Club: Pachuca C.F.
Official website: http://www.pachucaenlinea.com/tuzos/
It is rare to find a club that has such a long history yet feels so modern and young, but this is precisely the paradox that lies at the heart of Pachuca. It may be Mexico's oldest club with its roots in the immigrant mining community of the early 1900's, but today it is unquestionably a model of successful management with all its major titles having come in the last ten years.
Whether you measure its stature in silverware or tradition, Pachuca rightly belong among Mexico's elite, possessing as they do a squad that vies for top honours year in and year out and looks to be only improving with time. Currently league championship runners-up, it is safe to say there is still a lot more to come from Los Tuzos.
Birth of an institution
At the dawn of the 20th century, the state of Hidalgo was one of the most exciting places to be in the republic. The mining industry was at its peak and countless nationalities abounded, lending a cosmopolitan and multi-cultural feel to this central Mexican region.
The largest immigrant group were the English who, fanatical about football, wasted no time in forming their own club. And so it was that Pachuca Football Club came into existence in 1901. Success soon followed with the team claiming top honours in the nascent Federal District League in 1904/05, 1917/18, and 1919/20, as well as Cup titles in 1906/07 and 1911/12.
Making of a legend
Organisational problems saw the team disbanded in 1922, however, and one of the most passionate footballing regions of the country found themselves without representation in the Mexican top flight. The team reappeared in 1950 in the second division, where they would remain for the next 17 years until clinching promotion in 1967. Despite their history and tradition, the Hidalgo side struggled to establish themselves among Mexico's leading sides and spent the decades that followed trying to break the all-too- familiar cycle of promotion and relegation.
Pachuca's golden era began to take shape in 1998 when, after once more escaping the second tier, the club put in place an ambitious development plan that has seen them remain in the top flight ever since. Under the direction of club president Jesus Martinez, Los Tuzos underwent a radical restructuring, bringing in players of the calibre of Manuel Vidrio, Ignacio Gonzalez, Alejandro Glaria and Pablo Hernan Gomez, who would all thrive under then-coach Javier Aguirre.
It was not long before the club were reaping the rewards, reaching the final of the 1999 Invierno league championship after eliminating much-fancied Atlas and Toluca. In the decider, they again upset the odds, defeating the mighty Cruz Azul with a golden goal from Alejandro Glaria to claim their first title of the professional era.
Since then it has been one triumph after another for the Pachuca faithful. Two years after that maiden success, the club added a second league crown, this time at the expense of Nuevo Leon outfit Tigres. The following season brought their first international honours when they beat Morelia to lift the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and in 2003 they had another league championship to celebrate after prevailing against Tigres once more.
A further two league titles followed in 2006 and 2007, but even those were eclipsed by their achievement of becoming the first Mexican side to win a South American tournament in claiming the 2006 Copa Sudamericana after a thrilling final against Chile's Colo Colo. In the recently-concluded Clausura 2009 Pachuca were again a force to be reckoned with, though they just missed out on a sixth league crown after losing the final to Pumas UNAM in extra time.
The Estadio Hidalgo was officially opened in 1993 and substantially refurbished in recent years. Its current capacity is 30,000.
3 Mexican leagues: 1905, 1918, 1920
5 Mexican leagues: Invierno 1999, Invierno 2001, Apertura 2003, Clausura 2006, Clausura 2007
3 Copa Méxicos: 1907, 1912, 1966
1 Copa Sudamericana: 2006
4 CONCACAF Champions Cups: 2002, 2007, 2008, 2010
*The honours listed above are considered to be the club’s major titles and, as such, are not intended to be a full list of achievements.
Manuel Vidrio, Ignacio González, Pablo Hernán Gómez, Alejandro Glaría, Walter Silvani, Gabriel Caballero, Octavio Valdez, Miguel Calero, Jaime Correa, Fausto Pinto, Juan Carlos Cacho, Christian Giménez, Damián Álvarez, Javier Muñoz Mustafá, Andrés Chitiva, Bruno Marioni, Carlos Trucco, Iván Hurtado, Claudinho, Hernán Medford, Aquivaldo Mosquera, Blas Pérez, Paul Aguilar, Ulises Mendívil, Francisco Torres, José María Cárdenas