By macleans.ca - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 0 Comments
Famed soccer squad, Chivas, pushes Mexico to rethink what it means to be Mexican
Herculez Gómez was born to Mexican parents, plays pro soccer in Mexico and switches seamlessly between Spanish and English. But he was born in the U.S., and suits up for Team USA when playing internationally—which means he’s not Mexican enough for the fabled fútbol franchise, Chivas.
For decades, the Guadalajara-based club, the country’s most storied and popular team, has strictly adhered to a policy of signing only domestic players. But with mass migration and Mexican attitudes toward foreigners changing—and a domestic league awash with imported stars—the club may be forced to chuck its antiquated approach. After all, “it’s increasingly difficult to find Mexican players that are going to win you the league,” says Guadalajara-based soccer journalist Tom Marshall.
Chivas, whose rabid fan base tops 30 million, hasn’t won a championship since 2006. The on-field futility is fuelling talk of the unimaginable: according to a recent ESPN report, Chivas was interested in Gómez. The football club, in denying the claim, said it would welcome anyone who fit the legal definition of Mexican—though not if they play for another country internationally. Continue…