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No matter what happens this Sunday in the final between Atlas and León, a coach will join the privileged list of Argentines who have been crowned champions in Mexico.
The Apertura 2021 is the 51st season to be played in Mexico since the inauguration of short tournaments, and there are only five Argentinean coaches who have managed to become champions in this format.
This Sunday, that list will be extended to six when Diego Cocca, in charge of Atlas, and Ariel Holan, in the bench of León, will define the champion of the current season.
Argentine managers who have been champions
In terms of tournaments, an Argentine coach has been crowned champion seven times, but Antonio Mohamed has lifted the title three times.
El Turco was champion with three different teams: Xolos, América and Monterrey.
These are the Argentinean managers who have been champions in the history of short tournaments in Mexico:
Apertura 2012: Alberto Jorge, Toluca
Clausura 2003: Daniel Pasarella, Monterrey
Apertura 2005: Américo Gallego, Toluca
Apertura 2012: Antoni Mohamed, Xolos
Apertura 2014: Antonio Mohamed, América
Clausura 2017: Matías Almeyda, Chivas
Apertura 2019: Antonio Mohamed, Monterrey
Diego Cocca can also achieve another accomplishment
Atlas manager will have the chance to make his club champion as a manager, something that did not achieve as a player.
The Foxes' coach wore the red and black jersey from 1999 to 2001, enough time to conquer the hearts of Atlas fans.
As a player, Diego was unable to become a champion with Atlas, but now, as a coach, he has the opportunity to end the curse of seven decades without a championship for the foxes.
Just last year, Guardianes 2021 tournament, saw Peruvian Juan Reynoso make history by leading Cruz Azul to the championship after a 23-year drought.
As a player, Reynoso had won the last title won by Cruz Azul, in Winter 97, against León.
The following are some of the managers who managed to win championships in short tournaments for the teams they played for during their professional careers:
Luis Fernando Tena/Cruz Azul
José Manuel de la Torre/Chivas
José Guadalupe Cruz/Atlante
Juan Reynoso/Cruz Azul
Second leg match
The second leg, the crucial match, will be played at the Jalisco Stadium on Sunday, December 12 at 20:15 hrs. This will be the first time in history that Atlas will play a second leg of the final at the Jalisco Stadium.
Atlas have a golden opportunity to break the seven-decade drought of not being Mexican soccer champions and will have the support of their fans, who have been loyal to them throughout all this time.