|Full name||Juan Francisco Palencia Hernández|
|Date of birth||April 28, 1973|
|Place of birth||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Playing position||Striker and Midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 April 2011.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 October 2009
Palencia played in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, taking his side to the quarterfinals where they were defeated by Nigeria, the eventual winners. He was a member of the national team for the 1996, 1998 and 2003 Gold Cup tournaments and the 1999 Confederations Cup tournament, where he helped Mexico win all four competitions. Palencia also played in two FIFA World Cups, France'98 and Korea-Japan 2002, but could only help his team reach the "Round of 16" of the tournaments before being eliminated. He has also represented his country in three Copa América tournaments in 1997, 1999 and 2004, as well as two Confederations Cup appearances in 1997 and 1999.
A veteran of 539 career games at club level with 137 goals to his name, 80 international caps for his country and 12 international goals. His experience has made him one of Mexico's best players. Palencia trained with the Cruz Azul youth system at age 13 and made his debut in the Primera División (First Division) in 1994 at age 21. After finishing the 1995–1996 season with highly anticipated performances, Palencia was awarded the "Rookie of the Year Award", for most outstanding young player in the First Division. Palencia would go on to play seven seasons, captaining and scoring 91 goals for Mexico City's Club Deportivo Cruz Azul, and leading them to two championship titles in the CONCACAF Tournaments of 1996 and 1997, one championship title in the First Division in 1997, and second place in the Copa Libertadores of 2001.
After finishing second place to Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores, Palencia departed from Cruz Azul at the end of the 2000–2001 season and went to Spain (on loan) to play for RCD Espanyol in La Liga, where he played 35 matches and scored six goals. After his one-year contract expired, Palencia returned to Mexico in late 2002 to play one more season with his old club, Cruz Azul. In late 2003, Palencia joined another club of Mexican football, this time to the "All Mexican Team", Club Deportivo Guadalajara. He continued on with his success displaying his excellent form, taking the team into the semi-finals of the 2005 Copa Libertadores tournament and registering 5 goals.
Palencia was originally slated to join C.D. Chivas USA for the start of their inaugural season, but he enjoyed so much success with Guadalajara that his arrival to the United States team was delayed until August 19, 2005. In his American debut, he promptly displayed his fine form and scored two goals. In 2006, Palencia was the team captain of Chivas USA and was also the highest paid player in MLS at that time, earning US$1,360,000 a year. In 2006, the veteran striker missed out on selection in Mexico's 23 man squad for the World Cup. On January 2007, Palencia signed to UNAM Pumas. On February 7, Palencia was called up by coach Hugo Sánchez to represent his country and play a friendly game against the United States. The Mexicans lost the match 0-2. However, Palencia played against Paraguay on March 25 and Ecuador on March 28, Mexico winning both matches and Palencia score a goal.
Palencia had another opportunity to play in the Copa Libertadores on May 3 and 8 of 2007. Club Toluca signed him on loan for a couple of games to reinforce its squad against Corporación Nuevo Cúcuta Deportivo in both matches of the Round of 16. Unfortunately for Toluca, Cúcuta Deportivo won the first match at home 5-1, even though Toluca scored first on the very first minute of the game. This match was followed by a 2-0 Toluca victory over Cúcuta Deportivo, also starting Palencia. Toluca was eliminated from the tournament and Palencia will have to wait for another opportunity to play in Latin America's biggest club championship event.
- As of 31 December 2016[n 1]
- CONCACAF Champions Cup:
- Winner (1): 1996–1997
- Mexican Primera División:
- Winner (1): 1997
- Copa México
- Winner (1): 1996–97
- Copa Libertadores:
- Runner-up (1): 2001
- Mexican Primera División:
- Winner (1): Clausura 2009
- Winner (1): Clausura 2011
- Mexican Primera División:
- Runner-up (1): Clausura 2004
|1.||December 14, 1997||King Fahd II Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia||5–0||Win||1997 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|2.||December 14, 1997||King Fahd II Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia||5–0||Win||1997 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|3.||February 4, 1998||Network Associates Coliseum, Oakland, United States||Trinidad & Tobago||4–2||Win||1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|4.||February 24, 1998||Pro Player Stadium, Miami Gardens, United States||Netherlands||2–3||Loss||Friendly|
|5.||July 17, 1999||Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Chile||2–1||Win||1999 Copa América|
|6.||July 29, 1999||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Bolivia||1–0||Win||1999 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|7.||February 13, 2000||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States||Trinidad & Tobago||4–0||Win||2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|8.||November 11, 2001||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Honduras||3–0||Win||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|9.||May 16, 2002||Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco, United States||Bolivia||1–0||Win||Friendly|
|10.||June 19, 2004||Alamodome, San Antonio, United States||Dominica||10–0||Win||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|11.||March 28, 2007||McAfee Coliseum, Oakland, United States||Ecuador||4–2||Win||Friendly|
|12.||October 10, 2009||Estadio Azteca Mexico City, Mexico||El Salvador||4–1||Win||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
- "Washingtonpost.com". Palencia has Richest MLS Salary. April 27, 2006. Retrieved April 27, 2006.
- "Yahoo.com". Toluca va ante Cúcuta reforzado por mexicano Palencia y argentino Scocco. Retrieved May 30, 2007.
- "Conmebol.com". Cúcuta Deportivo-CD Toluca. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2007.
- "Conmebol.com". CD Toluca-Cúcuta Deportivo. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved May 30, 2007.
- Francisco Palencia article (Spanish)
- Francisco Palencia at FootballDatabase.com
- MLS profile at MLSNet.com