How would Mexico fare in CONMEBOL? 

October, 30, 2012

The eventual approval of the 2016 Copa America in the United States will give fans throughout the Americas the opportunity to see their national team square off against the best in the region, in what will culminate in the first free-for-all between CONMEBOL and CONCACAF with real bragging rights on the table.

The Copa, now a decades-long aspiration for the Mexican national team, remains the last grail at the regional level for a team that is quickly positioning itself as an elite team in the world. Despite two second-place finishes in 1993 and 2001, South American football fans in general still regard Mexico as a team that is not up to their standards. After all, the continent is home to nine World Cup trophies, and the likes of Pele, Garrincha, Maradona, Francescoli, Di Stefano, Cubillas, Valderrama, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Messi and a plethora more.

On the flip side, a growing current of commentators and pundits on the Mexican side of things has begun suggesting that perhaps El Tri's growth is better suited in South America, with the aim of formally joining CONMEBOL in a manner reminiscent of Australia's move from Oceania's federation into Asian football.

The idea, of course, has its detractors. Heavy business interests and TV networks point to the virtually guaranteed spot in the World Cup every four years that CONCACAF offers as a perk that should not be relinquished in the aims of making a statement. While it is admittedly far away from becoming a reality, the question remains: How would Mexico do in South American qualifying?

Eric Gomez