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Mexico National Football Team

Mexico is the most successful football-playing nation in the CONCACAF (The Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football) region. Mexico has never won the World Cup but has won the FIFA Confederations Cup, an Olympic Gold, and eleven confederation titles. El Tri has featured in 17 World Cup finals and made it out of the group stages in the last seven editions. Only Brazil can match that feat.

Want to see how The Mexico National Football Team will do in the Qatar 2022 World Cup? Click the links below to bet on your favourite World Cup matches!

Tuesday November 22Mexico vs Poland (Stadium 974, Doha; kick-off 5pm).

Friday November 25Argentina vs Mexico (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 8pm).

Wednesday November 30Saudi Arabia vs Mexico (Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail; kick-off 8pm).


Team History

Mexico National Football Team History

Football Comes to Mexico

Football came to the Mexican shores through European immigrants, namely English miners, and Spanish Civil War refugees. After the introduction of football in the early 20th century, Mexico National Football played its first match against Guatemala in 1923. The Mexicans played Guatemala three more times that year. Mexico defeated its southeastern neighbor on three occasions, and the other match between the two sides ended in a 3-3 draw.

For the next four years, Mexico did not play football on an international level. The team’s hiatus would end on 19 June 1927, when Mexico faced Spain in a friendly match that ended in a 3-3 stalemate. The Mexican Football Federation was born as the country’s football regulatory body in the same year.

First International Tournaments and Continental Title

A year later, The Mexico National Football team played in its first international tournament, participating in the 1928 Summer Olympics football in Amsterdam. It crashed out of the round of 16, suffering a 1-7 hammering from Spain.

After the Amsterdam Olympics, Mexico National Football team featured in the first iteration of the FIFA World Cup in Uruguay in 1930. Mexico was seeded in Group 1 alongside France, Argentina, and Chile. It lost all three of its group matches and dropped out of the competition. Mexico would not return to the World Cup before the 1950 edition, where it would finish at the rock bottom of its group without winning any match.

Mexico National Football’s first continental crown came in the 1965 CONCACAF Championship. The competition had a round-robin format with six teams. Mexico drew the match against Costa Rica but beat Guatemala, El Salvador, Netherlands Antilles, and Haiti to climb to the summit of the point table.

Mexico Hosts World Cup

1970 World Cup

Five years after tasting its first CONCACAF glory, the Mexico National Football team hosted the World Cup for the first time. Up until then, Mexico had a below-par record in the most prestigious football tournament in the world. The historic 3-1 win over Czechoslovakia in the 1962 World Cup group stages was the only match El Tri managed to win in the competition in its previous eight World Cup campaigns.

But the hosts battled against the odds and went on to have the best World Cup campaign in their history. After starting the tournament with a goalless draw against the USSR, Mexico delighted the Estadio Azteca crowd with a 4-0 win over El Salvador. The host nation would beat Belgium 1-0 in its final group match to book a place in the knockout stages. However, its incredible World Cup journey would come to an end at the Estadio Luis Dosal (currently known as the Estadio Nemesio Díez) as Italy cruised to a 4-1 victory against Mexico in the quarterfinals.

Despite coming off the back of its most successful World Cup campaign, Mexico could not qualify for the 1974 World Cup. It did make it to the 1978 edition, but it could not make it past the group stages. In 1982, the Mexicans were mere spectators once again as they failed to grab the CONCACAF qualification spots.

1986 World Cup

The World Cup returned to Mexico in 1986, and once again, the El Tri had a strong World Cup campaign in front of the home crowd. Mexico won its group ahead of Bulgaria, Paraguay, and Iraq. Mexico would take on eventual finalist West Germany in the quarterfinals.

This time, the hosts put on a much better effort and took the match to penalties after none of the teams managed to break the deadlock. Unfortunately, Mexico could convert only one of its penalties, and West Germany clinched a 4-1 shootout win to book a semifinal meeting with France.

World Cup Scandal

The Mexicans were left in déjà vu when FIFA disqualified them from participating in the 1990 World Cup after finding evidence Mexico fielded overage players in the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship.

After the infamous Cachirules scandal that kicked Mexico out of the 1994 World Cup, the Mexican Football Federation appointed César Luis Menotti, who was in charge of the Argentina team that won the 1978 World Cup. Under Menotii, Mexico reached the 1993 Copa América final. But, it lost to Argentina in the final. Mexico would also win the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup before securing qualification for the 1994 World Cup, which was about to be held right across the borders.

Mexico National Football return to the World Cup

After returning to the World Cup in 1994, Mexico National Football has been a mainstay in the World Cup knockout stages. However, it could not go beyond the round of 16.

In 1999, Mexico National Football won the FIFA Confederations Cup, continuing its remarkable form as a host nation in international competitions. Mexico qualified for the semifinals as the champion of Group A, which had Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, and Egypt. Bolivia entered the competition as the 1997 Copa América runner-up since champion Brazil was also the reigning world champion back then, having won the 1998 World Cup.

The Mexico National Football Team faced arch-rival USA in the semifinals. None of the teams could find the back of the net after a well-contested 90 minutes. So, the match dragged on to extra time. Seven minutes after the restart, Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo sent ruptures throughout the Estadio Azteca by scoring a golden goal that ensured a place in the final for Mexico at the expense of USA. Blanco would score the decisive goal again three days later as Mexico won the Confederations Cup, beating Brazil in a 4-3 thriller.

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