Cruz Azul

Club Deportivo Social y Cultural Cruz Azul Asociación S.A. de C.V. or simply Cruz Azul (pronounced [kɾus a'sul]) is a professional football club based in Mexico City, Mexico. It competes in the Liga MX, the top division of Mexican football.

Cruz Azul
Escudo del Cruz Azul AC.svg
Full nameClub Deportivo Social y Cultural Cruz Azul Asociación S.A. de C.V.
Nickname(s)La Máquina (The Machine)
Los Cementeros (The Cement Makers)
Founded22 May 1927; 93 years ago (1927-05-22)
GroundEstadio Azteca
Capacity87,000[1]
OwnerCemento Cruz Azul
PresidentÁlvaro Dávila
ManagerJuan Reynoso
LeagueLiga MX
Guardianes 20204th (Semi-finals)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Originally from Jasso, Hidalgo the club moved to Mexico City in 1971. Estadio Azteca, the nation's largest sports venue, served as their home venue until 1996, when they moved to the Estadio Azul. After 22 years the team returned to the Azteca at the conclusion of the 2017-18 Liga MX season. Its headquarters are in La Noria, a suburb within Xochimilco in the southern part of Mexico City.[2]

Cruz Azul has been the Primera División champion eight times, trailing Toluca's 10, C.D. Guadalajara's 12, and Club América's 13. Cruz Azul's six titles makes it the second-most successful club in the history of the CONCACAF Champions League, the most prestigious international club competition in North American football, trailing intracity rival Club America. Cruz Azul was also the first CONCACAF team to reach the final of the Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious club competition in South American football (which invited top Liga MX clubs from 1998 to 2017), losing on penalties to Argentine football giants Boca Juniors in 2001. In the 1968–69 season, Cruz Azul was the first CONCACAF club (and third worldwide) to complete a rare Continental Treble, winning the Mexican Primera División championship, the Copa México national tournament, and the CONCACAF Champions League.

The International Federation of Football History & Statistics, in its Club World Ranking for year ending December 31, 2014, places Cruz Azul as the 99th-best club in the world and the third-best club in CONCACAF.[3] According to several polls published, Cruz Azul is the third-most popular team in Mexico, behind only C.D. Guadalajara and Club América.[4]

HistoryEdit

FoundationEdit

 
Winning multiple championships in the 1970s earned the nickname "The Celeste Machine", comparing it with a locomotive and referencing the light blue color often worn on the team's uniform.

Cruz Azul was founded under the name Club Deportivo Cruz Azul as an amateur team on 22 March 1927. The founders were the workers of cement maker Cemento Cruz Azul; the team played in the town of Jasso (now part of the "city cooperative" Ciudad Cooperativa Cruz Azul) in the state of Hidalgo. Cemento Cruz Azul was the only official sponsor until 1997, and remains a primary sponsor today. Guillermo Álvarez Marcia and Carlos Garcés were the main force behind the effort to organize the club, and the quick success of the team led to frequently representing the state of Hidalgo in national amateur tournaments.

1927–1960Edit

From 1927 to 1960, the amateur team played many times in Mexico City against the reserve squads of established professional teams such as the América, the Necaxa, the Atlante F.C., the Asturias F.C. and the Club Deportivo Marte. The Cemento Cruz Azul changed its name to the "Cooperativa Cruz Azul", and in 1960 the consistent success of the team caused the new administration of the cement company to build the Estadio 10 de Diciembre in Jasso. The team entered professional competition in the Segunda División de México for the 1960–61 season.

1960s–2000Edit

Hungarian coach Jorge Marik guided the team to the Segunda División championship for the 1963–64 season, elevating them to the Primera División the following season. That season ended with an eighth-place finish. Four years later, the Cruz Azul won its first Primera División league tournament, under coach Raúl Cárdenas.

Between 1970 and 1980, the Cruz Azul led the Primera División with six league tournament championships; four under Cárdenas and the last two under Ignacio Trelles. This powerful version of the team earned the nickname La Máquina Celeste (The Blue Machine), which continues as one of the unofficial nicknames of the team.

The team earned its eighth and most recent championship in 1997 under coach Luis Fernando Tena, beating the León 2–1 on a last minute penalty kick scored by Carlos Hermosillo. This was still the quickest a Primera División club had ever won eight championships, achieving the feat within 33 years of entering the Primera División.

2000–2009Edit

Copa Libertadores 2001Edit

In 2001, the Cruz Azul was invited to a tournament between select Mexican and Venezuelan teams that would then compete in the Copa Libertadores, a tournament of the best South American teams. The two best teams of this qualifying tournament earned immediate placement on the roster.

The Cruz Azul was one of the seeded teams and reached the 2001 Copa Libertadores final match. The Cruz Azul started the tournament in Group 7 along with teams such as the Sao Caetano, the Defensor Sporting, and Olmedo. The Cruz Azul finished as leader of the group with 13 points. In round 16 the Cruz Azul faced the Cerro Porteño. The first leg was played in Asunción and the Cruz Azul lost 2–1. The second leg was played in Mexico and the Cruz Azul won the game 3–1. The aggregate score was 4–3 in favor of the Cruz Azul and they moved on to the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals the Cruz Azul faced the CA River Plate of Argentina. The first leg of the match was played in Buenos Aires and ended in a 0–0 draw. The second leg was played in Mexico and the Cruz Azul won 3–0. The Cruz Azul was having a great run and played the Rosario Central in the semifinals. The first leg was played in Mexico and the Cruz Azul won the game 2–0. The second leg was played in Rosario in a very exciting match that ended in a 3–3 draw in favor of the Cruz Azul due to the 2–0 victory in the first leg.

In the final match the Cruz Azul played against the Argentinian club the Boca Juniors. The Cruz Azul lost at home the first leg 1–0, but came back to win the second leg with the same score at the Boca's La Bombonera stadium with Paco Palencia scoring the goal. Until then, no team had ever won a Copa Libertadores final match there. After overtime the championship was decided by penalty kicks. The Boca Juniors prevailed. Still, the Cruz Azul surprised everybody with the unprecedented feat of reaching the final and defeating established Argentinian teams such as the Rosario Central and the CA River Plate.

2006–2007Edit

In the 2006 Apertura, the team started off great but in the middle of the season, they had a hard time adding points on the board. The Cruz Azul recovered and finished the regular season as the points leader. They have not won a title since the championship they won against Leon in 1997. For the Apertura 2006, the Cruz Azul made it to the quarterfinals and faced the Chivas in the Estadio Jalisco. In the first leg, the Cruz Azul played a very poor game and lost 2–0. On November 25, 2006 the Cruz Azul played the second leg at Estadio Azul and played a brilliant game. The Cruz Azul started off strong and put the Chivas keeper Oswaldo Sánchez to the test on many occasions. In the middle of the first half, defender Salvador Carmona pushed a Chivas player in the penalty area and cost the Cruz Azul a penalty.Ramón Morales had no problem and put the score 1–0 in favor of the Chivas in the 39th minute. The Cruz Azul kept creating opportunities and at the end of the first half, César Delgado made a great play that Richard Núñez finished with a goal to tie the game right before halftime in the 45th minute. In the second half, the Chivas scored thanks to Ramón Morales again to put the score 2–1 in favor of the Chivas. The Cruz Azul did not give up and Miguel Sabah tied the game 2–2 in the 62nd minute. The Cruz Azul played a great game and ended up tying the game 2–2 but losing 4–2 on aggregate.

In the 2007 Clausura the team had a great start, finishing among the first 8 teams in the league that went to playoffs. The team had a great quarterfinal series against the Tecos of the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, thanks to two magnificent goals from striker Richard Núñez and moved to semifinals against the Pachuca FC, the top team in the league. The Pachuca beat the Cruz Azul in the Estadio Azul in the first leg of the series with a strong 3–1. The Cruz Azul still had a chance to overcome the adverse score, but on that same evening, the Court of Arbitration for Sport communicated that team captain Salvador Carmona was declared ineligible with immediate and lifetime effect, because of a repeated doping indiscipline that occurred back in January 2006. The sanction was dated May 18, 2007, the very day of the first match against the Pachuca. Arguing that player Salvador Carmona did play on that day for the Cruz Azul, the Mexican Football Federation, aka Federacion Mexicana de Futbol sanctioned the Cruz Azul by suspending the team one game from competition, under the argument of aligning an ineligible player. Many legal arguments have been raised by both the player's lawyer and the Cruz Azul, but the sanction stood and the Cruz Azul lost its opportunity to overcome the 3–1 and go to the final series against the America. The Cruz Azul had one of the best seasons of their victory against the Mexiel.

Clausura 2008Edit

In the Clausura the team played a great tournament, finishing in second place. The team won 9 games, had 4 draws and lost only 4 times. In quarterfinals they played against the Jaguares losing 1–0 in the first leg and winning 2–1 in the second leg with goals of Pablo Zeballos and Miguel Sabah. They moved to semifinals against the San Luis, the first leg was played in San Luis and the Cruz Azul won 0–1 with a goal of Miguel Sabah. In the second leg, the Cruz Azul and the San Luis played a formidable match that ended 1–1 with goals of Eduardo Coudet and Pablo Zeballos. In the final, the Cruz Azul played against the Santos Laguna, second place in the tournament. The first leg ended 1–2 with a victory for the Santos, and in the second leg a 1–1 make Laguna team champions.

Apertura 2008Edit

In the Apertura the team had a good tournament, finishing in 5th place on the Mexican league. The team won 7 games, drew 5 times and lost only 5 times. In the quarterfinals they played against the Pumas UNAM with a 0–0 scoreline in the first leg in the "Estadio Azul", and won 3–1 in the second leg, in the "Estadio Olímpico Universitario 1968" leaving the Pumas on the way. They moved to semifinals against the Atlante, the first leg was played in Mexico City, and the Cruz Azul won 3–1. In the second leg, the Cruz Azul and the Atlante played a regular match in Cancún, Quintana Roo, that ended 1–1, resulting in the Cruz Azul reaching the Final for the second consecutive time in 2008. In the final, the Cruz Azul played against the Toluca, both teams tied on winning Mexican titles (at that time with 8 each). The first leg played in Mexico City, and ended with a dramatic 0–2 with a victory for visitors, the Toluca, and in the second leg, which was played at "Estadio Nemesio Díez". The Cruz Azul won 0–2, making the tie on aggregate "2–2", as the match was tied, they played "extra time" and the draw continued until going to the "Penalty – Shoot out", where the Toluca won 7–6 over the Cruz Azul, Alejandro Vela was the Cruz Azul "villain" because he failed the last "penalty shoot-out", another incident before the match went to "extra time", was a clear foul suffered by Villaluz on the Goal area, the Toluca player "Jose Manuel Cruz Alta" crashed with the Cruz Azul player, making him unconscious, but the referee didn't mark the foul even though the Cruz Azul player was knocked out, he didn't even take a red card on the Toluca player, (unfortunately the Cruz Azul had made his 3 substitutions, so they ended the match playing with only 10 players, an unfair situation, that interfered directly on the final result of the match) this made the Toluca team becoming champions winning their 9th Mexican title, becoming the 3rd most successful of Mexican title winning teams. (1.-America "12 titles", 2 . Guadalajara "11 titles", 3.-Toluca "10 titles", 4.-Cruz Azul "8 titles", .- Pumas UNAM "6 titles", 6.- Club León 7 titles, Club Pachuca "5 titles").

Clausura 2009Edit

 
Running the team of the Cruz Azul before the game against the Atlante on 28 February 2009.

In the Clausura 2009, the team had the worst tournament in club history en route to a last place finish. They accumulated just 13 points in 17 games, winning only two games, with seven draws and eight losses. The Club sacked their manager Benjamín Galindo with one game left in the Clausura. He was replaced for the remainder of the season by Robert Siboldi who was then coaching the Cruz Azul's affiliate in Hidalgo.

2008–09 CONCACAF Champions LeagueEdit

In the 2008–09 CONCACAF Champions League, the team had a good tournament. In the first stage, they finished second in Group A, qualifying to the knockout stage. In the quarter-finals, they defeated the Pumas UNAM, by 2–0; in the semi-finals, they defeated the Islanders of Puerto Rico on penalties. In the final against the Atlante, they lost the first game 0–2 and tied the second 0–0, losing on aggregate.

Apertura 2009Edit

In the Apertura 2009, the team had signed Javier Cambranis to manage the team, and signed several players, including the best goalkeeper on the previous Mexican tournament Jose de Jesus Corona, the Derby County Striker Emanuel "Tito" Villa, Ramon Nuñez, and Emilio Hernandez. The team finished the regular season in second place with 33 points, winning 11 games of 17 played, and qualifying for the playoffs; Villa was the top scorer of the tournament with 17 goals. In the quarter-finals, they beat Puebla (first game 4–4, second game 3–2), and in the semi-finals, they beat Monarcas Morelia (first game 0–0, second 2–1). In the final, they lost to Monterrey (first game 3–4, second 1–2).[5]

2010–presentEdit

In April 2012, the Cruz Azul changed their official name from Club Deportivo, Social y Cultural Cruz Azul, A.C. to simply The Cruz Azul Futbol Club, A.C.

2009–10 CONCACAF Champions LeagueEdit

In the 2009–10 CONCACAF Champions League, the team had a good tournament, finishing first in Group C and qualifying for the final stage of playoffs. In the quarter-finals, they defeated the Panamanian team the Árabe Unido, by 4–0, and then in the semifinal round, the played against the Mexican team the Universidad Nacional, by 5–1 at Mexico City. In the final, against another Mexican club, the C. F. Pachuca, they had the chance to win their 6th CONCACAF championship, winning the first game 2–1, but losing in the Pachuca's home at the last minute 1–0 by the away goals rule, thus losing the opportunity to participate on the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup in the UAE.

Liga MX Clausura/Copa MX Clausura 2013Edit

During the 2013 season, the Cruz Azul started slow but regained confidence after beating the Club America in Copa MX semi-finals and winning Copa MX final over the Atlante. After the Cruz Azul won the Copa MX, their Liga MX performance improved and they were considered one of the contenders for the title due to a good streak. They would face bitter rivals the Club America in a historical final series of the "Clásico Joven." The Cruz Azul was up 2–0 in aggregate when the Club America made a miraculous comeback with goals in the 89th from Aquilvado Mosquera and 93rd minute from Moises Munoz who was a goalkeeper of the second leg; Club America would go on to win 4–2 on penalties.

CONCACAF Champions League win and FIFA Club World Cup debutEdit

On April 23, 2014, after defeating the Toluca, the Cruz Azul won their 6th CONCACAF championship, a record at the time.[6] This gave the Cruz Azul a berth at the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup, where they would earn a fourth-place finish.[7]

2014–presentEdit

Since the Apertura 2014, the Cruz Azul has been unable to qualify to the liguilla playoffs for six consecutive tournaments.[8] The Cruz Azul qualified for the liguilla for the first time in three years in the Apertura 2017 season. However, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by the América, who advanced as the higher ranked seed, with an aggregate score of 0–0. On 27 November 2017, the Cruz Azul announced that Paco Jémez would not renew his contract for the following season.[9][10]

In the Liga MX Clausura 2018 tournament, the Cruz Azul ended up ranked 12th and failed to qualify for the liguilla. The Cruz Azul were last place in the group stage of the Clausura 2018 Copa MX. On 7 May 2018, the club announced director of football Eduardo de la Torre's contract had ended and would be replaced by Ricardo Peláez, former director of football for the América.[11][12][13][14]

The Cruz Azul televised matches for several years were on TV Azteca in Mexico (Azteca America in the United States), but in the fall of 2013 they moved to Televisa in Mexico (Univision in the U.S.).[citation needed]

On 31 October, they would face the Monterrey in the Apertura 2018 Copa MX Final, winning 2–0 with goals from Elías Hernández and Martín Cauteruccio. It was their first trophy in the tournament since 2013.[15]

The Cruz Azul faced the Club América in a rematch of the Clausura 2013 final for the Apertura 2018 final. The first leg was played on 13 December 2018 which ended in a scoreless draw. The second leg was played on 16 December 2018 and ended in a 2–0 victory for the Club América. With this defeat the Cruz Azul extended its 21-year-old championship drought in the league for at least another season.

On 6 December 2020, Cruz Azul faced UNAM on the second semi-final leg of the Guardianes 2020 Liga MX final phase. Although Cruz Azul had a 4-0 lead in the beginning of the second leg matchup, they lost the match 0-4, thus tied with UNAM in the final aggregate. However as UNAM's placement was higher in the classification table, they advanced to the final.[16]

PersonnelEdit

ManagementEdit

Listed on the official website of Cruz Azul.[17]

Position Staff
Chairman   Álvaro Dávila
Director of football   Jaime Ordiales

Source: Liga MX

Coaching staffEdit

Position Staff
Manager   Juan Reynoso
Assistant managers   Joaquín Velázquez
  Jaime Serna
Goalkeeper coach   Óscar Pérez
Fitness coach   Gustavo Leombruno
Physiotherapist   Ernesto Rubio
Team doctors   Ernesto Prado
  Juan Pérez

PlayersEdit

First-team squadEdit

As of 11 January 2020[18]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   MEX José de Jesús Corona (Captain)
3 DF   MEX Jaiber Jiménez
4 DF   MEX Julio César Domínguez (2nd captain)
7 MF   MEX Luis Romo
8 MF   URU Pablo Cepellini
11 MF   MEX Elías Hernández
12 DF   MEX José Joaquín Martínez
14 MF   MEX Misael Domínguez
15 MF   URU Ignacio Rivero (on loan from Tijuana)
16 DF   MEX Adrián Aldrete
17 FW   ECU Brayan Angulo
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 MF   PER Yoshimar Yotún
20 MF   MEX Alexis Gutiérrez
21 FW   URU Jonathan Rodríguez
22 MF   MEX Rafael Baca
23 DF   PAR Pablo Aguilar
24 DF   PAR Juan Escobar
25 MF   MEX Roberto Alvarado
29 FW   MEX Santiago Giménez
30 GK   MEX Andrés Gudiño
31 MF   MEX Orbelín Pineda
33 GK   MEX Sebastián Jurado

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   MEX Guillermo Allison (at Cancún)
GK   MEX Esteban Lecourtois (at Celaya)
DF   MEX Luciano Bocco (at Cancún)
MF   COL Alex Castro (at Atlético Nacional)
MF   CAN Stephen Eustáquio (at Paços de Ferreira)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   MEX Fernando Illescas (at Celaya)
MF   MEX Javier Salas (at Puebla)
MF   MEX Omar Soto (at Atlante)
FW   ARG Milton Caraglio (at Atlas)
FW   ARG Lucas Passerini (at Atlético San Luis)

Reserve teamsEdit

Cruz Azul Hidalgo
Reserve team that plays in the Liga Premier in the third level of the Mexican league system.
Cruz Azul Lagunas
Reserve team that plays in the Liga TDP, the fourth level of the Mexican league system.

Former playersEdit

Managerial historyEdit

Dates Name Notes
1962–66   Jorge Marik First coach of the Cruz Azul in Primera División.
1966   Walter Ormeño
1966–75   Raúl Cárdenas Won five league titles (1968–69, México 70, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74), three CONCACAF Champions' Cup titles (1969, 1970, and 1971), one cup title (1968–69), and two Campeón de Campeones titles (1968–69 and 1973–74)
1975–76   José Moncebáez
1976   Jorge Marik
1976   Alfonso Portugal
1977–82   Ignacio Trelles Won two league titles (1978–79, 1979–80)
1982   Miguel Marín
1982–83   Enrique Meza
1983–86   Alberto Quintano
1986–88   Hector Pulido
1988   Manuel Lapuente
1988–90   Mario Velarde
1990–92   Ignacio Prieto
July 1, 1992 – Dec 31, 1992   Nelson Acosta
July 1, 1992 – Jan 29, 1995   Enrique Meza Second tenure at the club.
1995–96   Luis Fernando Tena Won 1996 CONCACAF Champions' Cup.
July 1, 1996 – March 9, 1997   Víctor Manuel Vucetich Won the second Mexican Cup tournament for the Cruz Azul.
1997   Jesús del Muro
1997–2000   Luis Fernando Tena Won the Cruz Azul's eighth title, against León, and the 1997 CONCACAF Champions' Cup. Lost a final against Pachuca in 1999.
March 31, 2000 – Dec 31, 2002   José Luis Trejo Led the Cruz Azul to the Copa Libertadores final in 2001.
Jan 1, 2003 – March 7, 2003   Mario Carrillo
March 15, 2003 – March 7, 2004   Enrique Meza
March 12, 2004 – Oct 17, 2004   Luis Fernando Tena
Sept 27, 2005 – Dec 31, 2005   Rubén Omar Romano Kidnapped and held hostage for 65 days during his tenure.
Jan 1, 2006 – June 30, 2007   Isaac Mizrahi Smeke
July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008   Sergio Markarián Led the Cruz Azul to a final after nearly 10 years, lost against Santos Laguna.
July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2009   Benjamín Galindo Lost 2 finals with the Cruz Azul, (Vs. Toluca in the Mexican Tournament, and Vs. Atlante in the Final Concacaf Champions League).
July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2012   Enrique Meza Led the team to another Mexican Tournament Final, but lost against Monterrey, and a Final Concacaf against Pachuca.
July 1, 2012 – December 3, 2013   Guillermo Vázquez Won the third Mexican Cup tournament for the Cruz Azul.
December 4, 2013 – May 19, 2015   Luis Fernando Tena Won 2013–14 CONCACAF Champions League
June 1, 2015 – September 28, 2015   Sergio Bueno
October 2, 2015 – October 22, 2016   Tomás Boy
November 28, 2016 – November 27, 2017   Paco Jémez Led the Cruz Azul to first liguilla appearance since Clausura 2014 in the Apertura 2017 season.
December 5, 2017 – September 2, 2019   Pedro Caixinha Won Apertura 2018 Copa MX, 2019 Supercopa MX, and led the Cruz Azul to first league final since Clausura 2013.
September 6, 2019 – December 11, 2020   Robert Siboldi Won 1st edition Leagues Cup 2019

CrestEdit

 
Cruz Azul Corinthians
 
Cruz Azul shirts from 90's and 2000's

The club's crest has stayed relatively consistent since its foundation in the 1920s,[19] with a blue cross in a white circle surrounded by a red square, with the club's name above and below. As years went by and titles were won, the crest was modified to proclaim the Cruz Azul's achievements, adding a larger blue circle/frame after the 1971–72 season showing three stars for each Liga MX championship win (showing eight stars since the end of the 1997 season).

Shirt sponsors and manufacturersEdit

Season Kit Manufacturer Sponsors
1994–97 Azul Sport Cemento Cruz Azul
1997–98 Fila Cemento Cruz Azul/Lada
1998–01 Cemento Cruz Azul/Pepsi/Telmex
2002–04 Umbro Cemento Cruz Azul/Pepsi/Telmex
2004–08 Cemento Cruz Azul/Coca-Cola/Telcel
2008–09 Cemento Cruz Azul/Coca-Cola/Telcel/Sony
2009–10 Cemento Cruz Azul/Powerade/Telcel/Sony
2010–11 Cemento Cruz Azul/Coca-Cola/Telcel
2011–12 Cemento Cruz Azul/Coca-Cola/Telcel/Tecate/Volaris
2012–13 Cemento Cruz Azul/Coca-Cola/Telcel/Tecate/Volaris
2013–14 Cemento Cruz Azul/Coca-Cola/Telcel/Tecate/Scotiabank
2014–17 Under Armour Cemento Cruz Azul/Boing!/Scotiabank/Telcel/Tecate
2017–2018 Cemento Cruz Azul/Scotiabank/Telcel/Tecate
2018 Cemento Cruz Azul/Caliente
2019– Joma Cemento Cruz Azul

HonorsEdit

DomesticEdit

1968–69, 1970, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1978–79, 1979–80, Invierno 1997
1963–64
1968–69, 1996–97, Clausura 2013, Apertura 2018
1968–69, 1973–74
1969
2019

InternationalEdit

1969, 1970, 1971, 1996, 1997, 2013–14
2019

NicknamesEdit

 
The hare is the animal that is used to represent the team.

The Cruz Azul has a rich variety of nicknames over its history, listed chronologically:

  • Cementeros (cement workers): As a result of affiliation with the Cruz Azul Cement, the first name refers directly to the employees of the company, as the team originally was formed with them. Over the years, the concept is extended not only to those who worked in the cooperative, but the construction workers in general.
  • Liebres (hares): When the team was promoted to the Primera División in the mid-1960s, the club played a fast and physical game. These characteristics, coupled with their mostly white uniforms, led fans to compare the players of those years with the hares which abound in the town. The nickname took hold, and an anthropomorphic hare is often used as a mascot and icon to represent the Cruz Azul. While some modern fans believe that the mascot is a rabbit, the club's board has officially declared that it is a hare.
  • La Máquina (the machine, the locomotive): This nickname is fed by several sources of inspiration. One is based on a railway that brought the cement from the Cruz Azul plant, in the former village of Jasso (south of Tula de Allende), to Mexico City. After moving to Mexico City, the Cruz Azul was the most dominant club in Mexico during the 1970s, reinforcing the nickname as a comparison to the image of a locomotive sweeping through their opponents. The name may have been borrowed from the similarly nicknamed River Plate club that motored through its opponents in the Argentine Primera División in the 1940s. It has been suggested that reporter Rugama Angel Fernandez was the first to publish an article with the name La Máquina for the Cruz Azul. The nickname has some variations, including The Celestial Machine, The Blue Machine and The Cement Machine.

The Cheerleaders (Las Celestes)Edit

The club has its official cheerleading club, which were included as part of the institution since 2004, since then, act as cheerleaders in the proceedings of the club in their home games before and at halftime. From its appearance of "Las Celestes" have formed part of the tradition of the club. And the only Mexican team that has as part of their group at their official cheerleaders.[20]

Popularity and rivalriesEdit

PopularityEdit

Since its inception the team was supported mainly by cement workers. After promotion to the Primera División in the 1960s, more people began to follow the team. In the 1970s when the team managed six of their eight titles even more people joined the group of supporters of the team, until now that in this 21st century according to various surveys[which?] is the third team with the most supporters in Mexico,[citation needed] behind the Club Guadalajara and the América respectively, above the club UNAM.

The club is also infamous in Mexico for not having won a Mexican league title since 1997 and counting (as of 2020). For an English-speaking audience, the so-called "Cruz Azul curse" is likened to Neverkusen for German team Bayer Leverkusen, the Curse of the Bambino for MLB baseball's Boston Red Sox, or the Curse of the Billy Goat for MLB's Chicago Cubs. The commonality derives from these teams' inability, no matter the quality of the team relative to their opponents in a tournament or a championship match, to win a championship. The term for Cruz Azul's continued inability to win the Mexican title, cruzazulear, has become so prominent that it has been in contention to be officially designated as a word by the Royal Spanish Academy.

RivalriesEdit

National Rivalries:

RecordsEdit

 
Cruz Azul's match against América at the Estadio Azteca
  • Cruz Azul has the distinction of being the only Mexican football club to win the North American treble – winning the League, Mexican, and North American championships in 1997.
  • Cruz Azul is the Mexican club with the second-most titles at international level, behind only América (six titles in the CONCACAF Champions League, plus a runners-up finish twice in 2009 and 2010, one Leagues Cup title, as well as one runners-up finish in the Copa Libertadores in 2001).
  • Cruz Azul is both the Mexican and overall club with the second-most titles in the CONCACAF Champions League, with six (behind only América, with seven).
  • Cruz Azul holds the record for most consecutive wins in the history of the Primera División: 10 wins in the 1971–72 season.
  • Cruz Azul is the Mexican team with the highest number of playoff games played (43), including rounds of reclassification.
  • Cruz Azul is the first Mexican team to win a final crown via a "golden goal" (1997).
  • Cruz Azul has played (14) and lost (8) the most playoff finals, and has the second-most final wins, with six (tied with Toluca and UNAM).
  • Cruz Azul is one of three teams in the history of the Primera División have to win league titles in three consecutive seasons (succeeding in 1971–72, 1972–73 and 1973–74), the other two teams being América, who did so decade later, and Guadalajara.
  • Cruz Azul is the fastest team to become champions after being promoted, winning only five years after promotion in the 1968–69 season.
  • Cruz Azul became the fastest team to win seven league titles, accomplishing the feat with only fifteen years playing in Mexico's Primera División.

Club statistics and recordsEdit

Professional Era (1964 – )Edit

  • Seasons in Primera División: 62
  • Seasons in 2nd Division o Primera "A": 4.
  • Playoff for the title: 44
  • Final for the title: 19 (68–69, 69–70, MÉX 70, 71–72, 72–73, 73–74, 78–79, 79–80, 80–81, 86–87, 88–89, 94–95, Inv. 97, Inv. 99, Clau. 08, Aper. 08, Aper. 09, Clau. 13, Aper. 18)
  • 1st place: 13
  • Relegated to 2nd Division o Primera "A": 0
  • Promotion to the 1st Div: 1 (1963–64)
  • Final position more repeated: 1st (13 times)
  • Best place in Primera División:
    • In long tournaments: 1st (1968/1969, Mexico 1970, 1971/1972, 1972/1973, 1973/1974, 1978/1979, 1995/1996)
    • In short tournaments: 1st (Winter 1998, Winter 2000, Apertura 2006, Apertura 2010, Clausura 2014, Apertura 2018)
  • Worse place in Primera División:
    • In long tournaments: 18th of 20 teams: 1989–90
    • In short tournaments: 18th of 18 teams: Clausura 2009
  • Highest score achieved :
  • Highest score against:
  • Most points in a season :
    • In long tournaments: 57 (1978–79)
    • In short tournaments: 40 (Invierno 1998)
  • Longest streak of games without losing :
    • 19 (round 18 from semifinal round of (1973–74).
  • Longest undefeated streak at home
    • 47 (1978–1980) (Mexican football record)
  • Most goals scored in a season :
    • In long tournaments: 91 (1994–95).
    • In short tournaments: 41 (Invierno 1998).
  • Most wins in a season: 22, Season (1971–72)
  • Most draws in a season: 17, (1989–90)
  • Most defeats in a season: 13, (1982–83) and (1989–90)
  • Consecutive wins in a season: 11, (1979–80) (Mexican football record)
  • More games without conceding: 5, season (1975–76), and (1983–84)
  • Most consecutive wins: 10, (1971–72) (Mexican football record)
  • Most consecutive draws: 5, (1973–74)
  • Most consecutive games without a win: 11, (1965–66)
  • Fewest wins in a season: 2, Clausura 2009
  • Fewest draws in a season: 0, Apertura 2009
  • Fewest defeats in one season: 1, PRODE 85, Invierno 1998
  • Player with the most goals in a season:   Carlos Hermosillo with 35 in (1994–95)
  • Most titles won

StadiumEdit

The team currently plays in the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City. The Cruz Azul's training facilities are named "La Noria", which are located in Xochimilco.

The team returned to the Aztec Stadium in the Apertura 2018 season after spending 22 years at Azul Stadium, which has been slated to be demolished. The team has indicated that it intends to build a new stadium, but solid plans such as location have not materialized.[21]

Top goalscorersEdit

# Name LIG CUP SPC CON LIB FWC INT RCF Total
1   Carlos Hermosillo 168 19 10 - 197
2   Horacio López Salgado 133 ? - 133
3   Francisco Palencia 91 2 11 1 105
4   Fernando Bustos 87 ? 4 1 92
5   Eladio Vera 77 1 2 80
6   Christian Giménez 60 5 6 1 72
7   Pedro Duana 65 4 1 70
8   Adrián Camacho 63 ? 4 67
9   Emanuel Villa 54 11 1 66
10   Octavio Muciño 51 ? 12 63
11   Javier Orozco 29 5 23 5 62
12   César Delgado 61 61
13   Rodolfo Montoya 55 55
14   Agustín Manzo 50 1 2 53
15   Héctor Pulido 44 1 1 1 47
16   Carlos Jara Saguier 45 2 47
17   Carlos Eloir Perucci 46 46
18   Miguel Sabah 42 2 44
19   Mariano Pavone 34 1 5 1 41
20   Sebastián Abreu 37 3 40
21   Patricio Hernández 34 3 37
21   Armando Romero 37 37
22   Julio César Yegros 26 5 5 36
22   Ángel Morales 33 3 36
23   Julio Alberto Zamora 32 1 33

Symbols:

LIG: Ligue
CUP: Cup
SPC: Campeón de Campeones
CON: CONCACAF Champions League
LIB: Copa Libertadores
FWC: FIFA World Club Cup
INA: Copa Interamericana
RCF: CONCACAF Cup Winners Cup

Tournament top scorersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-15. Retrieved 2015-01-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ http://stadiumdb.com/news/2017/04/mexico_city_cruz_azul_to_relocate_to_azteca
  3. ^ "World Club Ranking 2014". International Federation of Football History & Statistics. 2015-01-13. Archived from the original on 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-03-25.
  4. ^ "Esmas.com". Esmas.com. 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  5. ^ "Cruz-azul.com.mx". Cruz-azul.com.mx. Archived from the original on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  6. ^ http://www.mediotiempo.com/futbol/internacional/cronicas/2014/04/23/cruz-azul-campeon-de-concacaf_53363
  7. ^ http://es.fifa.com/clubworldcup/matches/round=259703/match=300298900/index.html
  8. ^ http://www.record.com.mx/futbol-futbol-nacional-liga-mx-cruz-azul/cruz-azul-queda-fuera-de-liguilla-por-sexto-torneo
  9. ^ "Jémez no renovará para el Clausura 2018" [Jémez will not renew for the Clausura 2018] (in Spanish). 27 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Paco Jémez deja de ser técnico de Cruz Azul" [Paco Jémez is no longer the coach of the Cruz Azul] (in Spanish). 27 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Termina la relación laboral con Eduardo de La Torre" [End of working relationship with Eduardo de La Torre] (in Spanish). 7 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Bienvenido Ricardo Peláez Linares" [Welcome Ricardo Peláez Linares] (in Spanish). 7 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Peláez llega a Cruz Azul con deseo de ser campeón" [Peláez arrives at Cruz Azul with the hope to become champion]. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Los retos de Ricardo Peláez en Cruz Azul" [The challenges for Ricardo Peláez at the Cruz Azul] (in Spanish). 8 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  15. ^ Arnold, Jon (1 November 2018). "Cruz Azul beats Monterrey to lift Copa MX". Goal. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Cruzazuleada ridícula; Pumas remontó histórica ventaja y está en la Final". MedioTiempo (in Spanish). 6 December 2020. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  17. ^ "Cruz Azul Futbol Club – Honor y Lealtad a Nuestra Patria, Valor y Nobleza en el Deporte". cruzazulfc.com. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Lista de jugadores registrados en el equipo Cruz Azul de primera división profesional". Cruz Azul FC. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Cruz Azul crest history". Maquina-azul.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  20. ^ "Resultados-futbol.com". Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  21. ^ http://stadiumdb.com/news/2018/02/mexico_city_cruz_azul_still_not_settled_for_stadium_location

External linksEdit