Can Monterrey finish Clausura 2023 regular season with 40 points?
In their final-matchday clash with Pumas this weekend, Monterrey can become one of a handful of Liga MX clubs to break the 40-point barrier.
If Monterrey beat Pumas on the final matchday of the Clausura 2023 regular season on Saturday, Rayados will hit 40 points - a club record in the short-tournament era, and a total that very few Mexican sides have managed during the period.
América the record holders - in a 19-game regular season
Club América hold the Liga MX points record since the 1996 inception of biannual league championships, having registered 43 in the Apertura 2002. However, that unmatched tally came at a time when the regular season lasted for 19 games, rather than the current 17.
Having topped the Apertura 2002 league phase, América were then struck by the ‘curse of the superlíder’, suffering elimination to Santos Laguna in the quarter-finals of the playoffs. Under the short-tournament format, Mexico’s regular-season champion has gone on to win the title in the playoffs only eight times.
The now-defunct Chiapas FC accrued 42 points in the Clausura 2004, also in a 19-game regular season, before likewise exiting the playoffs in the quarter-finals.
León total the highest in a 17-game league phase
Toluca, Pumas and Club León each won 41 points in the Apertura 2002, Clausura 2004 and Clausura 2019, respectively. On those occasions, Toluca and Pumas both went on to lift the Liga MX championship, while León were forced to settle for a runners-up finish after losing the final to Pumas.
León’s Clausura 2019 points total is a record for a 17-game short-tournament regular season.
If Monterrey are victorious over Pumas this weekend, Víctor Manuel Vucetich’s men will match León’s 17-game tally in the Guardianes 2020 tournament, and the 19-game hauls of Cruz Azul in the Invierno 1998 and Toluca in the Verano 2000. In the second two cases, Cruz Azul and Toluca were crowned champions in the playoffs.
Rayados certain to top Clausura 2023 table
Whatever happens on matchday 17, nobody can deprive Monterrey of first place in the Clausura 2023 regular season. Rayados have an unassailable lead at the top of the standings, and will head into the postseason as Mexico’s ‘superlíder’ for the fifth time in their history.