The relationship between the Mexico national team and its fans is far from idyllic. Things are tense and discontent was on display during last Sunday's 2-2 draw against Jamaica. Several players were booed, including Jorge Sánchez, Diego Lainez, Raúl Jiménez and Memo Ochoa.
Yes, Memo Ochoa! The guy who becomes a wall every four years and who's been the most iconic Mexican player of the last decade.
Of course, several questions come to mind: How did we get to this point? Why is everything so toxic and rotten around El Tri? Is it time to abandon soccer and root for Mexico's national baseball team?
There's no definitive answer, but we can point out a few factors that've been brewing for several months.
Why are Mexico fans booing their national team?
#1. Bad results
When a team wins, everybody forgets about the problems. However, the tension immediately goes through the roof once the results are not what people expect, and Mexico's issues on the pitch are clearly a leading cause of the current situation.
The failure experienced in Qatar is the main complaint. For the first time since 1978, El Tri exited a World Cup at the group stage and fans are not ready to forgive the culprits, a.k.a. the players, former coach Gerardo Martino and the federation (FMF).
However, the World Cup is not the only subject of concern. Mexico's status within the Concacaf region feels stagnate compared to the evident growth experienced by the USMNT and Canada. Add to the mix the failure of both youth and women's teams to qualify for major events (2023 WWC, 2024 Olympics) and you start to understand why the patience threshold is so low.
#2. The lack of new blood
Mexico has an aging squad, and people feel that several players of the old guard should step aside and let young stars take the reins. Fans believe, for example, that Héctor Moreno, Jesús Gallardo, Héctor Herrera, Raúl Jiménez and Memo Ochoa have completed their life cycle with El Tri and are now just blocking the rise of new talent.
Ochoa is the most emblematic case of the lot. The goalkeeper is 37 and dreams of playing his sixth World Cup in 2026 at 41. People believe he's putting his interests over Mexico by not letting shot-stoppers like Carlos Acevedo (26) develop properly.
Of course, there's a valid question in the discussion: Is Acevedo better than Ochoa right now?
#3. The Televisa conspiracy
This factor is linked with the previous point.
There's a high number of people that believe broadcaster Televisa is in control of the national team. And that means — in the eyes of those fans — they choose what player deserves to be in the squad. That's why Ochoa is irremovable and why Henry Martín and Raúl Jiménez seem to be above Santiago Giménez in the pecking order, for example.
We're not saying this is true, just bringing up something fans believe that helps to explain the current disconnect with the team.
#4. Liga MX and FMF bosses' greed
While MLS exports players to Europe by the handful, the flow of Mexican talent to the other side of the Atlantic is rather slow. Fans blame the owners of Liga MX clubs, who put unreal price tags on their stars, scaring away potential suitors and denying players the chance to push their skills to a higher level.
Fans are also fed up with the money-hungry FMF, an organization that has alienated the national team from the people, choosing to play games outside the Azteca in the United States instead of other cities around Mexico because they know they can charge more money for tickets.
While there are several external factors shaping the current mood toward the national team, it's also important to mention that the fans have also created over-expectation in terms of what the Mexico squad can achieve. And when those expectations are not met, unhappiness ensues.
Currently, El Tri doesn't have elite players in elite teams around the world. That's a hard pill to swallow. Sure, Edson Álvarez and Santiago Giménez have the potential to do it, but while they're not there yet, the best course of action is to be realistic and avoid unnecessary ulcers.
Of course, if you want to keep booing for the sake of it, go ahead. Nobody will stop you.