When it comes to the world stage the Mexican national team have always given a very good account of themselves and they have often progressed to at least the last 16 in the World Cup. Much like many nations however, much of that team is made up of players who have sought opportunities in Europe, rather than continuing to play in their domestic league. Indeed Mexico have brought the world some fantastic players such as Rafa Marquez, Hugo Sanchez and even now we have the likes of Javier Hernandez and Chuky Lozano doing some incredible things on the world stage. Within Mexico however, football differs greatly from those European leagues which so many wish to play in.
Each nation has their own approach towards tactics, the Italian league is a very defensive one, the Dutch lay focus on punchy passing and swift movement and when it comes to the Mexicans, there is a very heavy focus on attack. I went to see my first Mexican game at the famous Aztec Stadium, along with my buddy Javier Burillo, a huge soccer fan. The first thing that I noticed when watching the game unfold was how little anyone seems to care about a defensive setup. There are defenders of course and many of them very talented, but there seemed to be absolutely no tactical plan to stop the opposition, but rather trying to outscore them.
There are some stereotypes which come from a place of truth and the idea that latinos are a fiery group is one such example, as displayed by the disciplinary records here. It is not so much the cleanliness of the tackles which are over the top, but the reactions to such tackles. Indeed the referees seem to accept much of this and they are not always lively with their cards, which keeps the game going. If however you were to bring in a German or English referee for one of these games, then you may see even more cards than we currently do.
If I was a gambling man then I would make sure that I completely stayed away from Mexican football, simply because it is so hard to predict what will happen. There are teams like Club America who have a very good record in the league and who do win more often than others, but the truth is that anyone can suffer a loss at any time during the season. It is not uncommon for a team to be on a 7 game win streak and then lose the next 3 to the bottom 3 teams in the table, that’s how things can go in this league, the reality is that you just never know what is going to happen. This of course makes watching Mexican football a nightmare for fans, but something which neutrals like myself find incredibly entertaining and in reality, things should be this way rather than one team winning year after year, as we have seen in Germany with Bayern Munich.
f you ever get a chance to watch, I’d certainly recommend it.