Mexico is preparing to do something that no other country has ever done: host the FIFA World Cup™ for a third time.
The first time Mexico staged world football’s showpiece event was in 1970. With an inspired Pele in their ranks, champions Brazil dazzled the watching world in a tournament that featured legends such as Franz Beckenbauer as well as a series of historic games, like the semi-final between Italy and West Germany.
Sixteen years later, in 1986, Mexico was again the host, this time witnessing the exaltation of Diego Armando Maradona. The Argentinian star was at the peak of his powers at that tournament, steering La Albiceleste to their second world title with victory over West Germany.
Football arrived in Mexico at the end of the 19th century, becoming the country’s most popular sport over time. It goes without saying then that, on its return to Mexico, the FIFA World Cup will generate an unrivalled atmosphere and wonderful passion in the stands.
The first vestiges of civilisation in modern-day Mexico date back to 30,000 BC. However, its first historical period begins c. 2500 BC.
Mexico was a realm of the Spanish Crown between 1521 and 1821, when it declared independence and began the quest to unify the nation.
In 1915, after various internal and external conflicts, Mexico’s modern period began. By then it had already been constituted as a representative, democratic and federal Republic.
Oil extraction has been one of the economic mainstays of Mexico since the early part of the 20th century.
Due to its diversity and the beauty of its natural ecosystems, tourism is also one of the country’s most important business sectors. Every year millions of people visit Mexico to enjoy its beaches, discover its vast cultural heritage and sample its world-famous cuisine.
The country’s currency is the Mexican peso.
Mexico is located in North America and is the fourteenth largest country in the world, covering an area of 1,964,375 square kilometres.
To the north it shares a border with the United States and to the south with Belize and Guatemala.
It has a population of nearly 125 million, with some 20 million living in the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico.
Mexico boasts remarkable biodiversity, including a wide variety of ecosystems and landscapes that feature mountains, beaches, forests, deserts and jungles.
Mexico has a variety of distinct climates, ranging from tropical and dry to temperate.
While the country has vast expanses of beaches and shoreline, its most popular tourist area is along its Caribbean coast, where those vacationing can enjoy splendid sunshine.
There are areas of the country that receive year-round rainfall and others where precipitation is scarce. The country's capital, Mexico City, has an average annual temperature of 15°C and a mild and humid climate with rainfall predominantly between May and November.
The official language of Mexico is Spanish. However, a series of indigenous languages are spoken there too, the three most common being Nahuatl, Maya and Tzeltal.