On August 11, 2012, a golden page was written in the history of Mexican football. The Mexican team defeated 2-1 to Brazil in the final of the men'
On August 11, 2012, a golden page was written in the history of Mexican football.
The Mexican team defeated 2-1 to Brazil in the final of the men’s soccer tournament in the London 2012 Olympics to win the first gold medal in its history within this discipline.
Already a decade after obtaining the Olympic title, this feat still stands out a lot.
But is the gold medal at London 2012 the greatest achievement in the history of Mexican soccer?
Before the Olympic conquest, Mexico had already won some titles in FIFA tournaments in different categories.
The Tri was crowned in Confederations Cup 1999 playing at home in their fortress, the Azteca Stadium. And on two occasions he had stayed champion in the Under 17 World Cup: Peru 2005 and Mexico 2011.
Alongside these triumphs, however, the gold medal in London 2012 has a stronger shine that has it as the greatest achievement in history.
To begin with, although the tournaments of Peru 2005 and Mexico 2011 represent the only soccer world championships that the Aztec team has won, were given at a childish level. They do not carry the same relevance as those of the older categories.
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Yes, it is true that the Olympic tournament is played with a limit of 23 years. However, it is a competition in which professional footballers participate. And several have played in the fair as figures. London’s Brazil was headed by Neymarwho sought to give the greenyellow the only title that was missing in its glorious history.
And as for the 1999 Confederations championship, ten years ago there was a strong debate in public opinion about whether this achievement weighed more than gold.
The elder select Andrew Saved demerited the feat of London 2022 for being a tournament with an age limit.
“They are different things and levels but they make us dream and there are many things to work on. The U17s, U23s are something else, another level. If they win the Confederations Cup, we’ll see if they can win a World Cup”, Saved said at the time. “Playing against Messi, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta or Cristiano Ronaldo is not the same as playing at the Olympic Games.”
But time has decisively tipped the balance in favor of the gold medal. The Confederations Cup is a fair that no longer exists; FIFA removed it from its calendar in 2019 to expand the Club World Cup. The tournament that brought together the champions of each confederation and the world champion was held for the last time with the Russia 2017 edition, prior to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Before becoming a competition played every four years as a rehearsal a year before the World Cup, the Confederations was a biannual tournament. who was not well received by soccer royalty.
“What is the purpose of playing this cup? None,” indicated in 2003 the then coach of Arsenal in England, Arsène Wenger, about the tournament in France that year.
This contempt from the upper echelons of football was quite evident at Mexico 1999. France, the reigning world champion, declined to attend to the just Aztec. and Brazil and Germany they sent teams fully alternative.
In the end the Tri defeated the greenyellow which was led by a Ronaldinho just 19 years old. Weeks before, this same campus of the Mexican team with Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Claudio Suarez and Rafael Marquez, He had been defeated twice by the Brazil A-The team of Ronaldo Nazario and Rivaldthe greatest figures of the canarinha at that time–in the Copa America in Paraguay 1999.
Until Mexico returns to the Copa América and wins it, or until they win a bigger World Cup, the London 2012 Olympic gold medal will stand firm as the highest achievement of Mexican soccer.