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"The 50 Best Mexican Football Players in History"

Updated: Apr 3

Mexico is the most powerful team in the history of CONCACAF. In total, they have won 10 Gold Cups and have participated in 16 out of the 21 World Cups organized in history, including the last seven consecutively. In 90min, we present a list of the 50 best players who have worn the Tri's jersey in its history.

1. Hugo Sánchez

His first team was Pumas, but his most famous period was at Real Madrid. There, he won five Pichichi trophies and became one of the top scorers in the club's history. He won two Gold Cups with the Tri, played in three World Cups, and was the runner-up in the 1993 Copa América. Irreplaceable.

2. Rafa Márquez

He had an extensive career in Europe, playing for Monaco, Hellas Verona, and especially Barcelona, where he won the 'Sextete' in 2009. He holds the record for the most World Cup participations, with five editions, and has played over 100 games for the national team. His last club was Atlas, where he started.

3. Jorge Campos

The best goalkeeper in Mexico's history, sometimes played... as a forward! This helped him finish his career with 35 goals, making him one of the highest-scoring goalkeepers in history. He participated in the World Cups in the United States, France, and Korea-Japan and even appeared in a Nike commercial.

4. Cuauhtémoc Blanco

A versatile player who occasionally played as a forward, helping him end his career with 35 goals. He participated in the World Cups in the United States, France, and Korea-Japan and even appeared in a Nike commercial.

5. Javier 'Chicharito' Hernández

The current striker for West Ham came from Chivas de Guadalajara and is the all-time leading scorer for the national team with 51 goals. He has played for top European clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid and has participated in three World Cups in South Africa, Brazil, and Russia.

6. Jared Borgetti

Another great striker who couldn't be absent from this list. His best period was at Santos Laguna, where he scored 189 goals in 295 matches. He also played in Europe for Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League. He is the second-highest scorer for the Tri with 46 goals.

7. Carlos Hermosillo

Hermosillo was one of the great Mexican goal scorers of the 80s and 90s. He is the all-time top scorer in the Liga MX with 297 goals and the fifth for the national team with 34 goals. He participated in two World Cups, Mexico 1986 and the United States 1994.

8. Luis Hernández

Hernández holds the record for the most goals by a Mexican player in a World Cup final stage: he scored four goals in France 1998. He started at Cruz Azul, but his best period was with Necaxa, where he played for four years and 144 matches. He also played for Boca Juniors and Los Angeles Galaxy before returning to Liga MX.

9. Benjamín Galindo

This midfielder has one of the best records of matches played in Liga MX history, with 697. He had a great ball-striking ability and could use both legs, something unusual in football. He played 65 matches for the Tri and had his best years at Tampico Madero, Chivas, and Santos Laguna before retiring at the age of 41 with Pachuca.

10. Carlos Vela

One of the best Mexican footballers today and one of the most talented in Mexico's history. He has had a long career in Spain: Salamanca, Osasuna, and especially Real Sociedad. He also played for Arsenal before this period. He has participated in two World Cups and is currently with Los Angeles FC.

11. Giovanni dos Santos

He came through the Barcelona youth academy and debuted with the first team at just 18 years old against Athletic Bilbao. Later, he played for Tottenham and Ipswich Town before returning to Spain. In his second stint, he excelled at Villarreal before moving to Los Angeles Galaxy. He played in the last three World Cups and won the Olympic gold in London 2012 against Neymar's Brazil.

12. Luis García

He debuted at just 17 years old with Pumas, where he scored over 100 goals. He then played for América, Atlante, Chivas, Monarcas, and Puebla, and also had a stint in Spanish football. He played for Real Sociedad and Atlético de Madrid, where he scored 28 goals in 58 matches. In addition, he played in the World Cups in the United States and France.

13. Andrés Guardado

The Betis player has been a full international since he was 19 years old. He left Atlas for Deportivo de la Coruña and spent his early years in Europe in Spanish football: five years at Riazor and two at Valencia. He then moved to Bayer Leverkusen and PSV Eindhoven. There, he won the Dutch league twice before returning to Spain. He has already played in four World Cups.

14. Guillermo Ochoa

Memo is possibly the best Mexican goalkeeper of the last 20 years. He left América, where he became a league champion at just 20 years old. His first team in Europe was Ajaccio, and after three years, he moved to Spain, joining Málaga. Later, he signed with Granada and then moved after a year to Standard Liège. He has been named the best goalkeeper in Liga MX twice and has participated in the last four World Cups.

15. Oswaldo Sánchez

The third goalkeeper on this list. He debuted at Atlas at just 20 years old, and when he retired in 2014, he held the record for most games in Liga MX with 725, later surpassed by Óscar Pérez. He spent his 21-year career playing in his country's league and holds several records: penalty saves (25), consecutive games played (82), and most matches in the final stages (94). He participated in three World Cups and won the best Liga MX goalkeeper award eight times.

16. Claudio Suárez

The center-back is Mexico's most capped player in international matches with 177 and the third most capped in history, only surpassed by the Egyptian Hassan with 184 and the Saudi Al Deayea with 181. He participated in three World Cups (missed 2002 due to injury) and spent his 21-year career among Pumas, Chivas, Tigres, and Chivas USA.

17. Luis Roberto 'Zague' Alves

This forward of Brazilian descent is a legend of América. He played there from 1985 to 1998, with a brief stint at Atlante, scoring 193 goals in 461 matches. He played 667 Liga MX matches in an 18-year career, scoring 244 goals, plus 30 with the national team. He participated in the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

18. Salvador 'Chava' Reyes

A player who started in 1953 with Chivas de Guadalajara, he played 21 seasons as a professional, with 20 in Mexico and one in the United States. In addition to Chivas, he played for Laguna, San Luis, and Tigres and participated in the World Cups in Sweden 1962, Chile 1962, and England 1966. At 72 years old, he played 50 seconds with Chivas as a tribute, but in an official match!

19. Enrique Borja

The forward is the sixth-highest scorer in the history of El Tri with 31 goals in 65 matches. América controversially signed him from UNAM in 1969, as he initially did not want to leave. He was the league's top scorer three times at América. He participated in the World Cups in England 1966 and Mexico 1970.

20. Antonio Carbajal

This goalkeeper took his first steps with Club Oviedo in 1942 and, after a brief stint with Club España, joined Club León in 1948, where he stayed until his retirement from football in 1966 at the age of 37. There, he won two leagues and was called up for five World Cups, from Brazil 1950 to England 1966. He holds the current record for participations, tied with Matthaus, Márquez, and Buffon.

21. Carlos Salcido

One of the best Mexican defenders in history. Like many others, he emerged from Chivas and, at the age of 26, made the jump to Europe by joining PSV Eindhoven. He also played for Fulham for a season before returning to Liga MX. At 39 years old, he is still playing for Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz. He has participated in three World Cups and won an Olympic gold in London.

22. Óscar Pérez Rojas

The goalkeeper recently ended a 26-season career at the age of 45 in 2019. He became a legend at Cruz Azul, playing 418 matches in 15 seasons before joining Tigres. He later played for Chiapas, Necaxa, San Luis, and Pachuca. He holds the record for 745 matches in Liga MX and participated in the World Cups in France, South Korea-Japan, and South Africa.

23. Gerardo Torrado

At just 18 years old, the midfielder made his debut with Pumas and spent three years there before moving to Tenerife. He then spent five years in Spain, with his most outstanding period at Sevilla. He returned to Mexico in 2005 and played 11 seasons at Cruz Azul, where he played 390 matches before going to the United States and retiring in 2017. He played in the World Cups in South Korea-Japan, Germany, and South Africa.

24. Jaime 'Tubo' Gómez

A true legend of Chivas de Guadalajara, who won seven leagues in nine seasons between 1956 and 1965. He spent 14 years there before joining Monterrey and retiring two years later at Santos Laguna. He played in the final stages of the World Cups in Sweden and Chile, although they couldn't advance past the first phase.

25. Javier 'Kalimán' Guzmán

A central defender who debuted at just 16 years old in the Mexican league, he is one of the best players in the history of Cruz Azul, where he played between 1968 and 1978, winning six leagues. He participated in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

26. Guille Franco

Although of Argentine origin, Guillermo Franco became a Mexican citizen in 2004 after joining Monterrey in 2002. He made his debut with El Tri in 2005 and played in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, now as a player for Villarreal. After five years in Castellón, he went to West Ham. He also participated in the World Cup in South Africa.

27. Oribe Peralta

A full international since 2005, he has spent his entire career in Liga MX. He has been with Monarcas, León, Santos Laguna, or América, among others, playing a total of 632 matches. With the national team, he has played in the last two World Cups in Brazil and Russia. He is the tenth highest scorer for El Tri with 26 goals.

28. Raúl Cárdenas

Cárdenas made his debut as a central defender for Club España in 1948, where he spent three seasons before the team disappeared. He then moved to Zacatepec and won the league title with them six times. As a coach, he became a legend at Cruz Azul. Cárdenas participated in the World Cups of 1954 (Switzerland), 1958 (Sweden), and 1962 (Chile).

29. Pavel Pardo

Pardo debuted at the age of 17 with Atlas, but his prime as a footballer was at América. He spent seven seasons there before joining Stuttgart. After two years, he returned to América. Pardo played in the 2006 World Cup and retired with 145 international appearances.

30. Héctor Hernández

A forward who, like 'Tubo' Gómez, was part of the legendary Chivas team that won seven consecutive league titles. He was the top scorer in the 1955-56 season with 25 goals. With Mexico, he played in the World Cups of 1958 (Sweden) and 1962 (Chile).

31. Luis 'Pirata' de la Fuente

He was the first Mexican to play professionally outside his country, joining Racing de Santander. Later, in Mexico, he won five league titles with Club España and Veracruz during his 21-year professional career. Veracruz named their stadium after him. Due to World War II, he couldn't play in a World Cup, although he was part of the prelude to the 1934 Italy World Cup.

32. Horacio Casarín

A forward who scored an impressive 238 goals in 21 years in the Mexican league from 1936 to 1957. He also played in the Spanish league, with stints at Oviedo and Barcelona. He participated in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, scoring the only goal for Mexico. He scored 52 goals as an international, but FIFA officially recognized only 15 because some were against non-national teams.

33. Ramón Ramírez

Ramírez debuted with Deportivo Tepic, and within two years, Santos Laguna signed him. His most successful period was with Chivas de Guadalajara, where he spent a total of six seasons in two phases. He played in the World Cups of the United States and France, earned 119 international caps, and won the Gold Cup three times.

34. Alberto García Aspe

A standout midfielder in the 80s and 90s, García Aspe spent seven years at UNAM and six at Necaxa, among other clubs. He retired with 539 matches under his belt, earning 109 international caps. He participated in the World Cups of the United States, France, and South Korea-Japan.

35. Francsico Javier 'Maza' Rodríguez

After an almost 20-year career, Maza Rodríguez is concluding his days with Lobos BUAP. He began his career at Chivas, then moved to PSV in 2008. Subsequently, he played for Stuttgart before returning to Mexico to join América. He has 109 international caps and participated in the World Cups of Germany, South Africa, and Brazil.

36. Ignacio Calderón

The fourth-highest capped goalkeeper in the history of the Mexican national team, Calderón earned a total of 59 international appearances. He made his debut with Chivas at the age of 20 and spent his first 12 seasons there before moving to Leones Negros. Calderón participated in the World Cups of 1966 (England) and 1970 (Mexico).

37. Héctor Moreno

Currently playing for Real Sociedad, Moreno emerged from the Universidad Nacional before moving to AZ Alkmaar. He later joined Espanyol for four seasons before returning to the Netherlands with PSV. He has played in the last three World Cups, namely in South Africa, Brazil, and Russia, establishing himself as a key player.

38. Francisco Palencia

A product of the Cruz Azul youth system, Palencia was a prolific goal-scorer, netting 110 goals in 294 games. He played in the 2001 Libertadores final with Cruz Azul, although they lost in a penalty shootout against Boca Juniors despite his goal. Palencia had a stint in La Liga with Espanyol, earned 80 international caps, and participated in the World Cups of France and South Korea-Japan.

39. José Jesús Corona

Another prominent goalkeeper for the Mexican national team, Corona, despite sharing an era with Ochoa, has amassed over 50 appearances with the Tri. He participated in the World Cups of Germany, Brazil, and Russia, serving as the starting goalkeeper in the London Olympics where Mexico won the gold medal. Corona is currently concluding his career at Cruz Azul.

40. Héctor Herrera

Herrera caught the attention of Porto at the age of 23, making a significant impact in the Portuguese league for six years. There are indications that he will join Atlético Madrid in the upcoming transfer market. With 69 international appearances, he has featured in the World Cups held in London, Brazil, and Russia.

41. Salvador Carmona

Regarded as one of the best defenders in Mexican history, Carmona spent a significant part of his career at Toluca, winning three league titles and three Best Fullback of the Year awards. He later played for Atlante, Chivas, and Cruz Azul before retiring. Carmona earned 85 international caps and was part of the squads for the 1998 France and 2002 Korea-Japan World Cups.

42. Omar Bravo

A legend of Chivas, Bravo played in three different periods and became their all-time leading goal scorer with 160 goals in 439 appearances. Despite a brief stint with Deportivo de la Coruña, he spent the rest of his career in Liga MX (except for a year in Kansas). Bravo participated in 66 matches for the national team, scoring 15 goals, including two in the 2006 World Cup.

43. Duilio Davino

The current president of Monterrey started his professional career with Tecos de la UAG and, after four seasons, joined América, where he spent 10 years and reached his peak. As a defender, Davino earned 84 caps for the national team and played in the 1998 World Cup in France.

44. Gustavo 'Halcón' Peña

Another central defender on this list, Peña was one of Mexico's key defenders in the 1960s and 1970s. He attended the World Cups in England (1966) and Mexico (1970). His nickname, "El Halcón," reflected his prowess in aerial play, and he made 82 appearances for the Tri.

45. Ricardo Osorio

Another defender from the ranks of Cruz Azul, Osorio moved to Stuttgart after six years before returning to Monterrey. He also played for Querétaro for a season and then returned to Monterrey, where he retired. Osorio participated in the World Cups of Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, earning 82 international caps, similar to Peña.

46. Miguel España

España spent his entire 17-season professional career in Liga MX. He debuted with Pumas de la UNAM, played from 1984 to 1994, then joined Tigres. After a year, Laguna signed him, and after five seasons, he returned to Pumas, where he retired from football. España played 81 international matches and was part of the 1986 Mexico World Cup..

47. Luis Flores

Trained at Pumas, Flores also played in Spain, spending a season each at Valencia and Sporting de Gijón. He had a career in Mexico with Cruz Azul, Atlas, and Chivas. Flores participated in the 1986 Mexico World Cup and is the 12th highest goal-scorer for the Tri, with 22 goals in 58 matches.

48. Miguel Layún

Layún made his debut with Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz and, at 21, moved to Atalanta, becoming the first Mexican in Serie A. After five years at América, he played for Watford, Oporto, Sevilla, and Villarreal. In the current year, Layún joined Monterrey. He played in the last two World Cups as a starter.

49. Diego Reyes

At just 21, Reyes was signed by Oporto from América for their reserve team. After three seasons, he moved to Spain, joining Real Sociedad. Following a year at Espanyol and another at Fenerbahçe, Reyes joined Leganés last season under Pellegrino. Reyes has played in more than 50 matches for the Tri and participated in the World Cup in Brazil and the London Olympics.

50. Hirving 'Chuky' Lozano

Concluding the list with the PSV player, Lozano arrived in the Dutch team from Pachuca in 2017 and established himself as a top scorer with 40 goals in two seasons. Despite his youth (22 years old), he has already played 35 international matches and participated in the last World Cup in Russia.

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