|Mexico Liga MX||45'||13|| Pachuca vs Cruz Azul ||-||0-1|
|Mexico Liga MX||04/08 22:00||14||Leon vs Cruz Azul||-||View|
|Mexico Liga MX||04/16 02:10||15||Cruz Azul vs Club America||-||View|
|Mexico Liga MX||04/23 00:05||16||Chivas Guadalajara vs Cruz Azul||-||View|
|Mexico Liga MX||04/30 02:05||17||Cruz Azul vs Santos Laguna||-||View|
|Leagues Cup||07/21 18:00||-||Inter Miami CF vs Cruz Azul||-||View|
|Mexico Liga MX||03/30 03:05||4|| Queretaro v Cruz Azul ||D||2-2|
|Mexico Liga MX||03/18 23:00||12|| Cruz Azul v Atletico San Luis ||W||1-0|
|Mexico Liga MX||03/12 01:05||11|| Cruz Azul v Unam Pumas ||W||1-0|
|Mexico Liga MX||03/04 01:05||10|| Mazatlan FC v Cruz Azul ||L||3-1|
|Mexico Liga MX||02/25 23:00||9|| Cruz Azul v Juarez FC ||W||1-0|
|Mexico Liga MX||02/23 02:05||7|| Cruz Azul v Atlas ||W||1-0|
|Mexico Liga MX||02/18 03:05||8|| Puebla v Cruz Azul ||W||1-3|
|Mexico Liga MX||02/12 18:00||6|| Toluca v Cruz Azul ||L||3-1|
|America Friendlies||02/08 16:00||-||Cruz Azul v Atlanta United||D||3-3|
|Mexico Liga MX||02/05 01:05||5|| Cruz Azul v Tigres UANL ||L||0-1|
|Mexico Liga MX||01/29 00:00||4||Queretaro v Cruz Azul||-||PPT.|
|Mexico Liga MX||01/22 03:18||3|| Necaxa v Cruz Azul ||L||1-0|
|Failed to score||13||7||6|
Club de Futbol Cruz Azul or simply Cruz Azul (pronounced [kɾus a'sul]) is a professional football club based in Mexico City, Mexico. It competes in the Liga MX, the top division of Mexican football. Because "azul" means "blue" in Spanish, the club has traditionally worn a blue home kit.
Founded in Jasso, Hidalgo, the club moved officially to Mexico City in 1971, where it had already registered a great presence and activity since its beginnings. Estadio Azteca, the nation's largest sports venue, served as their home venue until 1996, when they moved to the Estadio Ciudad de los Deportes, which was renamed Estadio Azul. After 22 years the team returned to the Azteca at the conclusion of the 2017-18 Liga MX season. Its headquarters are in La Noria, a suburb within Xochimilco in the southern part of Mexico City.
Cruz Azul has been in the Primera División champion nine times, trailing Toluca's 10, C.D. Guadalajara's 12, and Club América's 13. Cruz Azul's six titles makes it the second-most successful club in the history of the CONCACAF Champions League, the most prestigious international club competition in North American football, trailing intracity rival Club América. Cruz Azul was also the first CONCACAF team to reach the final of the Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious club competition in South American football (which invited top Liga MX clubs from 1998 to 2017), losing on penalties to Argentine football giants Boca Juniors in 2001. In the 1968–69 season, Cruz Azul was the first CONCACAF club (and third worldwide) to complete a rare Continental Treble, winning the Mexican Primera División championship, the Copa México national tournament, and the CONCACAF Champions League.
In its 2014 Club World Ranking, the International Federation of Football History & Statistics placed Cruz Azul as the 99th-best club in the world and the third-best club in CONCACAF. According to several polls published, Cruz Azul is the third-most popular team in Mexico, behind only C.D. Guadalajara and Club América. It is also the second most supported team in its hometown, Mexico City, behind América and ahead of Pumas UNAM.
Carlos Garces López was a footballer and athlete, included in the Mexico national team for the 1924 and 1928 athletics and football. As a Midfielder, he was part of Club América's founding squad and was a key player to their dominance of the Primera Fuerza in the mid-1920s. Garces López was included in the debut Mexico national football team in 1923, playing in Mexico's debut series of official international matches against Guatemala. At the time, football in Mexico was not a lucrative occupation. Garces López was a licensed dentist providing dental care at the cement company Cemento Cruz Azul located in the small town of Jasso, Hidalgo. He would travel regularly to Mexico City from Jasso to train and play for América.
In 1925, Cemento Cruz Azul had voted to establish a company baseball team as the sport was popular in the town of Jasso. Garces López personally lobbied for many months to change the official company sport to football. American employees initially receiving resistance but the company directors relented to a referendum for determination of the company team's main sport. The March 22, 1927 election favored football. Cemento Cruz Azul replaced the company baseball diamond with a football pitch. The football team was officially established two months later on May 22 where Garces López was appointed head coach.
Initially, Cemento Cruz Azul played in local tournaments organized by the company against teams representing towns neighboring Jasso. The team was composed solely of company workers for the next three decades. The club was widely successful in amateur tournaments during the 30s and 40s, winning 15 consecutive state level league titles.
By 1931, Cemento Cruz Azul had experienced a series of economic troubles during the Great Depression. Due to the loss of demand and production of cement and other construction materials, Cemento Cruz Azul faced bankruptcy and was bought by cement company La Tolteca on March 1, 1931, for 1 million pesos. The liquidation of Cemento Cruz Azul was anticipated by 192 workers of Cemento Cruz Azul who unionized and sued the executives of the company to prevent the transfer of the property which was set for October 15, 1931. The government of Hidalgo ruled in favor of the workers after it was shown La Tolteca had premeditated intentions of liquidation. The workers assumed control of the industrial facilities on November 2. On May 21, 1932, the governor of Hidalgo, Bartolomé Vargas Lugo, decreed the 192 workers of Cemento Cruz Azul as collective owners of the plant, exercising eminent domain. Part of the agreement, all 192 workers who assumed responsibility of the plant agreed to pay the state of Hidalgo 1.3 million pesos over the course of 10 years. The company changed its name to Cooperativa Manufacturera de Cemento Portland La Cruz Azul, S.C.L, reestablishing itself as a cooperative on January 29, 1934. The debt was settled on November 2, 1941, 10 years after workers took ownership of the plant. In celebration, Cruz Azul organized a match against R.C. España, that ended in a 0–0 draw.
This scenario of the club's formation encourages its working-class facade.
From 1932 to 1943, Cemento Cruz Azul won 15 consecutive league titles in an amateur league in the state of Hidalgo. On 8 different occasions, the club represented the state of Hidalgo in national amateur tournaments. From the mid-1930s to the late 1940s, the club regularly traveled to Mexico City to face the reserve teams of Atlante, Necaxa, Marte, and R.C. España, playing at Parque Necaxa to great success. By 1937, Cruz Azul had garnered a considerable following both in Hidalgo and Mexico City. Around this period in time Guillermo Álvarez Macías began playing on the team as a midfielder.
On December 10, 1953, Guillermo Álvarez Macías was appointed general manager of Cemento Cruz Azul. He had been employed at the cooperative since 1931 at the age of 12 when his father died. Initially employed as an automotive mechanic, Álvarez Macías spent over two decades at the company, rising through the ranks. A self-proclaimed socialist, Álvarez Macías laid plans to transform the cooperative into a functioning town, building schools, restaurants, paving roads, in hopes to modernize and "share social and economic progress, to raise the standard of living of the worker and his family." In his goal to promote social well-being among members of the co-op, Álvarez Macías invested into cultural and recreational activities. This included investing much more into the football club whose proceeds were used to provide the worker-players with better living conditions.
In 1958, team captain and machinist, Luis Velázquez Hernández, served as the club's ambassador to the Mexican Football Federation to lobby for official membership on the club's behalf. Velázquez Hernández met Paulino Sánchez in Mexico City, who had ties to prominent football executives. They met with Joaquín Soria Terrazas and Ignacio Trelles to discuss membership in the federation for the club. Sánchez vouched in favor of Cruz Azul, citing their continual success in the amateur and reserve tournaments. Much to the displeasure of Álvarez Macías who asserted the club was not ready for professional football.
In preparation for federation membership, Paulino Sánchez assumed the position as head manager of the club. Due to regulations, teams were required to have a reserve team. Lafayette, a club experiencing financial troubles located in Colonia Moctezuma, had many talented players that could potentially be Cruz Azul's reserves. Under the recommendation of Sánchez, Cruz Azul purchased the Lafayette team. The acquisition was completed sometime in 1960. Plans to construct a club stadium that complied to the standards set by the Mexican Football Federation were conceived in 1960. In 1961, ground broke to construct Estadio 10 de Diciembre and finished in 1963.
Despite not possessing federation membership and due to Sánchez's personal contacts, Cruz Azul was invited to compete in the 1960-61 edition of Copa de la Segunda División de México, a competition sanctioned by the Mexican Football Federation. The club's debut game was played on April 2, 1961, in Jasso against Zamora, ending in 2–1 in favor of Cruz Azul. The second leg was played on April 9, 1961, ending in a 3–3 draw. They faced Querétaro in the next round winning 1–0 on aggregate. Cruz Azul was eliminated by UNAM. Following their impressive performance in the cup, the Mexican Football Federation granted Cruz Azul an opportunity to register as a professional team.
The club was officially registered to compete in the nation's second tier professional league for the 1961-62 season.
Due to the regulations by the Mexican Football Federation that prohibited the official usage of company names by clubs, the club changed its name to Cooperativa Cruz Azul from Cemento Cruz Azul
Jorge Marik, a Hungarian coach who previously managed Atlas and Atlante, signed on to manage the club in 1961. Cruz Azul won a direct promotion to Primera División after Marik led the club to the 1st position on the general table with 45 points (19 wins, 7 draws, and 4 losses) in the 1963–64 Mexican Segunda División season.
Following the club's promotion, Estadio 10 de Diciembre underwent renovations on March 6, 1964, rebuilding the wooden stands and dressing rooms which were compliant to regulations.
Cruz Azul finished their first season in the top flight, the 1964–65 Mexican Primera División season, in 8th place with 10 wins, 9 draws, 11 losses.
After poor results, Marik left the club after the 1965–66 Mexican Primera División season where Cruz Azul finished in 13th place out of 16 teams on the league table. Walter Ormeño became the team's interim coach, managing 3 games, before the club signed Raúl Cárdenas October 20, 1966.
During the 1968–69 season under the direction of Cárdenas, Cruz Azul won their first Copa México, their first Primera División title, and their first CONCACAF Champions' Cup. After only 4 years in the nation's top flight, Cruz Azul managed to complete a treble, being the first club to do so in not only Mexico but in the CONCACAF region as well.
Cruz Azul finished in second place on the general table for the 1969–70 Mexican Primera División season. The club was awarded the 1970 CONCACAF Champions' Cup on December 15, 1970, after Saprissa and Transvaal withdrew from the second phase of the competition in September citing economic issues.
Between 1970 and 1980, Cruz Azul led the Primera División with six league tournament championships; four under Cárdenas and the last two under Ignacio Trelles. This powerful version of the team earned the nickname La Máquina Celeste (The Blue Machine), which continues as one of the official nicknames of the team.
On December 18, 1976, Guillermo Álvarez Macías died of a heart attack at the age of 56 while awaiting President Portillo for a meeting.
Throughout the 1980s, Cruz Azul remained one of the most competitive teams in the league. Despite their consistent form and financial wealth, the club was unable to obtain a title. This drought would last for another 17 years.
In 1988, Guillermo Héctor Álvarez Cuevas, the son of the late Guillermo Álvarez Macías, assumed the position of general manager at the cooperative Cemento Cruz Azul and presidency of Cruz Azul.
For the 1991–92 season, Cruz Azul signed Carlos Hermosillo. An América icon who was fundamental to America's 1988–89 league championship victory against Cruz Azul, Hermosillo's signing was met with ambivalence by the club's supporters. Hermosillo, however, quickly established himself as an integral part of the team where he was the league's top goal scorer for 3 consecutive years (1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96 - 27, 35, 26 goals respectively).
In the 1994-95 season, the club finished 3rd in the league's overall table and reached a league final for the first time in 6 years where they were defeated 3–1 on aggregate by Necaxa.
July 20 of 1996 marked the end of a 16 year long championship drought for Cruz Azul. The team managed by Víctor Manuel Vucetich won the CONCACAF Champions' Cup single round-robin tournament held in Guatemala City. Cruz Azul finished 1st on the table after defeating Seattle Sounders 11–0 at Estadio Flores. Vucetich also lead Cruz Azul to a Copa México title, winning the 1996–97 Copa México at the Estadio 10 de Diciembre after defeating Toros Neza 2–0.
Under the management of Luis Fernando Tena, Cruz Azul won the CONCACAF Champions' Cup on August 24, 1997, for the second consecutive year after defeating LA Galaxy 5–3 in the final. On December 7, 1997, Cruz Azul, who finished 2nd in the general standings of the league table, won the Invierno 1997 league tournament the against table leaders León via golden goal. This marked an end to the club's 17 year long league drought as well as achieving Cruz Azul's second continental treble.
The second leg of the series is largely remembered in part of a self-admittedly inexplicable act of aggression committed by León's goalkeeper Ángel Comizzo towards Carlos Hermosillo that handed the championship title to Cruz Azul. During the 15th minute of the first half of extra time, Comizzo shoved and kicked Cruz Azul striker Hermosillo in the face while inside the penalty box. Referee Arturo Brizio only witnessed the shove but did not see the kick as he turned his head away when Comizzo kicked Hermosillo. The penalty was called in favor of Cruz Azul while Comizzo did not get sent off. Hermosillo, whose face was bleeding profusely, took the penalty kick and scored. As the golden goal rule applied, Cruz Azul won the match and their eighth league title.
In 2001, Cruz Azul was invited to a tournament between select Mexican and Venezuelan teams that would then compete in the Copa Libertadores, a tournament of the best South American teams. The two best teams of this qualifying tournament earned immediate placement on the roster.
Cruz Azul was one of the seeded teams and reached the 2001 Copa Libertadores final match. Cruz Azul started the tournament in Group 7 along with 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, where Cruz Azul lost 2–1. The second leg was played in Mexico City, where 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 River Plate of Argentina. The first leg of the match was played in Buenos Aires and ended in a 0–0 draw. The second leg was played in Mexico City and Cruz Azul won 3–0. Cruz Azul was having a great run and faced Rosario Central at the semifinals. The first leg was played in Mexico City and Cruz Azul won the game 2–0. The second leg was played in Rosario, a very exciting match that 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 Argentine giants 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 La Bombonera stadium with Paco Palencia scoring the goal. Until then, no team had ever won a Copa Libertadores final match there. After overtime, the championship was decided by penalty kicks where Boca Juniors prevailed. Still, Cruz Azul surprised everybody with the unprecedented feat of reaching the final and defeating established Argentinian teams such as Rosario Central and River Plate.
After leaving a pre-season practice session on July 16, 2005, manager Rubén Omar Romano was cornered by two stolen vehicles and abducted by 5 men. A ransom note was later found demanding of Romano's family $500,000. Assistant coach Isaac Mizrahi managed the team during Romano's absence. After 65 days, Romano was found and rescued unharmed. Federal agents raided a house in a poor neighborhood where Romano and his kidnappers were situated. The agents arrested 7 conspirators who were under the orders of convicted abductor Jose Luis Canchola.
During the hostage incident, the club had decided to not renew Romano's contract upon the end of Apertura 2005 and instead offered the position to Mizrahi following stellar results. Mizrahi accepted the offer while Romano was in captivity. Romano stated he felt betrayed and his friendship with Mizrahi was severed.
The club was regularly regarded to be contenders for championship titles due to their formidable and financial stature in the league. Throughout this period in time however, Cruz Azul competed in many league and tournament finals only to finish runners-up. In these championship matches, as well as regular season games, Cruz Azul initially would be favorites to win, often having the advantage over the opponent, but would ultimately draw or lose near the end of full stoppage time. As a result, the club garnered a negative reputation of being cursed and the club would often be subject to ridicule. The term cruzazulear, defined as "the act of losing a game after victory is practically assured", is used to describe Cruz Azul losing a match in the aforementioned manner beginning sometime in 2013. The usage of the term was so prevalent that it is officially recognized by the Royal Spanish Academy in 2020.
During the Clausura 2008 season, the team played a great tournament, finishing in second place. The team won 9 games, had 4 draws and lost only 4 times. In the quarterfinals they played against the 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 the semifinals against the 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 the 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. In the first leg, Cruz Azul lost 1–2 at home, and a 1–1 draw in the second leg meant that Santos were champions with a 3–2 aggregate score.
For the Apertura 2008 season, Cruz Azul finished in 5th place on the overall table. The team had 7 wins, 5 draws, and 5 losses.
In the quarterfinals, Cruz Azul defeated Pumas UNAM with an aggregate score of 3–1, moving on to the semifinals against Atlante; the first leg was played in Mexico City, and Cruz Azul won 3–1. In the second leg, Cruz Azul tied Atlante 1–1 in Cancún, which meant that Cruz Azul reached the Final for the second consecutive time. In the final, Cruz Azul played against Toluca, both teams tied on winning Mexican titles (at that time with 8 each). The first leg played in Mexico City ended with a dramatic 0–2 with a victory for Toluca, and in the second leg, which was played at Estadio Nemesio Díez, Cruz Azul won 0–2, which put the aggregate score at 2–2, which meant extra time had to be played. No goals were scored in extra time and the match went into a penalty shootout, where Toluca won 7–6 over Cruz Azul and won the title, after Alejandro Vela missed his penalty, even though he was the one that scored the opening goal of the game for Cruz Azul. In the 72nd minute, César Villaluz was fouled in the penalty box and suffered a serious injury, but Cruz Azul were unable to substitute him as they had no remaining substitutes, so the team was forced to defend the scoreline with 10 men for almost fifty minutes, which possibly could´ve had a big outcome on the result, as well as the decision to not award a penalty.
The team qualified for the 2008–09 CONCACAF Champions League by finishing league runner-ups. In the first stage, they finished second in Group A, qualifying for the knockout stage. In the quarter-finals, they defeated Pumas UNAM 2–0 on aggregate; in the semi-finals, they defeated the Puerto Rico Islanders on penalties with 10 men, after coming back from a 2–0 loss in the first leg. In the final against Atlante, they lost the first game 0–2 and tied the second 0–0, losing on aggregate.
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 in 17 games, winning only two games, with seven draws and eight losses. The Club sacked their manager Benjamín 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.
In the Apertura 2009, the team had signed Enrique Meza to manage the team and signed several players, including the best goalkeeper of the previous Mexican tournament Jose de Jesus Corona, Argentine striker Emanuel "Tito" Villa, Ramon Nuñez, and Emilio Hernandez. The team finished the regular season in second place with 33 points, winning 11 games of 17 played, and qualifying for the playoffs; Villa was the top scorer of the tournament with 17 goals. In the quarter-finals, they beat Puebla 7–6 on aggregate, and in the semi-finals, they beat Monarcas Morelia 2–1 on aggregate. In the final, they lost to Monterrey 6–4 on aggregate, meaning this was now their third consecutive time failing to win a league finals.
In April 2012, Cruz Azul changed their official name from Club Deportivo, Social y Cultural Cruz Azul, A.C. to simply Cruz Azul Fútbol Club, A.C.
In the 2009–10 CONCACAF Champions League, the team had a good tournament, finishing first in Group C and qualifying for the final stage of playoffs. In the quarter-finals, they defeated Panamanian team Árabe Unido 4–0 on aggregate, and then in the semifinal round, they played against the Mexico City rivals Pumas UNAM, losing the first leg 1–0 but winning the return leg 5–1 at Estadio Azul. In the final, against another Mexican club, Pachuca, they had the chance to win their 6th CONCACAF championship, winning the first game at home 2–1, but lost at Pachuca's home 1–0 with a last minute goal, meaning Pachuca won the championship by the away goals rule, and Cruz Azul missed the opportunity to participate in the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup.
During the 2013 season, Cruz Azul started slow but regained confidence after beating Club América in the Copa MX semi-finals and winning the Copa MX final over the Atlante. After Cruz Azul won the Copa MX, their Liga MX performance improved and they were considered one of the contenders for the title due to a good streak. They would face bitter rivals the Club America in a historical final series of the "Clásico Joven." Cruz Azul was up 2–0 in aggregate when the Club America made a miraculous comeback with goals in the 89th from Aquilvado Mosquera and 93rd minute from Moises Munoz who was a goalkeeper of the second leg; Club America would go on to win 4–2 on penalties.
On April 23, 2014, after defeating Toluca, Cruz Azul won their 6th CONCACAF championship, a record at the time, and winning their first trophy in seventeen years. This gave Cruz Azul a berth at the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup, where they would earn a fourth-place finish.
From the Clausura 2014 to the Clausura 2017, Cruz Azul had been unable to qualify to the liguilla playoffs for six consecutive tournaments. Cruz Azul qualified for the liguilla for the first time in three years in the Apertura 2017 season. However, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by the América, who advanced as the higher-ranked seed, with an aggregate score of 0–0. On 27 November 2017, Cruz Azul announced that Paco Jémez would not renew his contract for the following season.
In the Liga MX Clausura 2018 tournament, Cruz Azul ended up ranked 12th and failed to qualify for the liguilla. The club also finished last place in the group stage of the Clausura 2018 Copa MX. On 7 May 2018, the club announced director of football Eduardo de la Torre's contract had ended and would be replaced by Ricardo Peláez, former director of football for Club América.
On 31 October, they would face Monterrey in the Apertura 2018 Copa MX Final, winning 2–0 with goals from Elías Hernández and Martín Cauteruccio. It was their first trophy in the tournament since 2013.
Cruz Azul faced América in a rematch of the Clausura 2013 final for the Apertura 2018 final. The first leg was played on 13 December 2018 which ended in a scoreless draw. The second leg was played three days later and ended in a 2–0 victory for América. With this defeat, Cruz Azul extended its 21-year-old championship drought in the league for at least another season.
In May 2020, Guillermo Alvarez Cuevas, then president of the club, was indicted by Mexican authorities on multiple accounts of insurance fraud, racketeering, extortion, tax evasion, and money laundering. On July 26, an arrest warrant was issued for Alvarez along with board directors Victor Manuel Garcés, Miguel Eduardo Borrell, and Mario Sánchez Álvarez for alleged ties to organized crime. Alvarez subsequently resigned from his position at the club in August 2020 after 32 years as acting president. Interpol is currently searching for Alvarez in 195 countries and as of June 2, 2021, remains at large.
On December 6, 2020, Cruz Azul faced UNAM on the second semi-final leg of the Guardianes 2020 Liga MX final phase. Although Cruz Azul had a 4–0 lead at the beginning of the second leg, they lost the match 0–4, thus tying in aggregate. Because UNAM won the clubs' week 17 match 1–0, they held the tiebreaker and advanced to the final.
On May 30, 2021, Cruz Azul ended its 23-year Primera División championship drought by beating Santos Laguna 2–1 on aggregate at Estadio Azteca, earning its ninth league championship, after having lost seven finals in the last thirteen years.