Soccer, Football and Baseball in Mexico
Mexico doesn’t have the history needed to win the World Cup. At least that’s what you would hear from various Mexican sports commentators during the last World Cup (South Africa, 2010). As a historian, the idea that history might help us to understand the tragic downward spiral of Mexican sports was not something I could let pass unnoticed, even if the role these commentators assigned to history is not exactly what I had in mind. The point I’d like to make is that a history of team sports in Mexico can aid in our understanding of why—contrary to what so many people (and especially those in the United States) would have you believe—Mexico has never even been remotely close to winning the World Cup.
Sergio Silva Castañeda is DRCLAS Senior Fellow, Mexico and Central America Program, and a Lecturer in History at Harvard. A native of Mexico City, he studied economics at CIDE in Mexico and received a Ph.D. in Latin American History at Harvard. This article is dedicated to the memory of his aunt Isabel Castilleja.