The giants of world soccer will be flocking to cities across the United States, Asia and Europe when the International Champions Cup kicks off this July. From historic clubs like AC Milan to 13 times Champions League winners Real Madrid, there is sure to an array of talent on display from some of the finest sides on the planet.
But could the second Liga MX team ever to take part in club summer's premier competition be its most exciting? Mexico’s Chivas de Guadalajara are participating in the International Champions Cup for the first time, and could be set to surprise everyone with what they bring to the competition…
Chivas de Guadalajara are one of the most decorated teams in Mexico, having won Liga MX on 12 occasions. That includes a run of four consecutive league titles from 1958/59 to 1961/62 – the only time a Mexican club has achieved such a feat.
Their success extends to knockout competitions too, winning their domestic cup on four occasions and lifting the CONCACAF Champions League trophy twice. The latest of these victories was as recently as 2018, when Los Rojiblancos beat Major League Soccer side Toronto FC on penalties in the final.
Success in such a significant tournament certainly marks Chivas de Guadalajara out as being one of the best sides on their respective continent, and it will be fascinating to see whether they can beat Europe’s top teams this summer.
Chivas de Guadalajara take on ACF Fiorentina in Bridgeview, IL, on July 16, before heading to Santa Clara, CA, where they’ll face Benfica four days later. The Mexican club’s International Champions Cup journey concludes in Arlington, TX, on July 23 with an enticing match-up against Diego Simeone’s Atlético de Madrid.
Las Chivas will visit the United States with a squad packed full of hot prospects and established national team stars, as they look to do battle with the world’s best.
Former FC Porto goalkeeper Raúl Gudiño has already been capped by Mexico three times at the age of 21 and the giant shot-stopper is drawing comparisons with legendary custodian Guillermo Ochoa after a string of outstanding performances.
Fellow youngster Alexis Vega is another top talent at the opposite end of the pitch; the forward reportedly joined Chivas de Guadalajara in a big-money move at the end of last year, and has already endeared himself to the club’s supporters with a first career hat trick against local rivals Club Atlas in February.
These talented prospects are complemented by the likes of Mexico World Cup 2018 squad member Isaác Brizuela, 30 cap El Trí midfielder Jesús Molina and former Olympiacos marksman Alan Pulido.
This blend of youth and experience will undoubtedly generate great interest at the International Champions Cup in July, where scouts from around the world will surely be paying particular attention to how Chivas de Guadalajara’s young guns get on against their European counterparts.
Fans of Chivas de Guadalajara enjoy two fiercely contested rivalries that match up to many of the other great derbies around the world.
El Súper Clásico is perhaps the most passionate – when Las Chivas meet Mexico City-based giants Club América – but the Clásico Tapatío with local rivals Club Atlas is also an important date on the calendar for fans in Guadalajara.
Supporters of the Mexican side will surely be bringing the passion from these matches to this year’s International Champions Cup, and their clashes with AS Roma, Benfica and Atlético de Madrid also offer local neutrals a great chance to get behind a newcomer to see if they can pull off a result against one of Europe’s elite.
If they can, Chivas de Guadalajara could be the most talked about side at the tournament this summer.