Competitions

Does this new Leagues Cup format prevent Liga MX teams from ever competing in the Copa Libertadores again?

The growing relationship between the Liga MX and MLS has birthed another competition, an expanded Leagues Cup. Will it allow Liga MX clubs to rejoin the Copa Libertadores they left in 2016?  

Copa Libertadores trophy
Copa Libertadores trophy

The organisers of Liga MX and MLS announced an expanded Leagues Cup that will involve all teams and will be played for one full month starting from 2023. Has it closed the door on Mexican clubs returning to Copa Libertadores? The Liga MX clubs have participated before in the Copa Libertadores but left due to scheduling conflicts, while the MLS clubs have never participated in the Copa Libertadores though there were a few times it was proposed but never went tbrough.

MLS and Liga MX announced a new Leagues Cup.

Why Liga MX clubs stopped playing Copa Libertadores

Liga MX clubs competed in the Copa Libertadores from 1998 until 2016, they pulled out ahead of the 2017 edition after the South American organisers switched the tournament's format. The tournament was rescheduled to hold from February to November, which came in conflict with the Liga MX schedules including Clausura playoffs, Confederations Cup, CONCACAF Gold Cup, the off season break and preseason. This forced the Liga MX to stop participating from the 2017 edition.

Has any Liga MX club won the Copa Libertadores?

Mexican clubs competed in the Copa Libertadores for 19 seasons between 1998 to 2016, but none won it. Three different clubs made the finals but all lost it. Cruz Azul lost to Boca Juniors in 2001, Guadalajara lost to Internacional in 2010 and Tigres UANL to River Plate in 2015.

Why Liga MX clubs may never play Copa Libertadores again

The Liga MX clubs may never return to play Copa Libertadores again with the introduction of the expanded Leagues Cup. The Liga MX quit because of a conflict schedule in 2017, with a new competition involving Liga MX clubs and MLS clubs, the schedule keeps getting busier leaving no chance for the return of Mexican clubs. CONMEBOL opened the door to Mexican clubs to compete again and it was believed they will return to play in 2022 but with the introduction of the Leagues Cup, it appears like a permanent goodbye; "It is a question of will, organizing calendars, and that is one of the biggest topics that Mexico had, but the door is open," CONMEBOL said in 2018.

Palmeiras of Brazil are the current champions of Copa Libertadores

Have MLS clubs ever played Copa Libertadores?

The Major League Soccer clubs have never participated in the Copa Libertadores, though there were times when the consideration was made but it was never made official. It was first proposed in 2016 when the Liga MX clubs were leaving the competition. In 2018, it was again proposed by the Liga MX that the two leagues should join the Copa Libertadores as it'd help boost chances of survival of both teams chance, but again it was never made official.

Elijah Odetokun

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