In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s take a moment to celebrate the best Mexican soccer players of all time. There are multiple ways to approach this. Should one prioritize success at the national level, where fans are crazed and starved for success?  Or, should one give more credit to players who had the most success on the club and/or European stage?

Who is the best Mexican soccer player right now?

There are a handful of contenders for Mexico’s best soccer player, but goal-scoring machine Santiago Gimenez of Feyenoord in the Netherlands’ top division (Eredivisie) is probably the right answer. He has already scored 12 goals in his first eight league games of the season.

How many Mexican soccer players play in Europe?

In Europe’s top five leagues by UEFA coefficient (England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France), there are eight active Mexican players (according to

How many Mexicans play in the Premier League?

Currently, two Mexicans play in the Premier League. They are striker Raul Jimenez at Fulham, and midfielder Edson Alvarez at West Ham.

How many Mexican soccer players play in MLS?

According to, 21 Mexicans currently play in MLS (2023). 

Ranking the Top 10 Greatest Mexican Soccer Players of All Time

  1. Guillermo Ochoa

Position: Goalkeeper
Birthdate: July 13, 1985
Career Span: 2004 to present
Teams: America, Ajaccia, Malaga, Granada, Standard Liege, Salernitana
Awards and Honors: CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (2009, 2011, 2015, 2019, 2023), 1x CONCACAF Champions Cup Champion (2006), Primera Golden Glove (2006, 2007)

Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is still kicking it between the posts at 38 years old. He transferred to Italy’s Salernitana midway through the 2022-23 Serie A campaign and responded by winning the club’s Most Valuable Player of the Season Award.

Ochoa had a successful domestic club career at Club America and had various fruitful spells at a smattering of European clubs in different nations. However, he mostly earns his spot on this list for his performances with the Mexican national team.

Ochoa has 145 caps for Mexico and has earned the nickname “World Cup Ochoa.” He recently competed in his fifth World Cup tournament, and his most memorable moment is probably his historic clean sheet against Brazil in 2014.

  1. Pavel Pardo

Position: Midfielder
Birthdate: July 26, 1976
Career Span: 1993 to 2012
Teams: Atlas, Tecos, America, VfB Stuttgart, America, Chicago Fire
Awards and Honors: Bundesliga Champion (2006-07), Primera Champion (2002, 2005), CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (1998, 2003), Confederations Cup Champion (1999)

Former Mexican defensive midfielder Pavel Pardo had a long and successful career in the Mexican domestic league (Primera Division) from 1993 to 2006. He looked for a new challenge after the 2006 World Cup tournament and transferred to Stuttgart of the Bundesliga, helping that team win a surprising league title in his first season.

Pardo also has the fourth-most caps in the history of the Mexican national soccer team, totaling 146 from 1996 to 2009. He played in two World Cups with El Tri and helped them win the Confederations Cup in 1999.

  1. Claudio Suarez

Position: Center back
Birthdate: Dec. 17, 1968
Career Span: 1988 to 2009
Teams: UNAM, Guadalajara, Tigres UANL, Chivas USA
Awards and Honors: Primera Champion (1990-91, 1997), CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (!993, 1996, 1998), FIFA Confederations Cup Champion (1999)

Former Mexican defender Claudio Suarez spent almost his entire club career in Mexico, including long chunks of time with UNAM, Guadalajara, and Tigres UANL before moving to MLS (Chivas) for the last few years of his career.

Suarez starred for the Mexican national team, recording the second-most caps in the team’s history, He would have played in four World Cup tournaments, but missed the 2002 edition with injury. Suarez’s 177 caps are the eighth-most in the history of international soccer.

  1. Andres Guardado

Position: Midfielder
Birthdate: Sept. 28, 1986
Career Span: 2005 to present
Teams: Atlas, Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusenn, PSV, Betis
Awards and Honors: Eredivisie Champion (2014-15, 2015-16), Copa del Rey Champion (2021-22), CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (2011, 2015, 2019)

The diminutive Mexican midfielder Andres Guardado has carved out a lengthy career for himself. He moved to La Liga’s Deportivo in 2007 and has been in Europe ever since, peaking as a regular in the Eredivisie Team of the Year at PSV. He is still a regular rotation option for Real Betis at age 37 and helped them win the Copa del Rey in 2022.

Guardado is the most-capped Mexican national team player of all time, with the first of his stunning 179 appearances coming all the way back in 2005. In fact, his 179 caps are the seventh-most in FIFA history, regardless of nation. He has played in five World Cup tournaments for El Tri, including the 2022 event in Qatar.

  1. Cuauhtemoc Blanco

Position: Forward
Birthdate: Jan. 17, 1973
Career Span: 1992 to 2016
Teams: America, Necaxa, Real Valladolid, Veracruz, Chicago Fire, Santos Laguna, Irapuato, Dorados, BUAP, Puebla, America

Awards and Honors: CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (1996, 1998), FIFA Confederations Cup Champion, Silver Ball, and Silver Boot (1999), FIFA Confederations Cup All-Time Top Scorer

Cuauhtemoc Blanco is currently the Governor of the Mexican State of Morelos, but he was quite a successful soccer player before his political career. He spent most of his club career domestically, but Blanco had success in both La Liga and MLS, where he played in two All-Star Games as a member of the Chicago Fire.

Blanco’s national team career spanned from 1995 to 2014, and he scored 38 goals in 119 caps along the way. He played in the 1998, 2002, and 2010 World Cup tournaments and scored some memorable goals in each. His most famous was a penalty shot against France at the 2010 World Cup, where he beat French keeper Hugo Lloris with an impossibly long run-up.

  1. Jared Borgetti

Position: Striker
Birthdate: Aug. 14, 1973
Career Span: 1994 to 2010
Teams: Atlas, Santos Laguna, Sinaloa, Pachuca, Bolton, Al-Ittihad, Cruz Azul, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Puebla, Morelia, Leon
Awards and Honors: Primera Champion (1996, 2001), CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (2003)

Former Mexican striker Jared Borgetti was an absolute goal machine for the Primera Division team Santos Laguna. He scored at least 20 league goals every season from 1999-00 through 2003-04, including an outstanding 41-goal year in 2000-01. He made a big move to Premier League outfit Bolton in 2005 but failed to hit the heights he had reached in Mexico.

Borgetti also scored a boatload of goals for his national team. He has the second-most goals in Mexican history with 46, coming impressively in just 89 caps. He scored twice for Mexico at the 2002 World Cup.

  1. Luis Hernandez

Position: Striker
Birthdate: Dec. 22, 1968
Career Span: 1995 to 2002
Teams: Cruz Azul, Queretaro, Monterrey, Necaxa, Boca Juniors, Tigres UANL, L.A. Galaxy, America, Veracruz, Chiapas, BUAP
Awards and Honors: Primera Champion (1994-95, 1995-96), Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champion (2001), FIFA Confederations Cup Champion (1999), CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (1996, 1998), Copa America Top Scorer (1997)

Former Mexican striker Luis Hernandez was affably known to many as “El Matador.” He played mostly in Mexico during his club days, scoring an impressive 38 goals in 64 games for Tigres.

Hernandez is the third-highest goal-scorer in the history of the Mexican national team. He led the 1997 Copa America with six goals and followed that up with an impressive four goals at the 1998 World Cup to cement his place among Mexico’s top soccer players ever.

  1. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez

Position: Striker
Birthdate: June 1, 1988
Career Span: 2006 to present
Teams: Guadalajara, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham United, Sevilla, L.A. Galaxy
Awards and Honors: Premier League Champion (2010-11, 2012-13), CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (2011), Primera Golden Boot (2010)

Mexican striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez might have the most accomplished European career of any soccer star on this list. He earned a move from his boyhood club Guadalajara to Manchester United in 2010 and immediately became a key option off the bench for the Red Devils. Hernandez had a penchant for clutch, late, headed winners while in England and helped United win two Premier League titles.

Who has the most goals for the Mexican national soccer team? The answer is Chicharito, which translates to “little pea” (little because his father also played, pea because of his green eyes). He has scored 52 goals for Mexico in just 109 caps. 

  1. Rafael Marquez

Positions: Center back, Midfielder
Birthdate: Feb. 13, 1979
Career Span: 1996 to 2018
Teams: Atlas, Monaco, Barcelona, N.Y. Red Bulls, Leon, Hellas Verona, Atlas
Awards and Honors: UEFA Champions League Champion (2005-06, 2008-09), La Liga Champion (2004-05, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10), Copa del Rey Champion (2008-09), Ligue 1 Champion (1999-00), FIFA Confederations Cup Champion (1999), CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (2003, 2011)

Former Mexican defender Rafael Marquez just came up short of earning top spot on this list, because he arguably had the best career of any Mexican soccer player in Europe. An impressive stint with Monaco in France, where he was named Ligue 1 Best Defender in 2001, earned him a move to Barcelona in 2003. He was a regular rotation player for the Spanish powerhouse until 2010 and helped them win two Champions Leagues titles and four La Liga championships.

Marquez was also the longtime captain of the Mexican national team. He shares a record in having played in five World Cup tournaments, and he played in more World Cup games (19) than any other player representing Mexico. His 147 caps are also the most in his country’s history.

  1. Hugo Sanchez

Position: Forward
Birthdate: July 11, 1958
Career Span: 1976 to 1997
Teams: UNAM. San Diego Sockers, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, America, Rayo Vallecano, Atlante, Linz, Dallas Burn, Atletico Celaya
Awards and Honors: La Liga Champion (1985-86, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90), Cope del Rey Champion (1984-85, 1988-89), UEFA Cup Champion (1985-86), Primera Champion (1976-77, 1980-81), FIFA 100 Honoree (2004)

The oldest Mexican soccer player on this list is former striker Hugo Sanchez, who is also the best Mexican soccer player of all time. Why? Sanchez was a star in both halves of the Madrid derby. He spent four years at Atletico, scoring 82 goals in 152 games and helping the Spanish powerhouse to a Copa del Rey title. He moved across town to Real Madrid in 1985 and became one of the most prolific goal-scorers of his generation.

Sanchez scored an outstanding 208 goals in just 283 games for Real Madrid, making him the seventh-leading scorer in the history of the club. Add in his 29 goals in 58 games for the Mexican national team and you get the greatest Mexican soccer player of all time.

Parameters of Rankings

These rankings were based on each player’s appearances for the Mexican national team, each player’s achievements with the Mexican national team, each player’s relative success at the club level, and each player’s overall impact on Mexican soccer.

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