Liga MX teams spend big bucks, sometimes too much on overrated talents or past their prime players that simply cannot produce for their teams. Some of these players come to Mexico with impressive resumes and accolades, but it simply does not work out.
Liga MX is a tough league, when you consider the travel, the Mexican smog and altitude. It takes a bit to get accustomed. Then again, Liga MX is not known for patience, just ask all the coaches that get fired during the season.
We are counting down the worst signings in history for Liga MX, this ranking takes into account various eras of Mexican soccer. There are some really impressive names on this list, but, like we said before, some times things just don’t work out. Here are the infamous names!
20. Raúl Tamudo
Raúl Tamudo was a Spanish forward who went to Pachuca in 2012, Tamudo had experience in clubs like Espanyol, Real Sociedad, and Rayo Vallecano. In Mexico it was less than impressive, Tamudo played 9 games and scored 0 goals.
19. Juan Pablo Carrizo
Touted as the next best Argentine goalkeeper, Juan Pablo Carrizo’s career never really took off. The netminder came to Liga MX after being at Inter Milan, warming the bench. A few poor performances and he was pulled from the lineup, in total Carrizo played 5 games at Monterrey.
18. Andy Delort
Algerian striker Andy Delort made his way to Tigres in 2016 and played only one season with a less than impressive 3 goals in 14 games. Delort is back in France with Nice.
17. Gullit Peña
Past his prime Mexican international Gullit Peña flopped big time at Cruz Azul and later Necaxa, both loan spells from Rangers. Peña is a rarity in Mexico, a player who has played abroad and flopped in his domestic league.
16. Giovani dos Santos
A flop at every team Giovani dos Santos has ever played for, not much is different at America. After a rather underwhelming spell in MLS, America became the next team on dos Santos’s list of poor runs. Much, again, was expected and the return has been miserable.
15. Landon Donovan
Make no question about it, Landon Donovan’s move to León in 2018 was purely a political and marketing signing. A recently retired Donovan went to Liga MX after President Donald Trump made some disgusting remarks about Mexican immigrants. While noble, on the field it was anything but impressive. Donovan was clearly past his prime and played a meager 6 games. Not exactly what was expected by a player that many Liga MX teams chased over the years.
14. Yuber Asprilla
Yuber Asprilla, a Colombian goal scorer not really known for his scoring touch, played a total of 49 minutes in 2 games for Pumas in 2018. In Asprilla’s defense he went down with an ACL injury but prior to his arrival in Mexico he had scored only 8 goals in well over 50 games, not exactly a player that was lighting up the nets.
13. Matías Abelairas
The Argentine midfielder was known as the Argentine Frank Lampard, well it was the NYCFC version of Lampard that arrived in Mexico. Abelairas, who had seen a huge dip in form since his glory days at River Plate, played 13 games and scored only 1 goal for Puebla.
12. Sebastian Saja
Sebastian Saja, was an Argentine goalkeeper of San Lorenzo and Argentine national team fame, he cost Club América a fortune and played a grand total of 4 games. While Saja had a very decent career, his time in Mexico is an afterthought.
Fantick, otherwise known as, Márcio Delvi da Costa, came to Club América after years in the Brazilian second division, for some reason Manuel Lapuente requested the club sign a player no one had ever heard of. Fantick was absolutely dreadful! Clearly out of his league he left after 1 season in Mexico.
10. Matías Fernández
The talented Chilean midfielder Matías Fernández made a 2-year pit stop in Necaxa of Liga MX after time at A.C. Milan. Often injured or questions about his desire, Fernández played 37 games and scored 4 goals. He left to play in Colombia.
9. Armando Tavira
Chivas, who only sign Mexican players, brought in Armando Tavira in 2003 thinking they were getting one of the best midfielders and Mexican prospects at the time. Tavira was simply not good at all at Chivas. He played 1 season and left to Tapatio.
8. Nery Castillo
Nery Castillo’s career after he left Olympiacos is a downward spiral of dreadful, already featured as one of the worst MLS signings ever, Castillo played in Liga MX for Pachuca and was equally as bad. 13 games and 1 goal was all Castillo could produce.
Djalminha came to Club América well past his prime and played only 5 games scoring 1 goal. Clearly not up to the level then manager Oscar Ruggeri did not want to play him, and thus was fired. So not only did Djalminha play badly, but he also cost someone his job.
6. Roque Santa Cruz
Roque Santa Cruz came to Mexico after an impressive career in Europe, most notably for Bayern Munich. Santa Cruz scored 4 goals in 10 games, Cruz Azul paid him the highest salary of any player in Liga MX at the time and later cut him at season's end.
5. Faustino Asprilla
By the time Faustino Asprilla went to Mexico his career had taken a turn for the worse. Asprilla was uninspiring in his 12 games for Atlante, he scored 3 goals and left quickly. Basically, from his time in Parma in 1998 Asprilla averaged around 10 games per season until he retired in 2004.
4. Joffre Guerrón
Joffre Guerrón came to Liga MX with high expectations, the Ecuadorian winger was considered one of the best at his position in South America. While he played 50 games for Tigres and scored a respectable 13 goals, much more was expected for a player that commanded a high transfer. He did win the Clausura 2015 title and had forgettable stints at Pumas and Cruz Azul.
In 1999 a past his prime World Cup winner Bebeto signed with small club Toros Neza, no one expected Bebeto to take Liga MX by storm, but it was expected that he would provide a ragtag bunch some leadership. 2 goals in 8 games was all the great Bebeto could produce in Mexico before taking the Bebeto show to Japan for a few more big money contracts.
One of the most fantastic soccer players ever came to Mexico after Ronaldinho had returned to Brazil and won a Copa Libertadores. Ronaldinho was more interested in the Mexican nightlife, with supposed private plane trips to Cancun and many nights with women. Ronaldinho played for Querétaro for two seasons, he played 25 games and scored 8 goals. The world’s best player, he was not in his time at Liga MX.
Even great players have rough spells, Eusébio shocked the world when he signed with Monterrey in 1975 after a spell with the NASL’s Boston Minutemen, the Portuguese great played only 10 games and scored 2 goals.