The famous IFFHS released one of its famous lists earlier this week. This one ranked the top leagues in the world over the past 10 years, with the EPL coming in first. The usual suspects were there: Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil and Holland. Rounding out the top 10 was Mexico.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Mexico has a decent level of competitiveness, the amount of good foreign players outweighs the spares, and despite the 5 foreigner rule, Mexico does produce its fair share of talented local players. Over the past 10 years, Mexican club teams have enjoyed a lot of success in the league, in CONCACAF, and in CONMEBOL. The 10 spot seems just about right.
But the talking heads and columnists in Mexico sure don’t think so. Never ones to miss an opportunity to point out the league’s deficiencies, one by one they lashed out at the ridiculousness of such a claim. After all, the league is plagued by this, by that. This’n’that hampers its growth. Blah blah blah. It is a classic example of their obsession with the negative without giving any positive counterpoints. They also seem to never notice that the leagues in Europe that they hold in such high esteem are a lot more similar to Mexico's than they would ever care to admit.
While it’s true that Mexico’s league has a lot issues, they all seemed to miss the point. But when do they ever have anything good to say about Mexican futbol anyway? It's not as if the top leagues don't have their warts as well. Can Mexico’s league better? There is no question. Will it ever gain the world-wide popularity of the EPL? No. Is it as bad as the local press says it is? Hardly.
There are plenty of leagues that are better than the good ol’ MFL. But there are a lot more that aren’t nearly as good.