A Guide to Liga MX

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Liga MX is the top professional soccer league in Mexico. It’s renowned for its passionate fans, competitive matches, and a blend of domestic and international talent, which has captivated the hearts of millions of people worldwide. Whether you’re a dedicated fan of a beloved team you religiously watch or just starting to immerse yourself in Mexican soccer, this guide could be your go-to resource for insights into Liga MX.


With its roots dating back to 1943, Liga MX has evolved from the semi-professional era to become one of the most competitive leagues in the Americas. Over the decades, the league has grown in popularity and quality, attracting top talents from around the world and fostering intense rivalries that add to its excitement. The integration of professional standards, which in turn has led to the creation of iconic clubs, has cemented Liga MX’s place in global soccer.

Format of Liga MX

The league’s rules and format structure, which have undergone significant changes over the years, offer fans an unparalleled experience and ultimately raise the standard of play, making each season a unique and thrilling occasion.

The league operates on a bi-annual cycle, with two separate tournaments each year:

  • Apertura: Runs from July to December
  • Clausura: Runs from January to May

There are 18 teams in Liga MX, and each regular season, each outfit plays 17 matches, once against each other. The top four teams at the end of a tournament receive a bye to the playoffs, known as the Liguilla, and the following eight teams also advance to determine the opponents to make up the quarter-finals. They then play in a two-legged tie using a knockout format until the final round. The winner of each playoff stage advances to the next round, with the eventual champion being crowned the Liga MX champion.

The two champions of each season face off in the Campeon de Campeones (“Champion of Champions”) game, which crowns the year’s ultimate champion. Additionally, the top six teams in the overall standings at the end of the regular season automatically qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League, an international club competition for teams from North and Central America. Depending on the performances of teams competing in the League Cup, three more spaces can potentially be earned.

Liga MX’s promotion and relegation system is hard to grasp compared to other soccer leagues across the globe. Promotion and relegation from the lower division is still serving a suspension, which is set to last until 2026 following a division-wide vote amid the Coronavirus pandemic, leaving Ascenso MX in financial hardship and ultimately folding. The decision was made to give the league’s executives time to get its affairs in order, which included the possibility of converting the second division into a youth development league, which came to fruition to be named Liga de Expansion MX. There is also hope among the Liga MX hierarchy that a merger with Major League Soccer (MLS) could be on the cards for the top flight following the 2026 World Cup.

Which Teams Compete in Liga MX?

Liga MX boasts fierce competition that showcases some of the world’s most talented soccer players. From Chivas Guadalajara to Club América, the league has produced some of the most successful and iconic teams in Mexican football history.

Here is a full list of the clubs that compete in Liga MX:

  • Atlético de San Luis
  • Atlas
  • América
  • Cruz Azul
  • FC Juárez
  • CD Guadalajara
  • León
  • Monterrey
  • Mazatlán FC
  • Necaxa
  • Pachuca
  • Puebla
  • Pumas UNAM
  • Querétaro
  • Santos Laguna
  • Tigres UANL
  • Tijuana
  • Toluca

Liga MX’s Most Notable Teams

Club América

Club América, based in Mexico City, is one of the most successful and popular teams in Liga MX. Known as Las Águilas (The Eagles), they have a rich history of winning championships and producing top talent. With a record number of league titles and a strong presence in international competitions, América is a powerhouse in Mexican soccer.

CD Guadalajara

Also known as Chivas, CD Guadalajara is famed for its policy of fielding only Mexican players. This unique approach has made them a symbol of national pride and one of the most beloved teams in the country. Their commitment to homegrown talent has fostered a strong cultural identity and fierce loyalty among their fans.

Cruz Azul

Cruz Azul, often referred to as La Máquina (The Machine), is another major team based in Mexico City. Known for their blue kits and passionate fan base, they have a storied history in Mexican football.

Cruz Azul’s perseverance and resilience, especially in recent years, have earned them a reputation as one of the most compelling teams in the league.

Pumas UNAM

Associated with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Pumas is renowned for developing young talent and has a significant following among students and alumni. Their focus on nurturing future stars and their connection to one of Mexico’s most prestigious universities make Pumas a unique and respected club.

Tigres UANL

Based in Monterrey, Tigres UANL has seen significant success in recent years, thanks to substantial investments and a strong squad, making them one of the top teams in Liga MX. Their passionate fan base and modern stadium contribute to an electrifying matchday atmosphere.

Liga MX’s Most Popular Rivalries

The rivalries in Liga MX are intense and add an extra layer of excitement to the matches. Here are some of the most notable rivalries:

  • El Súper Clásico: Club América vs. Chivas de Guadalajara
  • Clásico Joven: Club América vs. Cruz Azul
  • Clásico Capitalino: Club América vs. Pumas UNAM
  • Clásico Regio: Tigres UANL vs. Monterrey

These rivalries are characterized by historic clashes, dramatic matches, and a fierce competitive spirit, making them must-watch events for any soccer fan.

Key Players and Stars

Liga MX has been home to many legendary players over the years. Icons like Luis Roberto Alves “Zague,” Horacio Casarín, Jared Borgetti, and Evanivaldo Castro “Cabinho” have left an indelible mark on the league.

The league continues to attract top talent from across the Americas and beyond. Many players from South America, particularly Brazil and Argentina, come to play in the division. Current notable names plying their trade in Mexico’s top flight include Salomon Rondon, Sergio Canales, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Erick Sanchez, Oussama Idrissi and Oliver Torres. It is also a fertile ground for developing young Mexican talents who often move to European clubs.

Some of the division’s most successful exports include Hirving Lozano, Edson Alvarez, Hector Moreno, Hector Herrera, Guillermo Ochoa, Javier Hernández, and Carlos Vela in recent times. Numerous players are performing at the highest level to help their clubs while gaining personal acclaim and accolades on the worldwide stage.

Stadia in Liga MX

Liga MX boasts some impressive stadia that thousands of fans pack to show their support for their adored teams. These include:

  • Estadio Azteca (Mexico City): Home of Club América with a capacity of 87,523.
  • Estadio Akron (Guadalajara): Home of CD Guadalajara with a capacity of 48,071.
  • Estadio Olímpico Universitario (Mexico City): Home of Pumas UNAM with a capacity of 72,000.
  • Estadio BBVA (Monterrey): Home of Monterrey with a capacity of 53,500.

These stadiums are not just venues; they are iconic landmarks where unforgettable moments in Mexican soccer history unfold.

Broadcasting and Following

Liga MX enjoys a huge following in Mexico and among Hispanic communities in the United States. Matches are widely broadcast across various networks, including Univision, Telemundo, FOX Sports, and ESPN Deportes, ensuring that fans can catch all the action. Liga MX is said to be the second most popular soccer league regarding viewership figures in the United States, following the English Premier League.

The league’s popularity is bolstered by its accessibility and the high-quality broadcasts that bring Liga MX’s excitement to living rooms worldwide.

Liga MX and Sports Betting

The excitement of Liga MX extends beyond the pitch, with sports betting becoming increasingly popular among fans. Many sportsbooks offer various betting options on Liga MX matches, from predicting match outcomes to individual player performances. This can further raise engagement with fans, who can put their soccer knowledge to the test.


With the potential of a crossover league involving North American clubs in MLS, matched betting USA is a strategy growing in popularity among bettors that aims to cover all potential outcomes of a fixture to help generate the greatest potential return totals from stakes placed.

Community and Cultural Impact

Liga MX is more than just a soccer league; it’s a cultural phenomenon. The league’s influence extends into Mexican life, from social gatherings to national pride. Fans celebrate victories with vibrant festivities, and matchdays bring families and friends together.

The league also engages in numerous community outreach programs, promoting youth development, education, and social responsibility. Clubs often participate in charitable activities, enhancing their connection with the local communities.


Liga MX is a vibrant and dynamic league with a rich history and a promising future. Its unique format, passionate fan base, and the quality of football make it one of the most exciting leagues in the Americas. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a newcomer, there’s always something thrilling happening in Liga MX. From the historic rivalries and legendary players to the modern-day stars and state-of-the-art stadia, Liga MX offers a soccer experience like no other. So, grab your jersey, tune in to a match, and join the passionate community of Liga MX fans!