MLS bigger globally than Liga MX, claim Mexico legends Sanchez, Aguirre

Sporting News

Mexican football legends Hugo Sanchez and Javier Aguirre believe that Major League Soccer has overtaken Liga MX in reaching out to a global audience.

MLS continues to grow, welcoming two new franchises in 2020, Inter Miami and Nashville SC, to expand to 26 teams overall. The league is on track to expand to 30 clubs by the 2022 season.

To date, Mexico remains the dominant nation on a continental level in North America with the last 14 winners of the CONCACAF Champions League coming from Liga MX. MLS in comparison boasts just two champions from before the competition switched formats, with D.C. United and the LA Galaxy lifting the title in 1998 and 2000, respectively.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Real Madrid favorite Sanchez, however, claims that Mexico's neighbors to the north are outstripping the country in terms of exposure and press attention internationally.

"Without doubt I think that Mexican coaches are capable of managing in any part of the world," Sanchez told ESPN. "The advantage some of us have is that we first played in Europe and later coached in Europe, like in the cases of Javier Aguirre and I.

"Sadly, in the Mexican league, we don't have visionary leaders that [internationalize Liga MX], like they did in England and Spain in promoting their tournaments. It would mean that games from Mexico could be seen in other powerful countries in the world. Instead, the United States are smart and do it better than us."

Aguirre, who has coached the likes of Atletico Madrid, Espanyol and Zaragoza in Spain and also took Mexico to two World Cup finals, agreed that his compatriots suffer from a relative lack of visibility.

"No one sees us [in Mexico]," the current Leganes boss affirmed. "They see MLS and they don't see Liga MX. They see the Libertadores and not the CONCACAF Champions League.

"After the World Cup in Brazil maybe Miguel Herrera had an opportunity [to coach in Europe] but it passed by.

"They only see us in World Cups and it is a shame."

What to read next