM) was originally an amateur club of college students from UNAM's several schools and then developed into a professional team competing in the Mexican football league. It is now one of the biggest clubs in all of Mexico. It has evolved into one of the most popular Mexican teams and has gained an international following.

The team's blue and gold colors were selected as a tribute to the University of Notre Dame, whose football coaches helped to develop an American-style football team at the university. The nickname was inspired by Roberto 'Tapatio' Mendez, who coached the team from 1946 to 1964 and whose motivational speeches often compared his players to pumas. The nickname stayed with the public, and all the athletic teams representing the university have been called Pumas.

Their home ground is the Estadio Olímpico Universitario, the main venue of the 1968 Summer Olympics. It has a seating capacity of over 72,000. The stadium is situated within the campus which enables easy access by the students. The Pumas have training facilities within the campus but their main complex is the Cantera, located nearby.


The dean of the university, Luis Chico Goerne, made the first attempt to affiliate a representative of UNAM with the top football Mexican championship of the day, filing a petition to join the Liga Mayor de Fútbol Professional del Distrito Federal. The petition was rejected in favor of Club Marte [es] de Morelos. Therefore, Pumas played 13 years in Mexicos Liga De Ascenso.

By the 1940s, the dean Gustavo Baz Prada assigned the task to prepare the UNAM team to Rodolfo "Butch" Muñoz, then player of Club España. The new manager formed its new team with members of the student body of the many schools and faculties of the university. The UNAM team joined many university tournaments, with successful results, and "Butch" Muñoz went on to manage the team for 13 years. This prepared the team to complete its later transition to professional status.

Establishment: 1950s[edit]

In August 1954, the Club Universidad was accepted as a member of the Segunda División, in those days the second tier division of professional football in Mexico. This achievement was accomplished with the support of the dean Nabor Carrillo and Guillermo Aguilar Alvarez Sr., a benefactor of the club. Aguilar Alvarez was appointed by the dean as the chairman of the club.

On September 12, 1954 UNAM played its first professional game, an away match against Monterrey. After competing for three years, Club Universidad requested a one-year moratorium in its competing in Segunda División play to undergo a programme rebuilding process. Within that year, Hector Ortiz was appointed as the new manager of the club, and a Board of Patrons was formed.

The promotion: 1960s[edit]

Pumas UNAM realized its objective of promotion from Segunda División to Primera División when Club Universidad won the home-played promotion match on January 9, 1962, by defeating Club Cataluña de Torreón, 9–1. The match ended, the students rushed the pitch, and honored its team by carrying them off the field on their shoulders—this was the first step towards the consolidation of the club.

The following day, dean Ignacio Chávez Sánchez congratulated the team when he met with them: Octavio Vial (manager), and players: Homero Villar, Raúl Chanes, José Antonio "La Espátula" Rodríguez, Roberto Cuevas, Rafael Ramirez Jimenez, Alfredo Echávarri, José Ruiz, Carlos Gutierrez, Alfredo "Tito" Zenteno, José Luis "El Chango" Ledezma, Antonio Sámano, Jorge Gaitán, Guillermo Vázquez Sr., José Luis González "La Calaca", Lorenzo Garcia, Carlos Calderón de la Barca, Manuel "Manolo" Rodríguez, Edmundo "El Poli" Pérez, and Gustavo "El Gato" Cuenca.

The team established itself in the Primera División, the Board of Patrons prepared for the continuation of the team's success by establishing youth system to develop new players.

The legend begins: 1970s[edit]

After two years under the management of Alfonso "El Pescado" Portugal, the Spaniard Ángel Zubieta took the reins of the team. This enabled the program to identify "foreign" reinforcements, but rely on promoting from the youth system.

The first half of the decade was marked by the arrival of three of the most important foreign players in the existence of the club; the Peruvian Juan José Muñante, the Serbian Velibor "Bora" Milutinović, and the Brazilian Cabinho. They arrived to join a solid base of native-players such as Miguel Mejía Barón, Héctor Sanabria, Arturo Vázquez Ayala, José Luis "Pareja" López, and Leonardo Cuellar. In the second half of the decade those same players would give the club its first titles in the top division.

In 1975 the club adopted a new administration consisting of an independent civil association that helped the university to support the club. In the 1974–75 season, Universidad won the Copa México and the Campeón de Campeones. In the 1976–77 season, Club Universidad became league champion for the first time in its history. That championship was followed by two sub championships. The culmination of a successful decade for Club Universidad came with the debut of Hugo Sánchez. In 1978, Club Universidad would signed Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti , a player that will prove to be vital for the team in the coming decade.

Consolidation: 1980s[edit]

In the 1980–81 season, Universidad won its second league championship. That season was also the last season Hugo Sánchez played for the club. In the following season, the Pumas won the CONCACAF Championship and the Interamerican Cup.

This decade also marked the national recognition of the work performed by the club, and the revolutionary and dynamic style of play that helped Mexican football overall. For the 1986 FIFA World Cup, the Mexican Football Federation appointed the manager of Universidad, Velibor "Bora" Milutinović as the manager of the Mexico national football team. Milutinović called numerous Pumas and former Pumas to the nation team, including Hugo Sánchez, Félix Cruz Barbosa, Rafael Amador, Raúl Servín, Miguel España, Manuel Negrete and Luis Flores. This generation of players gave great satisfactions not only to the followers of Pumas, but also to the Mexican football fans.

Ups and downs: 1990s[edit]

The decade began with one of the most celebrated championships in club history, the 1990–91 League Championship against arch-rivals Club América - the memorable winning goal via free kick from Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti. This will be the last game of Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti due to retirement as a professional player. A new generation of players arrived, including Luis García, Jorge Campos, Claudio Suárez, Antonio Sancho, Israel López, Braulio Luna, Rafael García, Jaime Lozano, and Gerardo Torrado. This decade is, however, considered one of the least successful in terms of championships and development of players. Towards the end of the decade, Hugo Sánchez became manager of the club for the first time.

Success: 2000s[edit]

In 2004, Sánchez led the Pumas to their first championship in thirteen years. The Pumas were able to retain the championship later that year, becoming the first team since the Mexican league was split into two seasons to win back-to-back championships. As of summer 2012, they remain the only team to achieve this feat. Along with two domestic titles, the Pumas were also able to win both the Campeon de Campeones.

In 2005, the Pumas reached the Copa Sudamericana final, where they lost to Boca Juniors in a penalty shoot out when Roberto Abbondanzieri controversially stopped a penalty after having been forgiven a red card for handling the ball outside the penalty box denying a Pumas player a clear chance on goal. Domestically, the Pumas struggled after their 2004 success and, by 2006, were facing the threat of relegation. Ricardo Ferretti was appointed as manager that year in an effort to lead Pumas away from the relegation zone. The stability and discipline that Ferretti brought to the team paid off as the Pumas climbed out of the relegation zone and reached a final in 2007 against Atlante, which they lost 2–1 on aggregate. In 2009, Ferretti once again led the Pumas to a final, this time being victorious against Pachuca in extra time to claim the team's sixth championship.

Rejuvenating the Club: 2010s[edit]

Pumas UNAM squad previous to a match against Tijuana in April 2012.

In 2011, Pumas became champions of Clausura 2011 tournament, winning their seventh championship against Monarcas Morelia.

After hard times at the club after the sacking of Guillermo Vasquez as head coach in 2012, he was re-hired as head coach in 2014. In Apertura 2015, Pumas made it to the tournament final against Tigres U.A.N.L. Tigres won the first leg of the Final with a home win of 3–0. Then in the second leg of the final Pumas managed to tie the game on the global scoreboard at home 4–1. A penalty-shootout had to be done and Tigres won the championship 4–2 at a penalty-shootout. Thus, making Pumas unable to gain its 8th title. After the club's inability to make it to the play-offs in Clausura 2016 and failing to reach the semifinal for Copa Libertadores 2016 Guillermo Vasquez was once again sacked as head coach in May 2016.

At the end of May 2016, Pumas hired Francisco Palencia as head coach making Palencia debut as his first team to manage. Once again, in Apertura 2016 Pumas made it to the play-offs against Tigres for quarter finals. In the first leg with Pumas hosting the home game both teams tied 2-2. In the second leg Tigres hosting the home game, Tigres won 5–0. Thus, in the global scoreboard Pumas lost 7–2, and was not able to go further throughout the play-off stage.

In the Clausura 2017, Pumas had signed the Chilean forward Nicolas Castillo to give more firepower to the team's attack. He scored 8 goals the first 2 months of the season before he was injured and was out for the rest of the season. Pumas then had a great streak of games the first half of the season. Starting gaming Game 14 they lost 4 straight games and were not able to score a goal. With these results they finished in 17th place and were the worst defensive team having 30 goals against and Nicolas Castillo missing out on the top scorer award by 1 goal to Raul Ruidiaz, of Monarcas Morelia who scored 9 goals.

In the Apertura 2017, many key players were sold or loaned out the loan, such as Alejandro Palacios, and long time captain Dario Veron, all with the purpose to make room for new, young players.


In the 2020 Apertura, Pumas reached the final, losing to Club Leon on a 3-1 Aggregate with coach Andres Lillini after sacking Michel the season prior. In 2022, Pumas reached the Champions League Final, losing to Major League Soccer side Seattle Sounders FC on aggregate. After a poor 2023 Apertura, Lillini was sacked and was replaced with Rafael Puente Jr. After a poor start to the 2023 Clasura, Puente Jr. was sacked on March 20, 2023, with Pumas hiring Antonio "Turco" Mohamed to replace Puente shortly after. Mohamed's time on the bench did not last long as he resigned shortly after Pumas' elimination in the semifinals of the 2023 Apertura to Tigres.[12]


Puma Hobby in CU

Universidad has strong rivalries with Club América and Cruz Azul. These games are passionate and followed by the whole city. There is also a small but historical rivalry UNAM has with Leones Negros

Clásico Capitalino[edit]

Pumas UNAM fans in a match against Club América

The rivalry with Club América, compared to the others, is quite old and began during the 1960s, when Universidad won its promotion. The mere fact that both clubs are located in Mexico City generated the right atmosphere to see a rivalry born and grow. A few years later Club América bought Pumas UNAM idol Enrique Borja, even though the player had made a public statement that he did not want to be sold to Club América. In the 1980s the rivalry grew when Club América defeated Universidad twice in the league finals, both times with controversial refereeing decisions.[citation needed] The 1990s began with a "victory" of the Pumas over their rivals in the league finals, although it was actually a tie; the first leg was lost 3–2, and only the second leg was a 1–0 win. The aggregate score was 3–3, but Pumas UNAM scored two goals as the visiting team, giving them the edge. A new generation of players from the youth system grew up hating their adversaries; this decade is also marked by the birth of Las Barras Bravas, who supported both sides but had a much longer background story of rivalry. This rivalry is often referred to as the most violent of Mexico, with security measures exceeding those of any other game.

Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul[edit]

The rivalry with Cruz Azul comes out of the fact that both clubs are located in Mexico City, and they have played many important matches, including two league finals, recently the name of this game is the "Clásico Metropolitano” or “Derby central" because both teams were born in states that are in the central part of Mexico

Clásico Universitario[edit]

Pumas UNAM and Leones Negros are old rivals. Both clubs are historical rivals due to both clubs being founded by rival universities. One major encounter these two clubs have had with each other was in the 1976-77 Primera División final, when Pumas UNAM beat Leones Negros to achieve their first title. But over the years the rivalry has died down due to the Leones Negros going through a state of decline and relegated to the Segunda División .

Past kits[edit]

First kit evolution


Club Universidad Nacional honours
Type Competition Titles Seasons
Domestic Primera División 7 1976–77, 1980–81, 1990–91, Clausura 2004, Apertura 2004, Clausura 2009, Clausura 2011
Segunda División 1 1961–62
Copa México 1 1974–75
Campeón de Campeones 2 1975, 2004
Continental CONCACAF Champions' Cup 3 1980, 1982, 1989
Copa Interamericana 1 1981

Friendly tournaments[edit]

National 9–0 vs UAG May 16, 1976
Apertura 2007: 8–0 vs Veracruz
Apertura 2002: 7–1 vs Guadalajara
  • Best games (international):
Best International score: 8–0 vs El Salvador Isidro Metapán March 2008
CONCACAF Champions League: 6–1 vs Honduras Marathón March 2010.
CONCACAF Champions League: 8-1 vs Trinidad and Tobago W Connection October 20, 2016
  • Best position in the League Table: 1
  • Worst position in the League Table: 19th (last) during winter 2001


Current technical staff[edit]

Position Staff
Head coach Argentina Gustavo Lema
Assistant coach Argentina Josema Bazán [es]
Fitness coaches Argentina Matías Lema
Mexico Javier Flores
Goalkeeping coach Mexico Iván Gaytán
Physiotherapist Mexico José Pang
Club doctors Mexico Antonio Acevedo
Mexico Eduardo Acosta
  • Last updated: May 4, 2024
  • Source:


Position Staff
President Luis Raúl González Pérez
Vice President of Sporting Miguel Mejía Barón
Executive Vice President Enrique Sánchez González
Director of Academy Raúl Alpizar
  • Last updated:
  • Source:[20]


Current squad[edit]

As of 24 June 2024[21]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Mexico MEX Julio González
2 DF Mexico MEX Pablo Bennevendo
3 DF Mexico MEX Ricardo Galindo
4 DF Argentina ARG Lisandro Magallán (captain)
6 DF Brazil BRA Nathan Silva
7 MF Mexico MEX Rodrigo López
8 MF Colombia COL José Caicedo
9 FW Mexico MEX Guillermo Martínez
10 MF Argentina ARG Leonardo Suárez
12 MF Mexico MEX César Huerta
13 DF Mexico MEX Pablo Monroy
No. Pos. Nation Player
14 DF Mexico MEX Jesús Rivas
15 MF Mexico MEX Ulises Rivas
17 MF Mexico MEX Jorge Ruvalcaba
19 FW Mexico MEX Alí Ávila (on loan from Monterrey)
20 MF Mexico MEX Santiago Trigos
21 MF Mexico MEX Michell Rodríguez (on loan from Monterrey)
22 DF Uruguay URU Robert Ergas
27 MF Peru PER Piero Quispe
29 FW Mexico MEX Rogelio Funes Mori
33 GK Mexico MEX Gil Alcalá
DF Spain ESP Rubén Duarte

Other players under contract[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
MF Mexico MEX Marco García

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF Argentina ARG Nicolás Freire (at Inter Miami)
MF Brazil BRA Higor Meritão (at Criciúma)
MF Mexico MEX Miguel Carreón (at Atlético San Luis)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Mexico MEX Gael Rodríguez (at Cancún)
FW Argentina ARG Gustavo Del Prete (at Mazatlán)

Reserves and Academy[edit]

World Cup players[edit]

The following players have represented their country at the World Cup whilst playing for Pumas UNAM:



  1. ^ Nacional, Club Universidad. "El Club Universidad Nacional, informa". Pumas.mx. Archived from the original on 2020-11-09. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
  2. ^ "Pumas sign Erick". www.sportingnews.com. 25 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Pumas: ¿qué fue de la vida de Saúl Berjón?". 5 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Club Universidad, 61 años de historia" (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Pumas MX". www.facebook.com. Archived from the original on 2022-02-26.
  6. ^ "LIGA MX - Página Oficial de la Liga Mexicana del Fútbol Profesional". ligamx.net.
  7. ^ "About". Concacaf. 2021-03-07. Retrieved 2022-04-13.
  8. ^ "Palmarés". Archived from the original on 2022-11-26. Retrieved 2020-08-09.
  9. ^ "Pumas vs. America: What you need to know". 16 March 2017.
  10. ^ "How to watch Liga MX: A beginner's guide". ESPN.com. July 18, 2018.
  11. ^ "Liga MX 101: The terms you need to know". ESPN.com. January 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "'Turco' Mohamed deja a Pumas por 'temas personales'". ESPNdeportes.com (in Spanish). 2023-12-12. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  13. ^ Torneo Cuadrangular de Agosto 1971 (Ciudad de México)
  14. ^ "Coors California Cup 1985".
  15. ^ Pachuca Cuna del Fútbol Mexicano
  16. ^ Copa Universidades de América 2000
  17. ^ Dallas Cup
  18. ^ Copa Chiapas
  19. ^ "Cotton Bowl 2012 – Detroit".
  20. ^ "Directorio". Club Universidad Nacional. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  21. ^ "Plantilla Universidad Nacional". Liga MX. Retrieved 14 July 2023.

Guadalajara Chivas - U.N.A.M.- Pumas 1:3 Guadalajara Chivas - U.N.A.M.- Pumas 1:2

External links[edit]