Mexico at the World Cup
Mexico were one of the 13 teams in the inaugural World Cup in 1930. Mexico have qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals 17 times (including 2022), more often than world football powers such as France and England. However, they have not had great success.
Mexico's best results have come when they have hosted the tournament, in 1986 and 1970. They reached the quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986, on both occasions losing to the eventual runners-up. In 1970, Italy defeated them 4-1 and in 1986, they lost a penalty shoot-out with Germany.
- The first player to score a penalty goal in a World Cup match was Mexico's Manuel Rocquetas Rosas against Argentina on 19 July 1930.
- After an enormous journey by sea, Mexico and USA played a qualifying match in Rome on 24 May 1934, three days before kick-off of the Italy 1934 finals. Mexico lost the match 4-2 and went home immediately and the USA went home three days later when they lost to Italy in the opening match.
- In Mexico's 4-0 win over El Salvador on 7 June 1970, one of the goals should have been disallowed, as an El Salvador's free kick was taken by a Mexican player. Shortly before halftime, a free kick was awarded to El Salvador near the touchline. Instead, a Mexican player took it, and passed the ball to his teammate Valdivia. To everyone's surprise, the Egyptian referee Hussain Kandil waved 'play on', Valdivia booted the ball into the net, and the goal was allowed. When their appeals were denied by the referee, the El Salvador players restarted the game by kicking the ball into the crowd!
- Mexico was banned from participating in the 1990 World Cup as it had deliberately fielded three overaged players in a FIFA international youth tournament.
- In 2026, Mexico will become the first country to host or co-host the men's World Cup three times.
- About the women's team from Mexico at the FIFA Women's World Cup
- List of all countries who have participated in the World Cup
- FIFA World Cup Home
- About Sport in Mexico