- Primera División de México
infobox football league
pixels = 150
country = MEX
Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación
founded = 1943
teams = 18
most successful club =
Club Deportivo Guadalajara(11 titles)
TV Azteca, Televisa, ESPN, Univision, Fox, SKY, Azteca America, Telemundo, TVC
website = [http://www.femexfut.org.mx/ Official]
current = Apertura 2008
The Primera División (First Division) is the First Division
association footballchampionship established by the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación(F.M.F.) in the Mexican football league system. It was established in 1943 and as of 2008 had 18 clubs, divided into three groups. Each season the league holds two tournaments, the Aperturain the winter and the Clausurain the summer. The most successful team is Chivas de Guadalajara. [ [http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/press_release/0,1014,sid%253D2834%2526cid%253D145152,00.html Deloitte UK, News release, Real Madrid stays at the top - Deloitte & Touche LLP ] ]
Prior to the Liga Mayor, there was no national football league in
Mexico, and football competitions were held within relativly small geographical regions. The winners of the Primera Fuerza, a local league consisting of teams near and around Mexican Federal District, was considered the national competition. There were other regional leagues such as the Liga Veracruzana, Liga Occidental and Liga del Bajío that also had notable clubs. Many club owners were not keen on the idea of establishing a professional league, despite paying players under the table. With the increasing demand of football, there was a sense of urgency to unite all the local amateur leagues in Mexico to progress as a football nation. The professional national league was finally established in 1943.
When the F.M.F. announced the formation of the nation's first professional league, many clubs petitioned to join the newly formed league. The F.M.F. announced that ten clubs would form the Mayor League. The first members of the league were founded by six clubs of the "Primera Fuerza" of Mexico City, two clubs from the "Liga Occidental" and two members from the "Liga Veracruzana".
:Primera Fuerza: América, Asturias, Atlante, Real España, Marte and Moctezuma:Liga Occidental: Atlas and Guadalajara:Liga Veracruzana: Orizabeño and Veracruz
Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, many small clubs faced economic difficulties which were attributed to the lack of international competition by Mexican clubs and an unrewarding league format. As a result of the difficulties suffered by smaller teams, financially affluent
Deportivo Guadalajarawas able to capture 8 championships within a relatively short time span. Mexican clubs who placed relatively high in the league standings did not have the luxury to participate in prestigious international tournaments like the Copa Libertadoresas many South American and European clubs did.
The Mexican League Boom
The 1970 World Cup held in Mexico was the first World Cup televised on a grand scale. The season following the FIFA World Cup, the F.M.F. changed the league format and established a playoff phase to determine the national champion. This was done to regenerate interest and reward teams that placed fairly high in the standings.
The birth of the playoffs modernized the league despite the disagreements between the tradionalist and the modernist. Clubs that were near bankruptcy now were able to compete and generate profits. The playoffs have evolved since their inception. Originally the 18 teams are divided into 3 groups, with the top teams from each group qualifying for a playoff phase called "Liguilla". This playoff phase starts with 8 teams and is played in the "tie" format in two-leg aggregate-score, similar to the quarterfinals and semifinals of the UEFA Champions League.
In 1996, the league decided to split the season into two championships. This measure was done to generate additional revenues to finance the F.M.F.'s lower divisions. The league holds two tournaments per year, originally called "invierno" (winter) and "verano" (summer), now changed to "apertura" (opening - running from August to December) and "clausura" (closing - running from January to May). The change was done to correspond with FIFA's world footballing calendar, which "opens" in July/August and "closes" in April/May of the next year. So throughout the footballing world, the action lasts about ten months. In Europe, where tournaments are played as one single championship throughout the year, there is only one champion per year. In the case of Mexico, Argentina and other countries in South America, a new champion is crowned about every five months, or two per year.
At the end of a season, after the "apertura" and "clausura" tournaments, one team is relegated to the next lower division, "
Primera División A", and one team from that division is promoted and takes the place left open by the relegated team. Currently, the relegated team is determined by computing the points-per-game-played ratio for each team, considering all the games played by the team during the last three seasons (six tournaments). The team with the lower ratio is relegated. For teams recently promoted, only the games played since their promotion are considered (two or four tournaments). The team promoted from "Primera Division A" is the winner of a two-leg match between the champions of the "apertura" and "clausura" tournaments of that division. If a team becomes the champion in both tournaments, it is automatically promoted.
The Brazilian player
Evanivaldo Castro"Cabinho" is the all-time highest goalscorer in the Mexican league with 312 goals. Cabinho won the title for most goals in a season eight times, namely 4 with UNAM Pumas, 3 with Atlanteand one with Club Leon. Jared Borgettiis the highest goalscorer still active in the Mexican League, with 241 goals. He returned to the league for the Clausura 2007 Tournament.
* [http://www.footiemap.com/?co=mexico Map to all Mexican clubs]
* [http://www.femexfut.org.mx Official League Website (in Spanish)]
* [http://www.mediotiempo.com/ MedioTiempo Website (in Spanish)]
* [http://mediotiempo.com/historicas.php?seccion=goleadores Mexican League Top Goalscorers, Season by Season (in Spanish)]
* [http://www.geocities.com/wanderingleopard/soccer.html#spanish Spanish Soccer Glossary]
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