|Relevant discussion at||→ Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football/Season article task force#Discussion reinitiated|
|Number of teams||18|
|Relegation to||Liga de Ascenso|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|International cup(s)||CONCACAF Champions League,
|Current champions||Monterrey (2009 Apertura)|
|Most championships||Guadalajara (11)|
|TV partners||TV Azteca, Televisa
ESPN Mexico, Univision,
Fox Mexico, Sky Sport Mexico
Azteca America, Telemundo
The Primera División Profesional (English: Professional First Division), simply known as the Primera División, is the top level of the Mexican football league system and is administered by the Mexican Football Federation. It was established in 1943 and as of 2009 has 18 clubs, divided into three groups competing for league titles. Each season the league holds two tournaments, the Apertura in the winter and the Clausura in the summer.
Prior to the Liga Mayor, there was no national football league in Mexico, and football competitions were held within relatively 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.
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 Guadalajara was able to capture 8 championships within a relatively short time span. Mexican clubs that placed high in the league standings could not afford to participate in prestigious international tournaments such as the Copa Libertadores as did many South American and European clubs.
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 liguilla (the playoffs) modernized the league despite the disagreements between the traditionalists and the modernists. 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, Liga de Ascenso, 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 two seasons (four 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 Liga de Ascenso 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.
|Name||Manager||City||Stadium||First season in
|First season of
current spell in top division
|América||Jesús Ramírez||Mexico, D.F.||Azteca||1943–1944||1943–1944|
|Atlante||José Guadalupe Cruz||Cancún, Quintana Roo||Andrés Quintana Roo||1943–1944||1991–1992|
|Atlas||Carlos Ischia||Guadalajara, Jalisco||Jalisco||1943–1944||1978–1979|
|Guadalajara||José Luis Real||Guadalajara, Jalisco||Jalisco||1943–1944||1943–1944|
|Cruz Azul||Enrique Meza Enriquez||Mexico, D.F.||Azul||1964–1965||1964–1965|
|Chiapas||Pablo Marini||Tuxtla, Chiapas||Víctor Manuel Reyna||2002–2003||2002–2003|
|Ciudad Juárez||Gabino Amparán||Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua||Olimpico Benito Juárez||2008–2009||2008–2009|
|Monterrey||Víctor Manuel Vucetich||Monterrey, Nuevo León||Tecnológico||1945–1946||1960–1961|
|Monarcas Morelia||Tomás Boy||Morelia, Michoacán||Morelos||1957–1958||1981–1982|
|Pachuca||Guillermo Rivarola||Pachuca, Hidalgo||Hidalgo||1967–1968||1998–1999|
|Puebla||José Luis Sánchez Solá||Puebla, Puebla||Cuauhtémoc||1944–1945||2007–2008|
|Querétaro||Carlos Reinoso||Querétaro, Querétaro||Corregidora||1985–1986||2009–2010|
|Pumas U.N.A.M.||Ricardo Ferretti||Mexico, D.F.||Olímpico Universitario||1962–1963||1962–1963|
|San Luis||Ignacio Ambriz||San Luis, San Luis Potosí||Alfonso Lastras Ramirez||1971–1972||2005–2006|
|Santos Laguna||Ruben Omar Romano||Torreón, Coahuila||Nuevo Corona||1988–1989||1988–1989|
|Estudiantes Tecos||Miguel Herrera||Zapopan, Jalisco||3 de Marzo||1975–1976||1975–1976|
|Tigres U.A.N.L.||Daniel Guzmán||San Nicolás, Nuevo León||Universitario||1974–1975||1997–1998|
|Toluca||Jose Manuel de la Torre||Toluca, Mexico||Nemesio Diez||1953–1954||1953–1954|
|Team||Kitmaker||Shirt sponsor||Second sponsor/s|
|Atlas||Atletica||Jalisco es México||Coca-Cola/Corona/Aeroméxico|
|Cruz Azul||Umbro||Cemento Cruz Azul||Telcel/Powerade|
|Chiapas||Atletica||Banco Azteca||Farmacias del Ahorro|
|Indios Juárez||Kappa||S-Mart||Grupo Yvasa|
|San Luis||Voit||Caja Popular Mexicana||Telcel|
|Santos Laguna||Atletica||Soriana||Corona/Grupo Peñoles/Lala|
|Estudiantes Tecos||Somos Estudiantes||Riviera Nayarit||Guadalajara 2011|
|Tigres U.A.N.L.||Adidas||Cemex||Carta Blanca|
The teams of the Primera, like those of Serie A in Italy have the right to sell their own broadcast rights. What this means in practice is that the league is effectively divided between teams broadcast on Televisa, TV Azteca in México and Telemundo & Univision In United States.
Most of the matches of the Televisa teams are shown primarily on Galavisión Saturday afternoons and evenings, The games of UNAM, Toluca and America are shown Sundays on Canal de las Estrellas. All of Television Azteca's matches are on Azteca 13 on Saturday or Sunday afternoons except U.A.G. that plays on Fridays and its matches are shown on Azteca 7. Match times are on U.S. Central Time.
The clubs are divided as follows, according to tv chain sponsor:
|All-Time Leading Scorers|
|2||Carlos Hermosillo||294 Goals|
|3||José Cardozo||249 Goals|
|4||Jared Borgetti||249 Goals|
|5||Osvaldo Castro||214 Goals|
|6||Luis Roberto Alves "Zague"||209 Goals|
|7||Carlos Perucci||197 Goals|
|8||Adalberto Lopez||196 Goals|
|9||Sergio Lira||195 Goals|
|10||Ricardo Peláez||187 Goals|
Teams in bold are currently participating in the Primera División.