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Football Misfits: Cuauhtémoc Blanco, the wizard from Tepito

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In our new series that goes by the name of Football Misfits, we take a look at the career of Mexican legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco with his clubs and country.

Our editorial team came up with a brand new idea called Football Misfits, where we will talk about uncomprehended football geniuses who played the beautiful game, we start our journey with Mexican legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco. Very famous for his street-like demeanor that is very distinctive of the Mexican blue collar worker from the capital, Cuauhtemoc Blanco was the first discovery that legendary talent scout Alvaro ‘Coca’ Gonzalez introduced to Mexican football back in the nineties. Club America was the club that gave Cuauhtemoc his first shot at professional football and he didn’t disappoint, but his first years in the club were complicated with the second manager who coached him with Las Aguilas: Argentine manager Ricardo La Volpe. Both had a complicated relationship from the start, Cuauhtemoc always claimed that the boss never treated him with respect and thus was born one of the most bitter rivalries in Mexican football to this day.

Cuauhtemoc’s loan to Necaxa and his big break in European football.

Due to his bad relationship with La Volpe, Blanco was loaned to affiliate club Necaxa right before the Argentine manager left the club from the capital and played for the Aguascalientes side for a full year before he returned to America after La Volpe was gone. Both the World Cup 1998 as well as the Confederations Cup came and he had a pivotal role in both tournaments for Mexico that turned heads in many clubs throughout Europe, but it was Spanish club Real Valladolid the one that took a chance on the striker right after Cuauhtemoc helped his national team defeat Brazil in the same tournament that a young Ronaldinho was introduced to the world on the international stage. Blanco’s creative talent was delightful to behold, his style of football was irreverent and made him a unique player who had the brightest future any Mexican player had since Hugo Sanchez.

The biggest setback in Blanco’s career.

Then the unthinkable happened during a World Cup Qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago, defender Ancil Elcock went right ar Cuauhtemoc Blanco’s knee in a challenge and the damage was done. An injury that cut short Cuauhtemoc Blanco’s short-lived European career and that cost him nearly a year to overcome, but he made a triumphant return for the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup where he became famous on the international stage with his signature move known as the “Cuauhteminha”. This trick is very simple to the naked eye, it consists on taking the ball with both feet while cornered by two defenders and jumping with it to get past them. Only a true rascal like Cuauhtemoc could come up with such a simple yet effective trick, but his repertoire as a creative playmaker goes much beyond the “Cuauhteminha”. We got to know the real Cuauhtemoc after that 2002 World Cup when he returned to Club America and became one of the club’s idols.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco’s style of play.

Like any other creative playmaker in football history, Cuauhtemoc Blanco had a unique take on football and his style reflected his rogue personality to perfection. But in that rebel essence that made him the amazing player we all grew to love, many on and off the field problems clouded his career and sometimes even nearly destroyed it. However, every single day that he stepped on the field until his last matches as a semi-professional player in Mexico’s second division, Cuauhtemoc Blanco played for the fans and made them enjoy football in a truly unique way like only the most creative players in history did. Football experts around the world have even compared Blanco’s creativity to that of players such as Diego Maradona or Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Cuauhtemoc had that same spark that very few footballers in history gave the public week in and week out. But much like all the legends we are going to talk about in this new editorial, Blanco was a bohemian player who very few people understood. One moment he was starting a fight in El Clasico between America and Chivas and on the next, he was assisting a striker for an amazing goal with his buttcheek. Cuauhtemoc represents Mexican wit to its finest, that’s why he became the people’s champ.


After watching some of Cuauhtemoc Blanco’s skills and goals, what do you think about his style of play? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.