By Armin- SoccerManiak
Mexico was one of the first Nations to be part of FIFA, having the first Mexican National Squad formed under Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación (FMFA) in 1929. Mexico took part in the very first FIFA World Cup, being one of the 13 countries to participate in the 1930 FIFA World Cup, held in Uruguay. Mexico finished the tournament in the last place with all defeats.
The next forty years (1930-1970) of Mexican soccer went by with no real success in making soccer as popular as it is today in Mexico. During this period, professional leagues suffered from corruption, match fixing and very poor conditions for players to train in.
For Mexico’s national team, this led to poor performance and little overall soccer success. During the first five World Cups, Mexico was not even considered a tough opponent, losing all their games and recording only one win against Czechoslovakia, in 1962.
This period of Mexican soccer history is considered to be “the dark ages of soccer”.
The 1970 World Cup changed the scope of how soccer was viewed in Mexico, while the popularity of soccer in the streets of Mexico grew exponentially.
Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1970, making this one of the more important stages in the history of Mexican soccer development.
This World Cup marked the first tournament where Mexico showed competitiveness and was considered a tough opponent. Mexico managed to reach the quarter finals of the 1970 World Cup, showing skill and competitiveness throughout the tournament.
This marked great success for Mexico, and even though they were eliminated in the quarter finals, the popularity of soccer grew with every Mexican kid wanting to play this sport after the World Cup tournament was finished.
The1970 World Cup was a major positive influence on the history of soccer in Mexico and in the years to come, showing much promise and increase in popularity among the Mexican people.
Being a successful host of the 1970 World Cup, Mexico was awarded the honor of hosting the 1986 World Cup. This World Cup is perhaps one of the most fun World Cup tournaments to watch.
By this World Cup, Mexican soccer popularity had grown drastically and soccer was already considered the number one sport in Mexico. Having a great national team for the 1986 World Cup, Mexico was considered by many to be one of the favorites to actually win.
That dream was never realized, as Mexico was eliminated once more in the Quarter Finals by West Germany.
Despite not having great success in the World Cup, Mexico is still producing world class players and is considered a tough opponent.
Some of the great soccer players that came from Mexico include: Javier Hernandez (Chicharito), Rafael Marquez, Hugo Sanchez, Jared Borgetti, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Luis Hernandez, Giovani dos Santos, Jorge Campos, Carlos Vela, Luis de la Fuente and too many more to name here.
SoccerManiak is a resource for soccer players, coaches, parents and anyone else who wants to learn more about this great sport. www.soccermaniak.com