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Atlético San Luis and Monterrey: the uncomfortable salary gap

With Saturday’s elimination, a common feeling for Fernando Ortiz, the Colchoneros reflect on what could have been.

Ciudad de MéxicoUpdate:
With Saturday’s elimination, a common feeling for Fernando Ortiz, the Colchoneros reflect on what could have been.
Isaac Ortiz

Once again, Fernando Ortiz’s aspirations as a coach to potentially secure the title of Liga MX champion have been thwarted following the elimination in the quarterfinals experienced on the evening of Saturday 2 November. This scenario had already unfolded for him during the previous two seasons with Club América, and now, under the leadership of Monterrey, he sees it happen once again.

Monterrey out at hands of San Luis

After being the top team in Mexican football in the Leagues Cup by reaching the semifinals and solidifying their position as the second team in the overall standings during the Apertura 2023, the Argentine succumbed to Atlético San Luis. While their opponent had been a significant contender throughout much of the tournament, finishing seventh in the final stretch of the regular season, it is worth noting that San Luis had an average-valued squad within the national football scene, in contrast to Rayados.

With the arrival of Spanish coach Sergio Canales and Mexican player Jesús Manuel ‘Tecatito’ Corona at the beginning of the semester, the Monterrey team surpassed Club América as the most valuable team in Liga MX. However, this distinction, far from appearing advantageous, has become more controversial today due to the uncertainty surrounding the club’s shortcomings despite having a roster of such magnitude. This is particularly noteworthy considering that, even though the team faced setbacks due to frequent injuries, it continued to possess renowned and highly talented players in every position.

Sergio Canales durante el calentamiento con los Rayados de Monterrey.
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Sergio Canales durante el calentamiento con los Rayados de Monterrey.Jorge Martinez

Difference in payrolls between Atlético San Luis and Monterrey

According to the portal Transfermarkt, the figure that separates Atlético San Luis and Monterrey, albeit seemingly ridiculous, surpasses 50 million. It is worth noting that the average in Mexican football is 34 million, and the Colchoneros (Atlético San Luis) only exceed this by a mere two million.

Despite having in their ranks a duo that is likely to be among the most sought-after by other institutions in upcoming transfer markets (Jhon Murillo and ‘Vitinho’), the Rojiblancos total a figure of 36.6 million for their total of 24 players. This amount only slightly surpasses teams such as Atlas, Mazatlán, Pumas, Juárez, and Tijuana, which fall within the aforementioned standard range. On the other hand, Monterrey, with only five of its players, reaches the overall squad value that the Colchoneros have.

In the case of Monterrey, their entire roster is valued at 88 million (51.4 million more than the team that recently eliminated them), a true extravagance that only a few teams in all of Mexican football can afford to pay, and more importantly, sustain. However, the anticipated results that are expected to be achieved with such an investment may not materialize as quickly as envisioned.