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Club Deportivo, Social, y Cultural Cruz Azul, known simply as Cruz Azul, is a Mexican professional football club. Cruz Azul plays in the Primera División de México and its home venue is the Estadio Azulmarker, located in the southwestern part of Mexico City in the Colonia Nochebuena, next to the Napoles neighborhood. The team moved there in 1996, after playing for many seasons at the Estadio Aztecamarker.

Los Cementeros are traditionally one of the biggest and most successful teams in Mexicomarker; they have been the Primera División champions 8 times and trail only Tolucamarker with 9, Club América with 10, and Guadalajara with 11. Cruz Azul was also the first and only Mexican or CONCACAF team to reach the final of the Copa Libertadores when they lost on penalties to Argentine football giants Boca Juniors. Currently the clubs jerseys and sportswear, are being provided by the traditional English trademark Umbro. Cruz Azul is ranked 43rd in the IFFHS rankings of September 2009 and is the top ranked team among CONCACAF.

History

Cruz Azul was founded as an amateur team on May 22, 1927 by the workers of the cement makers.Cemento Cruz Azul and Macario Acosta, located on the town of Jasso, Hidalgomarker. Cemento Cruz Azul still sponsors the team, although sponsorship is currently shared with: Umbro, the official sportswear of the team, Powerade, an energy drink from Coca-Cola,Telcel, and Sony.

Guillermo Álvarez Marcia and Carlos Garcés were the main figures behind the creation effort and the quick success of the team, which frequently represented the state of Hidalgo in national amateur tournaments.

From 1927 to 1960, the amateur team played many times in Mexico City, against the reserve squads of established professional teams such as Club Aguilitas, Necaxa, Atlante F.C., Asturiasmarker and Marte. Considering the increasing success of the team, the new administration of the cement company (which changed its name to "Cooperativa Cruz Azul") decided in 1960 to build a stadium in Jasso, the Estadio 10 de Diciembre, and officially registered the team on the professional ascent division, the Segunda División for the 1960-61 season.

By 1964, under the Hungarian coach Jorge Marik, the team won the Segunda División championship, earning the right to play the following season in the highest circuit of professional football in Mexico, the Primera División.

That first season ended with an eighth place finish and increased hopes for the future. Just 4 years later, Cruz Azul won its first league tournament, under coach Raúl Cárdenas.

Cruz Azul became the most successful Mexican team of the 1970s, winning the league tournament 6 times between 1970 and 1980, four of them under Raúl Cárdenas, and the last two with Ignacio Trelles at the helm. Such dominance earned them the nickname La Máquina Celeste (The Machine), which is still used as the unofficial nickname of the team.

1997 brought the team its eighth and most recent championship during the Invierno 1997 tournament under coach Luis Fernando Tena, beating Leon by a score of 2-1 winning in the very last minute in a penalty scored by Carlos Hermosillo, making this the youngest team to win eight championships in less than 40 years. In 2008, Cruz Azul played the 3 final matches. The first was against Club America in the Interliga where they lost in penalties. Another against Santos Laguna in the final of the 2008 Clausura. And the last match was against Deportivo Toluca F.C. losing in penalties.

The Championships

Just 5 years after it ascended to the First Division, Cruz Azul won its first league championship in a series of eight, mostly from the mid-70's.

First Championship (1968-69)

Date: February 2, 1969.

Cruz Azul got its first league title by defeating Leon as a visitor 3 to 2. The goals were made by Fernando Bustos ('8), Antonio Munguía (19 ') and an own goal from leonés Efrain Loza ('47).

Second Championship ("México 1970")

Date: October 11, 1970.

After being the runner-up last season, Cruz Azul was able to be awarded with the title again by winning the final round of this tournament, which was divided into two parts.In the first phase was able to classify as a third place in the "Pairs" crowned after the final day to defeat Pachuca on the "Ciudad Cooperativa Cruz Azul" on Hidalgo State, by 2 to 0. For the celestial them only enough to secure the tie crown, but finally won the game to do it with class.The goals were set by Octavio Muciño (64) Pat and Rafael Hernández (71 ').

Third Championship (1971-72)

Date: July 9, 1972.

In the second tournament, where the champion is defined by round matches, Cruz Azul won its third crown since winning the final who would become his fiercest rival, the Club America.This was the first season of the club playing at home in the Azteca Stadium, where for the first time using foreign elements in the template. Cruz Azul ended up as leader of the competition faced in the semifinals round of Guadalajara, although lost in the return encounter Azteca 1-0, turned in the Jalisco stadium 2-0 to reach the final.By the fact that America had defined its semifinal series against Monterrey extra to a third party, by mutual agreement of the two finalists was decided to perform one final game. Despite having a minority of fans, Cruz Azul won overwhelming azulcrema the table by a devastating 4 to 1.Following this final, was conceived a strong rivalry between the two squads, which led the Mexican "Youth Classic" match.The goals were converted by Blue Hector Pulido ('10), Cesareo Victorino ('28) and Octavio Muciño (36 'and'46). The final would be a watershed in the history of cement, since beginning the golden age of the club.

Fourth Championship (1972-73)

Date: June 19, 1973.

Cruz Azul gets two championships in a row, again finishing as the overall leader, with the semifinals to rival Atlas. Completed in the first leg at the Jalisco stadium celestial bandwagon by 3 to 2, in turn repeat the victory by 1 to 0. It should be noted that this match would be suspended just 35 minutes of the game because of the Atlas 5 players were ejected.The final against Leon would be highly disputed, as it would have to define a third party in the Cuauhtemoc stadium in Puebla. The way (in Leon) ended with a tie at 1 and round match without goals but the third game ended in a tie again with a goal in regular time. Finally, in overtime win thanks to a Cruz Azul's own goal "Tarzan" Davino.The scorers were carried blue Javier Guzman ('40) and the own goal by Jorge Davino ('114).

Fifth Championship (1973-74)

Date: May 19, 1974.

With this title Cruz Azul achieves three championships in a row, strongly throughout the regular season and league. For a change, it ends up as leader of the regular competition and eliminated in the semifinals Puebla, although rescued a draw at home to one in the back appalled at the Cruz Azul of the Strip with severe win 6 to 1.At the end facing the junior team Club Atlético Español, who manages to defeat the blue in-game trip for 2 to 1. But in return, the machine clearly won by 3 to 0 for crowns, both games were held on the Azteca stadium.The final goal of the game were given by Horacio López Salgado ('13), Fernando Bustos ('70) and Ignacio Flores ('89).

Sixth Championship (1978-79)

Date: June 30, 1979.

After a waiting period of 4 years, Cruz Azul was back to the league champions. Finishing as overall leader, ranks in the postseason round of group round robin (all against all), his pass to win the grand final.At this stage of the league faced America (0-1 and 2-1), Toluca (1-0 and 1-0) and Atlético Potosino (2-1 and 2-2) to classify the final against the Pumas UNAM. In the way of Pumas Stadium, was a tie without goals, and in turn in the Cruz Azul Azteca wins by 2 to 0 for their sixth league title.The annotations were made by Carlos Jara Saguier ('69) and Javier López Malo ('88).

Seventh Championship (1979-80)

Date: July 13, 1980.

With this new two titles in succession, Cruz Azul close a glorious era in its short history then. This time, classified as second place overall (bottom of America), and within the group stage of cement prefinalista the head table to be on the Coyotes in Neza (1-0 and 1-0), Tampico (1-0 and 0 -1) and Atlante (4-2 and 1-3) to enter the fight for the title against the UANL Tigres.On the first match, a goal scored by a free kick, by Rodolfo Montoya, at the last minutes of the match, give Cruz Azul a win as visitors. Finally, this difference was that both the balance tilted in favor of the machine, because at the turn of the Azteca stadium ended the scoring with a thrilling tie at 3 annotations. In fact, Cruz Azul, would have an advantage of 3 to 0, but was hit by the north, which, however, was a step away from forcing extra time.The entries in this match were given by Adrian Camacho ('5) and Rodolfo Montoya ('10 and'56).

Eighth Championship ("Invierno 1997")

Date: December 7, 1997.

Cruz Azul lived a long wait to win another league title, and he arrived 17 years after the third "short" tournament. Finished as the second site (a point downstream of Leon) and the league office in the quarter-finals Atlas (1-0 and 4-1 in Jalisco in Blue), and in the semifinal at Atlante (1-1 in 1-0 at the Azteca and the Estadio Azul), to face Leon in a highly contested final round.In the return game in the Blue, the machine takes the advantage with a penalty kick scored by Benjamin Galindo. In the return made on the stadium Camp Nou, the emerald team achieves a draw on the combined result 1-1 (home and away match) by Missael Espinoza, forcing extra time period. Already in the extension, the move ultimately will be remembered by: a penalty kick for an aggressive foul ("a kick"), committed by Leon goalkeeper Angel David Comizzo in the face of Carlos Hermosillo, who was playing for having infiltrated two fractured ribs.The penalty was kicked by the very Hermosillo, at the minute '100, and scores, and with the approach of Golden Goal, Cruz Azul wins its eighth crown.

Copa Libertadores 2001

In 2001, Cruz Azul was invited to a tournament between some Mexican and Venezuelan teams. The two best teams of this tournament earned the right to play in the Copa Libertadores, a tournament of the all the best teams of South America. Cruz Azul qualified for the Copa Libertadores in its first try, and reached the final match. Cruz Azul was placed in Group 7 along with teams such as Sao Caetano, Defensor Sporting, and Olmedo. Cruz Azul finished as leader of the group with 13 points. In the round of 16 Cruz Azul faced Cerro Porteño. The first leg was played in Asunción and Cruz Azul lost 2-1. The second leg was played in Mexico and Cruz Azul won the game 3-1. The aggregate score was 4-3 in favor of Cruz Azul and they moved on to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals Cruz Azul faced CA River Plate of Argentinamarker. The first leg of the match was played in Buenos Airesmarker and ended in a 0-0 draw. The second leg was played in Mexico and Cruz Azul won 3-0. Cruz Azul was having a great run and played Rosario Central in the semifinals. The first leg was played in Mexico and Cruz Azul won the game 2-0. The second leg was played in Rosario in a very exciting match which ended in a 3-3 draw in favor of Cruz Azul due to the 2-0 victory in the first leg. In the final match, Cruz Azul played against the Argentinian club Boca Juniors, Cruz Azul lost at home the first leg 1-0, but came back to win the second leg with the same score, at Boca's stadium La Bombonerawith Paco Palencia scoring the goal. Until then, no team had ever won a Copa Libertadores final match there. After the overtime due to the tie, the championship was decided by penalty kicks, where the more experienced Boca Juniors prevailed. Still, Cruz Azul surprised everybody with the unprecedented feat of reaching the final on their first try by defeating established Brazilian and Argentinian teams such as Sao Caetano, Rosario Central and CA River Plate.

2006-2007

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. 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, Cruz Azul made it to the quarterfinals and faced Chivas in the Estadio Jaliscomarker. In the first leg, Cruz Azul played a very poor game and lost 2-0. On November 25, 2006 Cruz Azul played the second leg at Estadio Azul and played a brilliant game. Cruz Azul started off strong and put Chivas keeper Oswaldo Sanchez 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 Cruz Azul a penalty.Ramon Morales had no problem and put the score 1-0 in favor of Chivas in the 39th minute. Cruz Azul kept creating opportunities and at the end of the first half, Cesar Delgado made a great play that Richard Nunez finished with a goal to tie the game right before halftime in the 45th minute. In the second half, Chivas scored thanks to Ramon Morales again to put the score 2-1 in favor of Chivas. Cruz Azul did not give up and Miguel Sabah tied the game 2-2 in the 62nd minute. 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 Autonoma de Guadalajaramarker, thanks to two magnificent goals from striker Richard Nuñez and moved to semifinals against Pachuca FC, the top team in the league. Pachuca beat Cruz Azul in the Estadio Azul in the first leg of the series with a strong 3-1. 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 Pachuca. Arguing that player Salvador Carmona did play on that day for Cruz Azul, the Mexican Soccer Federation, aka Federacion Mexicana de Futbol sanctioned 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 Cruz Azul, but the sanction stood and Cruz Azul lost its opportunity to overcome the 3-1 and go to the final series against America. Cruz Azul had one of the best season of their victory against Mexiel.

Clausura 2008

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

Apertura 2008

In the Apertura the team made a good tournament, finishing in 5th place on the Mexican league. The team won 7 games, draw 5 times and lost only 5 times. In quarterfinals they played against Pumas UNAM with a 0-0 in the first leg on the "Estadio Azul", and winning 3-1 in the second leg, on the "Estadio Olimpico Unversitario 1968" leaving Pumas on the way. They moved to semifinals against Atlante, the first leg was played in Mexico City, and Cruz Azul won 3-1. In the second leg, Cruz Azul and Atlante played a regular match at Cancun, Quintana Roo, that ended 1-1, giving Cruz Azul the access to the Final for a second time in a row on 2008. In the final, Cruz Azul played against Toluca, both teams tied on wining Mexican titles (at that time with 8 each one). The first leg played on Mexico City, ended with a drastic 0-2 with a victory for visitors, Toluca, and in the second leg played at "Estadio Nemesio Diez", Cruz Azul revert the result, to make a 0-2 result, making a tie on the global score "2-2", as the match was tied, they played "extra times" and the draw continued until going to the "Penalty- Shoot out", where Toluca won 7-6 over Cruz Azul, Alejandro Vela was the Cruz Azul "villain" because he failed the last "penalty shoot-out", another incident before the match went on "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 the Cruz Azul player was knocked out, he didn't even take a red card on the toluca player, (unfortunately 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 make Toluca team champions winning their 9 Mexican title, becoming the 3 most winner of Mexican Title.(1.-Guadalajara "11 titles", 2.-America "10 titles", 3.-Toluca "9 titles", 4.-Cruz Azul "8 titles", 5.- Pumas UNAM "6 titles", 6.- Club Leon and Club Pachuca tied with "5 titles").

Clausura 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 from a possible 51 (17 games, wins count 3 points). The team won only 2 games, drew 7 times and lost 8 times. The Club scored 26 goals, but conceded 33, for a total goal difference of -7. The Club did not qualify for the playoffs, or Liguilla. The Club sacked their manager Benjamin Galindo with one game left in the Clausura. He was replaced for the remainder of the season by Robert Siboldi who was then coaching Cruz Azul's affiliate in Hidalgo.

CONCACAF Champions League 08/09

On the CONCACAF Champions League 08/09, The team made a good tournament, on the first stage ended second on the Group A, qualifying to the final stage of playoffs, defeating on the quarter finals, the Mexican team of Pumas UNAM, by 1-0, and the on the semi final round, the played against the Puerto Rico team of Islanders, by "penalty shoot-out" at Mexico City, On the Final, against another Mexican Team, Club Atlante, they had the chance to won their 6th CONCACAF championship, but they lost the first game 0-2, then on Atlante's home they tied 0-0, losing the CONCACAF Champions League 08/09 Title, and also losing the opportunity to participate on the FIFA World Club Cup 2009, on Abu-Dhabi, UAE.

Current Squad

For recent transfers, see List of Mexican football transfers summer 2009.

As of June 30, 2009: Listed on the official website of Cruz Azul.


(Vice-Captain)


Crest

The clubs crest has always being consisting since its foundation in the 1920s with the blue cross in the middle surrounded by a red circle with the clubs name.As years when by and titles were obtained, the clubs crest was modified to proclaim its achievement and so starts were added to the crest from 1972 to the actual crest used in the present dated which has 8 .

Honors

Domestic

Winners (8): 1968-69, México 1970, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1978-79, 1979-80, Invierno 1997.


Runners-Up (8): 1969-70, 1980-81, 1986-87, 1988-89, 1994-95, Invierno 1999, Clausura 2008,Apertura 2008.


Winners (1): 1963-64.


Winners (2): 1968-69, 1996-97.
Runners-Up (2): 1973-74, 1987-88.


Winners (2): 2002, 2006.
Runners-Up (2): 2000, 2005.


International

Winners (5): 1969, 1970, 1971, 1996, 1997.
Runners-Up (1): 2009.


Runners-Up (1): 2001.


Minor Trophies

Winners (2): 1968-69, 1972-73.


Friendly Championships

  • Copa Teresa Herrera: Fourth place (1):2000, Runners-up (1):2002, Third place (1):2008
  • Copa 5 De Mayo (1):2004
  • Copa Panamericana 2007 (friendly tournament)
  • Copa Cuauhtemoc (1):2008
  • Copa Aztex (1):2009


Coaching staff

Listed on the official website of Cruz Azul.

Relevant Facts of Cruz Azul

  • It is the first and only Mexican team playing in a final of the Copa Santander Libertadores de America (2001).
  • Only Mexican club that has defeated Boca Juniors in the Bombonera visitor (final of the Copa Santander Libertadores of America, 2001).
  • Only Mexican club to have participated in a tournament official of 5 stars in Europe Trofeo Teresa Herrera (2001) and be invited to this tournament three times (2001, 2002 and 2008).
  • It is the second Mexican club with more titles at international level (5 titles in the Copa de Campeones de CONCACAF, plus a runner-Inter's Cup in 1972 and another in the Copa Libertadores de America in 2001).
  • Has the record for most consecutive wins in the history of the First Division of Mexico: 10 wins in the 1971-72 season.
  • Mexican Club (next to Club America) with more titles in the Copa de Campeones de CONCACAF, with 5.
  • Is the Mexican team with the highest number of play off matches played (42) rounds of re-counting.
  • It is the first Mexican team that has won a final with a "Golden Goal" (1997).
  • Winner of the first edition of the 2007 Pan American Cup, defeating Boca Juniors by 3 goals to 1.
  • Is the team that has played league final (13).
  • Is the team that lost league final (7).
  • It is the second team won over end (6) (together with Deportivo Toluca).
  • It is one of the few teams that after promotion, has never stopped playing in the Primera Division de Mexico (Toluca addition, UNAM and UAG)
  • It is the only team that has scored the most goals on a final match (against Club America) to win the league title (4 goals to 1) in the 1971-1972 season.
  • One of the three teams in the history of the First Division of Mexico that have been the champions three times in a row of the league (succeeding in 1971-1972,1972-1973 and 1973-1974), the other two teams are Club America, which it did a decade and after the Club Deportivo Guadalajara.


Stadium

Estadio Azul


The team currently plays in Estadio Azulmarker. The stadium is located in Mexico DFmarker. The Federal Districtmarker owns Estadio Azul. Currently, Cruz Azul training facilities are located at Xochimilcomarker.

The team is planning construction of a new stadium, Nuevo Estadio Azul, will be located on same location of the current stadium after it is demolished, in 2010 with a 38,418 capacity.

Top Goalscorers

Player Country Period Goals
Carlos Hermosillo Méxicomarker 1991-1998 169
Horacio López Salgado Méxicomarker 1971-1979 133
Francisco Palencia * Méxicomarker 1994-2001 89
Fernando Bustos Méxicomarker 1964-1976 87
Eladio Vera Méxicomarker 1971-1977 77
Pedro Duana Méxicomarker 1986-1995 66
Adrián Camacho Méxicomarker 1978-1986 63
César Delgado * Argentinamarker 2003-2007 91
Rodolfo Montoya Méxicomarker 1976-1981 54
Octavio Muciño Méxicomarker 1970-1972 51
Agustín Manzo Méxicomarker 1984-1988 50
Carlos Eloir Perucci Argentinamarker 1981-1985 45
Héctor Pulido Méxicomarker 1976-1981 44
Miguel Sabah * Méxicomarker 2006-2008 42
Carlos Jara Saguier Paraguaymarker 1981-1985 40
Sebastián Abreu * Uruguaymarker 2002-2003 37
Francisco Fonseca * Méxicomarker 2005-2006 25
Luciano Figueroa * Argentinamarker 2004 21
Emanuel Villa ** Argentinamarker 2009 17


(*) Active Player (**) Cruz Azul Active Player

Tournament Top Scorers



Affiliates

Cruz Azul Hidalgo

Affiliate team that started playing on Primera Division A. They play on Ciudad Cooperativa Cruz Azul, although they moved for a time to Lagunas (State of Oaxaca). As of 2009, 14 teenagers were drafted into the first division including Jesus A.Cruz, who ranked 64 in FIFA 08 and #1 in North America and Central America (18), Carlos Sanchez, Rafael "El Chilaquil" Huerta who was voted best striker (19), Mario Gomez,and Kevin Martinez (18), which are natives from the United States and are Cruz Azul's future, in terms of young stars.

Cruz Azul Jasso

This affiliate team started participating in torneo Aperura 2006 in the Segunda División Zona Bajío. modified their name because of the now extinct Cruz Azul Oaxaca towards the identity of Hidalgo. Cruz Azul Jasso is the champion of the Segunda División.

Cruz Azul Dublan

Affiliate team of Cruz Azul for the temporada 2008 - 2009 in Group 5 of the Tercera División playing home games at estadio 10 de Diciembre.

Cruz Azul Xochimilco

runner up of teams that have rights to ascend from the tercera división in group 6.

Cruz Azul Lagunas

This affiliate team started and used to play in Segunda División for a long time and recently in a restructuring of the team, it was decided that it will occupy a spot in tercera división where it plays in Group 2. They play their home games at estadio Cruz Azul in the city of Lagunas, Oaxacamarker.

References

  1. http://cruz-azul.com.mx/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=43
  2. Cruz Azul crest history


External links




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