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Mexico National Soccer Team

Mexico National Soccer Team
The Mexico National Team is one of the dominant teams in the CONCACAF region, led by stars like Chicharito. El Tri, as they are known by their faithful fans, are on an impressive run, having qualified for every FIFA World Cup finals since 1994. The team is well-known for their green home soccer kits and playing at one of the game’s grandest venues, Azteca Stadium.
Mexico National Team
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The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) was founded on August 23, 1927 and affiliated with FIFA in 1929 ahead of the inaugural FIFA World Cup the following year. The national team has featured 3 distinct crests over their history.

The original crest used at the 1930 FIFA World Cup was a shield style badge. ‘MEXICO’ was written at the top of the shield with the green, white, and red colors from the national flag underneath. This crest was used largely unchanged for the next 5 decades.

Mexico updated their badge prior to hosting the FIFA World Cup in 1970 and 1986.

The 1970’s update added the Mexican coat of arms to the crest with the entire crest larger than previously worn.

The crest started to look similar to what we have now in the run up to the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The Aztec calendar became the centerpiece of the crest surrounded by the colors of Mexico’s flag and the official name of the soccer federation, ‘Federacion Mexican de Futbol.’ Near the base of the crest is a retro looking soccer ball. This crest was used until after the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

The crest was updated to include a modern looking soccer ball that now obscures the original face on the Aztec calendar. It is this badge that is still in use today.

The Mexican national soccer team has called Azteca Stadium ‘home’ since it opened in 1966. The stadium which sits 7,200 feet above sea level has been a fortress for El Tricolor during that time and made them one of the dominant teams in the CONCACAF region.

But the stadium has a history that extends beyond the region to make it one of the most hallowed soccer grounds in the world. Azteca was the first stadium to host 2 World Cup finals with Pele and Diego Maradona lifting the trophy in 1970 and 1986, respectively. (Maracana in Brazil is the only other stadium to host 2 FIFA World Cup finals.) It was also the primary venue for the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Azteca is home to Club America in the domestic Mexican Liga MX and played in the inaugural match against Torino FC on May 29, 1966. America’s Brazilian Arlindo Dos Santos scored the opening goal at the new venue but the home side eventually settled for a 2-2 draw. Mexican president Gustavo Díaz Ordaz kicked the first ball and then FIFA president Sir Stanley Rous was at the inaugural match.

Even from the start, Estadio Azteca was special and built with the beautiful game in mind. Architects Pedro Ramirez Vasquez and Rafael Mijares visited famous soccer stadia around the world gleaning ideas on what made them special.

While the stadium is still known as ‘Azteca’ to most fans it is officially named Guillermo Canedo. Its nickname is ‘Coloso de Santa Úrsula (Colossus of Saint Ursula) due to it being located in the Saint Ursula suburb of Mexico City.

Azteca Stadium currently has a capacity of 87,000 but hosted a record soccer crowd of 119,853 for the Mexico vs Brazil match in 1968.

5 Classic Matches at Estadio Azteca

Italy 4 – 3 West Germany (1970 FIFA World Cup Semi-Final)
The game is called by many as the ‘Game of the Century.’ There is even a plaque at Estadio Azteca calling the game ‘el Partido del Siglo’ and commemorating both national teams. This game featured 5 goals in extra time not including the 90th minute equalizer by West Germany to send it to extra time. 102,444 were in attendance to see Italy score a 111th minute after West Germany had equalized just a minute before.

Brazil 4 - 1 Italy (1970 FIFA World Cup Final)
Italy’s 120 minute battle with West Germany just 4 days prior put them at a disadvantage. Brazil took advantage and coasted to victory at Azteca. It was also the last FIFA World Cup game for Pele. He scored the opener for Brazil and finish his World Cup career with 12 goals and is the only player to win 3 FIFA World Cups. 107,412 saw the Jules Rimet trophy be lifted for the last time as Brazil permanently kept the trophy after winning it for the 3rd time.

Argentina 2 -1 England (1986 FIFA World Cup Semi-Final)
114,580 fans were witness to both the ‘Hand of God’ and the ‘Goal of the Century.’ Diego Maradona was involved in both incidents and drove Argentina past England to the semis. It sealed Maradona’s legacy as one of the all time greats. In another wrinkle to the game, Argentina played in jerseys a coach bought in the markets in Mexico City just days before. La Albiceleste rode the momentum to win the title.

Argentina 3 - 2 West Germany (1986 FIFA World Cup Final)
Argentina jumped out to an early lead and built on it, leading 2-0 with less than 20 minutes to go. West Germany woke up and tied it up by scoring 2 goals in 7 minutes, (74th & 81st). Unfortunately for the Germans, Maradona was not going to lose the final after having a great tournament. Maradona had the game winning assist to Burruchaga in the 84th minute to lead them to their 2nd title. He finished the tournament with 5 goals, 5 assists and took home the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. 114,600 witnessed Argentina lift their 2nd FIFA World Cup title.

Mexico 4 - 3 Brazil (1999 Confederations Cup)
The lead up to this game was just as memorable for Mexican fans. El Tri beat bitter rivals USA by scoring a golden goal in the 97th minute. This squad were led by Silver Ball winner, Cuauhtemoc Blanco who scored the eventual goal winner. He celebrated by doing a ‘Mexican Hat Dance’ at the corner flag. A young Ronaldinho was not enough and Mexico claimed their first senior FIFA trophy in front of 110,000 fans.

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