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Club Universidad Nacional A.C., more commonly known as Pumas de la UNAM or just Pumas, is a Mexicanmarker professional football (or soccer) club based in Mexico Citymarker. Pumas represents the National Autonomous University of Mexicomarker (UNAM), the largest university in Mexicomarker, and plays their home matches at Olímpico Universitariomarker located on UNAM's main campusmarker.

Along with America, Chivas, and Cruz Azul, Pumas are one of the most popular and traditional clubs in Mexico. Pumas have won six Primera División championships and four international titles. Pumas are also known for their youth development system which has produced international players such as Enrique Borja, Hugo Sánchez, Claudio Suárez, Alberto Garcia Aspe, Jorge Campos, Gerardo Torrado, and Luis García.

Los Pumas

Pumas fans leaving the Ciudad Universitaria Olympic Stadium after a game on Aug 24, 2008
Club Universidad Nacional transformed itself from a simple amateur representative of UNAM, even though the acquittance with the institute no longer exists,to one of the most known and most followed Mexican teams and an internationally recognized club.

The team got its nickname and colors out of their brothers from American football; back in the days of the establishment the Pumas Dorados de la UNAM were more popular than their football brothers, and the football team followed the example set by the American football team. The Pumas Dorados originally got their color as a tribute to the University of Notre Damemarker, because coaches from Notre Dame helped to develop the program of the American football team. Years later, the team got its nickname because its coach Roberto 'Tapatio'Mendez gave motivational speeches to their players often telling them that they were like pumas. The nickname got to the ears of the press, who widely spread it; the nickname stuck with the public, and ever since all the athletes representing the University have been called Pumas.

Their home ground is the Estadio Olímpico Universitariomarker, which was the setting for the 1968 Summer Olympics. It has a capacity for 62,700 fans and is within the University, allowing it to be very close to its main supporters, the students. The Pumas also have training facilities within the University but their main complex is the Cantera, located near the University.


The early days: 1930s and '40s

In the first decades of the 20th century the most popular sport among the UNAMmarker student body was American football , still fútbol (soccer) was becoming a stronger presence in campus. The dean of the University in 1937, Luis Chico Goerne made the first attempt to affiliate a representative of UNAMmarker to the top football Mexican championship of its days, when UNAM filed a petition to join the Liga Mayor de Fútbol Professional del Distrito Federal, but the petition was rejected in favor of Club Marte de Morelos.

By the 1940s the dean Gustavo Baz Prada assigned the task to prepare the UNAM representative to Rodolfo "Butch" Muñoz, then player of Club España. The new manager formed its new team with members of the student body of the many schools and faculties of the university. The UNAM representative joined many university tournaments, with successful results, and "Butch" Muñoz went on to manage the team for 13 years, that served for preparation to complete the future transition to professionalism.

Establishment: 1950s

crest used by pumas n the 50s

In August 1954, the Club Universidad was accepted as a member of the Segunda División, in those days the second tier division of professional football in Mexico. This achievement was accomplished with the support of the dean Nabor Carrillo and Guillermo Aguilar Alvarez Sr., a true benefactor for the club. Aguilar Alvarez was appointed by the dean as the chairman of the club.

September 12, 1954 is marked in the history of the club as the day UNAMmarker played its first professional game as a visitor in Monterreymarker against CF Monterrey. The transition wasn't easy after only three years; Club Universidad asked a special permit to leave the Segunda División for a year while they went under a rebuilding process, the process was completed within that year, Hector Ortiz was appointed as the new manager of the club, and the Board of Patrons of Club UNAM was formed, laying the foundation to obtain the promotion years later.

The Promotion: 1960s

crest used by pumas n the 60s
After eight years in the Segunda División UNAM finally achieved its objective and won promotion to the Primera División. Club Universidad won the promotion on January 9 of 1962 by defeating Club Cataluña de Torreón by a score of 5-1 in Ciudad Universitaria. At the end of the game the celebration was moved from the stands to the pitch when the fans invaded the field to congratulate their heroes, and the players were carried in the shoulders of the fans, this was the first step towards the consolidation of the club.

The day after the team was received and congratulated by the dean Ignacio Chávez.Octavio Vial, the manager that led the team to win the promotion, and the players; Homero Villar, Raúl Chanes, José Antonio "La Espátula" Rodríguez, Alfredo Echávarri, José Ruiz, Carlos Gutierrez, Alfredo "Tito" Zenteno, José Luis "El Chango" Ledezma, Antonio Sámano, Jorge Gaitán, Guillermo Vázquez Sr., Lorenzo Garcí­a, Carlos Calderón de la Barca, Manuel "Manolo" Rodríguez, Edmundo "El Poli" Pérez and Gustavo "El Gato" Cuenca became important characters in the history of the club.

Once the team had established in first division the Board of Patrons took one of the most important decisions in the history of the club, they decided to create a modern youth system to develop new generations of players for the club.

The legend begins: 1970s

After two years under the management of Alfonso 'El Pescado' Portugal, the Spaniard Ángel Zubieta took the reins of the team, by doing so he opened the door to foreign reinforcements, but he also gave continuity to the tradition of the club to play with players that had been formed in its youth system.

The first half of the decade was marked by the arrival of three of the most important foreign players in the history of the club, the Peruvian Juan José Muñante, the Serbian Velibor "Bora" Milutinović and Evanivaldo Castro "Cabinho". They arrived to join a solid base of Mexican players such as Miguel Mejía Barón, Héctor Sanabria, Arturo Vázquez Ayala, José Luis "Pareja" López, and Leonardo Cuellar. In the second half of the decade those same players would give the club its first titles in the top division.

In the 74-75 season Universidad won the Copa México and the Campeón de Campeones, in the 76-77 season Club Universidad became league champion for the first time in its history, that championship was followed by two sub championships. This success is often attributed to the new administration that the club adopted in 1975, by the formation of an independent civil association that helped the University to support the club. Still this assumption is near sighted and it doesn't take into consideration the previous decades of development of new players. The final stroke of a successful decade for Pumas came with the debut towards the end of the decade of one of the greatest players in its history and the history of Mexican football, Hugo Sánchez.

Consolidation: 1980s

In the 1980-81 season Universidad won its second league championship. That season was also the last season Hugo Sánchez played for the club. In the following season Pumas won the CONCACAF Championship and the Interamerican Cup.

This decade also marks the national recognition of the work performed by the club, the development of players through its youth system, and the revolutionary and dynamic style of play that helped Mexican football overall. For the 1986 FIFA World Cup, the Mexican Football Federation appointed the manager of Universidad, "Bora" Milutinović as the manager of the Mexico national football team, to that team he called numerous Pumas and former Pumas such as; Hugo Sánchez, Félix Cruz Barbosa, Rafael Amador, Raúl Serví­n, Miguel España, Manuel Negrete and Luis Flores. This generation of players gave great satisfactions not only to the followers of Pumas, but also to the Mexican football fans.

Ups & downs: 1990s

This decade began with one of the most celebrated championships in club history, the 1990-91 League Championship against archrival Club América. A new generation of players arrived, players such as Luis García, Jorge Campos, Claudio Suárez, and then Antonio Sancho, Israel López, Braulio Luna, Rafael García and finally Jaime Lozano and Gerardo Torrado; still this decade is considered as one of the least successful in terms of championships and development of players. Towards the end of the decade Hugo Sánchez had its first chance as manager of the club.

Success: 2000's

After a thirteen year championship drought, Pumas achieved success in 2004. The year 2004, is known as El año de oro (The golden year) due to it being the most successful year in the club's history. That year, under former Pichichi Hugo Sánchez, Pumas won back to back domestic titles along with the Campeon de Campeones and the Santiago Bernabeu trophy by defeating Real Madrid.With a goal from Israel Castro.

In 2005, Universidad reached the Copa Sudamericana final where they lost to Boca Juniors in penalties after a 2-2 aggregate tie. After struggling domestically after their 2004 success, Tuca Ferretti was appointed as manager in 2006 in an effort to lead Pumas away from the relegation zone. In doing so, Ferretti also led Pumas to a final against Atlante in 2007 which they lost on a 2-1 aggregate. After a quiet 2008, Ferretti once again led Pumas to a final in 2009, this time beating Pachuca in extra time to claim Pumas' sixth championship.Pablo Barrera scored the winning goal, in the extra time.


Pumas has strong rivalries with Club América and Cruz Azul. These games are passionate and followed by the whole city. There is also rivalry with CD Guadalajara, Chivas, which is fairly recent.

  • Pumas UNAM vs. America
The rivalry with Club América, compared to the others, is quite old and began during the '60s, when Universidad won its promotion, and the mere fact that both clubs are located in Mexico Citymarker generated the right atmosphere to see a rivalry born and grow. A few years later América bought Pumas idol Enrique Borja, even though the player had made a public statement that he didn't want to be sold to América. In the '80s the rivalry grew when América defeated Universidad twice in the league finals, always with controversial performances of the referees. The '90s began with a victory of the Pumas over their hated rivals in the league finals (it was actually a tie, first leg was lost 3-2, second leg was a 1-0 win. The aggregate was 3-3, but Pumas scored two goals as the visiting team, giving them the edge), and a new generation of players from the youth system that grew up hating their adversaries; this decade is also marked by the birth of Las Barras that supported both sides but that had a much longer background story of rivalry. This rivalry is often referred to as the most violent of the country with security measures exceeding those of any other game.

  • Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul
The rivalry with Cruz Azul comes out of the fact that both clubs are located in Mexico Citymarker, and them played two league finals and many others important games.

  • Pumas UNAM vs. Chivas De Guadalajara
The rivalry with Chivas originated recently when Jorge Vergara mocked Pumas after a defeat which prompted a reply from Pumas players. The rivalry later intensified when Pumas and Chivas faced off in the 2004 final in which Pumas was victorious. In 2005 the Mexican rock group, Molotov composed the song "Me Vale Vergara" making fun of the owner of Chivas and proclaiming their allegiance to Universidad.

  • Tigres UANL vs. Pumas UNAM
Because Tigres UANL, representing the University of Nuevo León, and Pumas, representing the UNAM, National University of Mexico, represent the two most prestigious public universities in Mexico, this game is sometimes called the "University Derby", or "Clásico Universitario".



Domestic Tournaments

International Tournaments

Friendly Tournaments

  • Copa Universidades de América (1): 2000.
  • Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu (1): 2004
  • Copa Chiapas (1): 2008.
  • Best games (national):
  • Best games (international):
    • Best International score: 5 – 0 vs DC United April 2005.

  • Best position in the "Tabla General": 1
  • Worst position in the "Tabla General": 19th (last) during winter 2001

Current squad

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

Notable Players






United States:







Notable Trainers

External links

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