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Cruz Azul recruit first foreign goalkeeper in almost three decades

Colombian Kevin Mier becomes the club’s first foreign keeper since Norberto Scoponi’s arrival in 1995.

Colombian Kevin Mier becomes the club’s first foreign keeper since Norberto Scoponi’s arrival in  1995.
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It took almost three decades, twenty-nine years specifically, for Cruz Azul to resort to signing a foreign goalkeeper ahead of a Liga MX tournament. Kevin Mier, a Colombian has joined on a $3 million deal from Atlético Nacional and will be defending the Máquina net in the Clausura 2024 - bringing to an end a tradition of using primarily homegrown goalkeepers.

Before Cruz Azul turned to Mier, the club’s last foreign goalkeeper was Argentinean Norberto Scoponi. He joined the Cementeros from Newell’s at the end of 1994 and made just 17 appearances between 1996 and his departure the following year - a discreet spell in which he was unable to add to his honors list.

From 1997 onwards, Cruz Azul have exclusively relied on Mexican goalkeepers - players including Oscar Conejo Pérez, Jesús Corona, Yosgart Gutiérrez and Sebastián Jurado. The board saw no need to bring in a foreign goalkeeper during the past 29 years.

In the previous 60 years, from club’s early days in Jasso, Hidalgo, Cruz Azul counted on mostly Mexican goalkeepers - legendary figures who left their mark at the club such as Roberto Cacho Alatorre, Enrique Meza, Pablo Larios, Alberto Aguilar and Olaf Heredia, all of whom had moments of brilliance within the team.

I’s also true that Cruz Azul also has had a few foreign goalkeepers during their 90-year history - such as the legendary Miguel Marín - dubbed Superman who was part of the side that won the historic five titles in the 1970s when the Cruzazulinos became one of the four so-called great teams of Mexican soccer. Others included Uruguayan keeper Robert Dante Sibolidi, another Argentinean - Ricardo Oso Ferrero and the Paraguayan Apolinor Jiménez.

Of this handful of foreign keepers, the most notable were Marín, Scoponi and Dante Siboldi; the other two: Apolinor Jiménez and Oso Ferrero, were never able to make their mark in the team.