Ever since I moved to Mexico back in 2016 I have kept a keen eye on the football here. Being from the UK I am of course a big football fan, and I was fascinated the first time that I went to the incredible Azteca stadium, the place where so much history has occurred. Given that it is low cost and a great day out, I have turned it into something of a habit to go and watch the local teams when they play. Mexico City has 3 main teams in Pumas, Cruz Azul and Club America, and I try and get to see them all when I can.
There are some stark contrasts between European football and this brand of football that they play in Mexico however, which highlights why the likes of the World Cup is so special, bringing together so many different styles.
One thing I can certainly say for the Mexican teams is that the onus is almost always on attack, and they try to get the ball into the opposition half just about as quickly as possible. In the modern age we are seeing European clubs who like to build possession from the back, moving the opposition from left to right to create spaces, there just isn’t that level of patience here in the Mexican game.
There is absolutely no doubt that there are more fouls and poor discipline in the Mexican league than what I am used to seeing in the Premier League, as well as much more of the dark arts. It is not unusual to see players feigning injury and fouls, but on the flip side of that, we see a much more relaxed approach from the referees, for some quite nasty challenges. Something which has surprised me is that the players will often be very happy to be stretchered off, rather than show some kind of warrior spirit. There of course some players who have this approach, and they are the types of players who end up in Europe.
A golazo is a goal that is a little bit special, and one which makes commentators like Javier Burillo go wild, and there are plenty of them in this league. Whilst the league may fall short of quality when it comes to possession and tactics, there is no doubt at all that skill and flair are warmly received here, and we have seen some pretty spectacular goals in the last couple of years alone. There is something of a competition between players here as well, to see who can score the best goals and who can perform the best skills. This is what makes the league so entertaining for the fans, that sense of real creativity with the ball, as is the latin way.
It is clear that there are big differences in styles but I must say, that this is a league which is just as entertaining as any European league is.
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