LIGA MX

The history of Mexican clubs in the finals of international tournaments

Tigres UANL is the 16th team in the history of Mexican football to play in a final of an international tournament and only three clubs have been able to win it.

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The history of Mexican clubs in the finals of international tournaments
KARIM JAAFAR AFP

Tigres UANL will be the center of attention on Thursday when they face FC Bayern Munich in the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup final at Al Rayyan, a host venue for the 2022 World Cup. They will become the 16th team in the history of Mexican football to play in a decisive game and only three clubs have succeeded.

Before this match, 15 Liga MX clubs had played in finals in international tournaments, but they were all against CONMEBOL teams. So Tigres is the first team to face a European team in a final. The first time was in 1969, when Toluca made it to the final of the Copa Interamericana, but they lost 6-3 to Estudiantes de La Plata.

Three years later, Cruz Azul made it to the final, but they also suffered the same fate. Nacional from Uruguay defeated ‘La Máquina’ to lift the Copa Interamericana. It was not until 1978 that Club América would change the history of Mexican football in an international final. In that year the ‘Eagles’ defeated Boca Juniors to lift the Copa Interamericana.

Three years later, Pumas UNAM would follow the footsteps of the ‘Eagles.’ The Liga MX side would defeat Nacional from Uruguay in the final. Then in 1991, Club América won their second international trophy in the same tournament, but this time they defeated Olimpia from Paraguay in the final with a score of 3-2 in aggregate.

The most important international club victory

Without a doubt, CF Pachuca is the only team in the history of Mexican football to win one of the most important trophies in the American continent. In 2006, they became the first CONCACAF team to win a CONMEBOL tournament when they defeated Colo-Colo from Chile in the final.

Also Pachuca is the only team in the world to win a club competition in a confederation outside of its own. In 2015, Tigres almost became the second team to accomplish what Pachuca did nine years before. The Liga MX side made it to the 2015 final of the Copa Libertadores, but lost to River Plate in a two-legged final that ended with an aggregate score of 3-0.