UNAM Pumas - Did you know?
1.) Pumas have won the CONCACAF Champions Cup on three occasions, all in the wildly successful 1980's (1980, 1982 and 1989). Of the nine Mexican clubs that have won the CONCACAF Champions Cup, only Cruz Azul (with 5) and Club America (with 4) have won more. Atletico Espanol, Chivas, Atlante, Puebla, Necaxa, Pachuca and Toluca have each won the tournament once.
2.) Current head coach Hugo Sanchez is widely considered Mexico's greatest-ever player. Before moving to Spain and Real Madrid, Sanchez signed for Pumas at age 18. In his first season with UNAM, he led the club to their first Mexican championship. In all, he spent five seasons at the capital club before moving to Europe. He also had a hand in Pumas' first CONCACAF Champions Cup in 1980. When playing for Mexico he scored 29 goals in 58 caps, but his international strike rate pales in comparison to his consistently amazing club form.
3.) Current Pumas player Jaime Lozano was even with Jared Borgetti for top scorer bragging rights in the Mexican national team's Germany 2006 qualifying campaign, until the Pachuca man hit the first in a 2-1 win over the States at the Azteca on Easter Sunday. Still, Lozano's 10-goal tally for El Tri, is nothing to sneeze at.
4.) UNAM stands for Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, with which the club is affiliated.
5.) Pumas play their home matches in Mexico City's Estadio Olimpico Universitario. Though certainly not as imposing as the fabled Azteca, in mountains outside the capital the Estadio Olimpico can still whip up quite an atmosphere with a capacity of 73,000.
6.) With an up-and-down tradition, Pumas - though one of the most popular clubs in the country - have won the Mexican league only five times. Their most recent championship came in 2004, and propelled them into the 2005 instalment of the CONCACAF Champions Cup.
7.) The club was founded in 1954. After two decades as a football club, Pumas played their first professional match on 12 September 1954 away against Monterrey.
8.) Over the years, Pumas have become the Mexican club most associated with youthful romanticism or a sentiment referred to as 'puros jovenes.' Along with Cruz Azul - who attract the loyalties of the working class, Chivas Guadalajara - the all-Mexican side - and Club America - the team most associated with modern progress - Pumas are one of only four clubs that draw their support from all over the country. The club's appeal is dogmatic and cultural, rather than strictly regional.
9.) The Puma was selected as the official mascot in honour of the predator's stealth and ferocity. The stylised image of a Puma's head appears conspicuously across the teams' jersey.
10.) When the first inkling of the club was being bandied about in the twenties, blue and gold were adopted as the official colours in honour of the 'Fighting Irish' of Notre Dame University in the USA. The Indiana-based University was then, as now, renowned for its academic and sporting prowess - especially in gridiron. To this day, UNAM Pumas still wear the blue and gold with pride.