The international title drought is no longer. Tuca Ferretti’s Tigres have finally broken their curse and are headed to their first ever FIFA Club World Cup thanks to their 2-1 comeback victory last night against LAFC, despite it having been a hard fought game that included its fair share of referee mishaps in which the underdogs even took the lead with half an hour to go. But in the end, Gignac and Tigres were just too much for the California-based club.
So, what does this mean for the CONCACAF tournament? For starters, it tells us that a Mexican club has won the tournament for a whopping 15th time in a row. This is also the 36th overall tournament title by a Mexican club, followed in second by Costa Rican clubs, who have only claimed said title six times. Only twice has an MLS club lifted the trophy. Apart from that, Mexico also holds the best runner-up mark with 18. MLS clubs have only lost the tournament Final a grand total of five times. It remains an abysmal difference.
If all of that wasn’t enough, the top four tournament winners are also Mexican clubs; América (7), Cruz Azul (6), Pachuca (5), and Rayados (4). Not to mention, Pumas are tied with Saprissa in 5th overall with 3 tournament titles. As a side note on this subject, Tigres became the 13th Mexican club to win the CONCACAF’s best honors. No other country has more than three tournament winners.
Besides all of this, there is one more prize that is also worth noting that has been absolutely encompassed by Mexican club players. That trophy is the Golden Boot. In the last 12 years, only once has the winner not been on a Mexican club roster (2018 - Jonathan Osorio - Toronto FC). All other 11 years have been won by Liga MX players. That includes the 2012-13 season, when Santos Laguna’s Darwin Quintero was co-winner of said award alongside Isidro Metapán’s Nicolás Muñoz, as they both tallied six goals that year.
Tigres will now focus on getting started with the new Liga MX season, which occurs in just a couple of weeks. They will have to reschedule a game or two at least from their domestic competition come February, thanks to the Club World Cup being scheduled to take place from February 1-11, 2021 in Qatar. Ferretti’s squad won’t know their rivals until the official draw takes place on January 19th. Until then, Tigres will ready themselves to try and continue making history, attempting to become the first ever Mexican (or CONCACAF club for that matter) to both reach and win the tournament Final.
Clubs that will no doubt be in their way come February in Qatar include Africa’s Al Ahly (Egypt), South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai (Asia), as well as world reknown Bayern Munich (Europe). The CONMEBOL representative won’t be known until the end of January, when the Copa Libertadores Final is scheduled to take place.