Mexico’s football history is a fascinating tapestry of sport, culture, and tradition. The beautiful game has been an integral part of Mexican society for well over a century and, as a result, the national team’s fortunes have been closely followed by a devoted fan base. From humble beginnings in the early 20th century to becoming a powerhouse in the international scene, Mexico’s football journey is worth exploring.
Amidst the rich history, the iconic Mexico football shirts, also known as “La Verde,” have become a symbol of national pride and passion, reflecting Mexico’s resilience and sporting spirit. These Retro Mexico shirts, worn by the country’s legends and the generations that followed, tell the story of a footballing nation that has remained steadfast in its commitment to the beautiful game.
The colours of the Mexican flag – green, white, and red – have been the bedrock of the national team’s kit since its inception in 1923. These colours are deeply embedded in Mexican culture and tradition, representing hope, unity, and the blood of the nation’s heroes, respectively. The traditional home kit showcases a dominant green with white and red accents, symbolizing the Mexican flag flying high.
Over the years, the team has experimented with various designs and variations, all while maintaining the essence of the colours. The 1970 World Cup saw Mexico wear a distinctive white shirt with red and green stripes across the chest, which became a crowd favourite. A series of stylish and memorable shirts followed, cementing Mexico’s football attire in the minds of fans across the globe.
Football’s introduction to Mexico dates back to the late 19th century when it was brought to the country by English miners and Cornish migrants working in Pachuca and Real del Monte. In 1923, the Mexican national team was officially founded, playing their inaugural match against Guatemala that year. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s that Mexico participated in their first ever FIFA World Cup, setting the stage for their footballing odyssey.
The decades that followed saw Mexico make steady progress on the international front, culminating in the country’s first World Cup quarter-final appearance during the 1970 edition – a tournament that Mexico hosted. The Estadio Azteca, the national team’s home stadium, played a significant role during the 1970 and 1986 World Cups, leaving an indelible mark on football’s biggest event.
Since the 1970 World Cup appearance, Mexico has made it to the knockout stages at every World Cup, except for 1974 and 1982, when they did not qualify. Their best performances came in the 1970 and 1986 tournaments when they reached the quarter-finals on both occasions. Furthermore, the national team has experienced success in other international competitions, such: as the Confederations Cup (winning in 1999) and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, where they have lifted the trophy eight times – more than any other team.
The Estadio Azteca, located in the heart of Mexico City, has been synonymous with Mexican football and the national team since it opened its doors in 1966. Boasting a seating capacity of over 87,000 spectators, the stadium is the largest in Mexico and the third largest in the Americas. A notable feature of this footballing colosseum is its altitude – 7,200 feet above sea level – providing a distinctive home advantage.
The Estadio Azteca has been the stage for some of the game’s most iconic moments, such as Pelé and Maradona’s World Cup exploits and the infamous “Hand of God” incident in the 1986 World Cup. It has also hosted two World Cup finals in 1970 and 1986, making it the first stadium to do so.
Over the years, Mexico has been home to some legendary footballers who have graced the pitch and left a lasting impression on the game, both domestically and internationally.
Hugo Sánchez – A Mexican football icon, Hugo Sánchez is best known for his spell at Real Madrid, where he won numerous titles and finished as LaLiga’s top scorer five times. Sánchez’s acrobatic and audacious style of play made him one of the most exciting forwards of his time.
Cuauhtémoc Blanco – Best remembered for his “Cuauhtemiña” trick, Blanco enjoyed an illustrious career in both domestic and international football. A star of the 1998, 2002, and 2010 World Cups, Blanco’s bag of tricks and scoring prowess endeared him to football fans around the world.
Rafael Márquez – Having spent the best part of his career with Barcelona, Márquez became a key figure in the Catalan side’s defence, winning two UEFA Champions League titles and numerous domestic honours. Márquez’s exceptional leadership and tactical nous earned him the distinction of captaining Mexico in five World Cups.
As Mexico’s footballing journey evolves, the symbolism of the retro Mexico shirts remains deeply rooted in the hearts of fans and players alike. These shirts are a vivid celebration of the country’s passion for the beautiful game, the voices that fill the Estadio Azteca, and the legends who have worn the colours with pride. The green, white, and red will continue to wave high as future generations of Mexican footballers make their mark on the global stage.