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Soccer

Which teams play in the Mexican soccer league?

Liga MX, is the highest level of Mexican football and consists of 18 clubs. Each calendar year is split into two short tournaments, apertura & clausura.

Update:
PACHUCA, MEXICO - JULY 24: Erick Sanchez (L) of Pachuca fights for the ball with Gustavo del Prete (C) of Pumas during the 4th round match between Pachuca and Pumas UNAM as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Hidalgo Stadium on July 24, 2022 in Pachuca, Mexico. (Photo by Agustin Cuevas/Getty Images)
Agustin CuevasGetty

Liga MX, known as the Primera División (First Division) before the 2012–13 season, is the highest level of Mexican football and consists of 18 clubs. Each calendar year is split into two short tournaments, the Apertura (Opening) and the Clausura (Closing). The league also follows a franchise model, similar to many US sports and relegation between the top division and second tier can be a complicated process based on a coefficient system.

At present the 18 teams that compose include: Atlas, Tijuana, Monterrey, Puebla, Juarez FC, Tigres, San Luis, Cruz Azul, Leon, Toluca, Querétaro, Guadalajara, Necaxa, Pachuca, Pumas UNAM, Mazatlán, Club America and Santos Laguna.

The biggest rivalry in domestic Mexican football pits Club America (from the capital Mexico DF) against Chivas Guadalajara and this game is known as the Súper Clásico. Incidentally Chivas Guadalajara are well known for adopting a policy of not permitting foreign players to play for their club with a heavy emphasis on home-grown talent.

 Chivas fans set off a smoke bomb
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Chivas fans set off a smoke bomb Ethan MillerAFP

Other intense rivalries include games between the three teams from the capital: América, PUMAS and Cruz Azul along with the Guadalajara derby where Chivas face Atlas FC.

Club America, Chivas and Toluca occup the podium when it comes to the most successful league clubs with America claiming 13 titles to the 12 of their rivals from Guadalajara. Toluca can boast ten titles with their last glory coming back in 2010.

Atlas FC are the reigning champions with ‘Los Zorros’ claiming back-to-back titles with the 2021 Apertura and 2022 Clausura.