MIAMI, Florida – When it comes to Concacaf royalty at the club and international level, there are few who can rival Carlos Hermosillo.
The former Mexico FW enjoyed a storied club career spending the majority of his career with Mexican giants Cruz Azul and Club America, while also excelling with the Mexican National Team, where he ranks as the El Tricolor’s fifth leading scorer all-time.
A three-time Concacaf Champions Cup winner, once with Club America in 1987 and twice with Cruz Azul in 1996 and 1997, Hermosillo fondly recalls the charge of excitement that came with playing in Concacaf tournaments.
“Concacaf matches were always very motivating. I really liked playing in those cup competitions and finished as the top scorer (seven goals) when I won in 1996 with Cruz Azul,” said Hermosillo in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
Hermosillo credits playing with such esteemed players like Tomas Boy, Javier Aguirre and others to help him become the footballer he was.
“I very much enjoyed my career and I always had a nose for goal. In 1983-84 I was champion of Mexican football with Club America, and so I had moments of joy at the start of my career. Men like Aguirre, Boy, they helped me grow as a player. It was like constructing a strong base for a career. They were people who taught me and molded me as a player,” said Hermosillo.
At the international level, Hermosillo was included in the Mexico squad for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, but did not appear in a match. However, eight years later at USA 1994, Hermosillo played a big part in Mexico finishing atop a difficult group that also featured Italy, Norway and Ireland.
“That was my first experience playing in a World Cup. We were in the group of death and we finished first in the group even though we lost to Norway in our first game. It was wonderful to have so many of our fans there. It was like playing at home in Mexico. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have that final punch to advance past the second round,” said Hermosillo.
Hermosillo wrapped up his Mexico career with 34 goals in 90 matches, many of those coming against the United States. It was during Hermosillo’s time with the Mexican National team that the rivalry between El Tricolor and the U.S. took hold. For Hermosillo, every time they faced the U.S., they knew a 90-minute battle was in the cards.
“Those were the first days of the rivalry. They had great players. Eric Wynalda, Tab Ramos, Alexi Lalas, Cobi Jones… That’s how the rivalry grew. Those were great matches, we went toe-to-toe with them. Very physically matches. I’m proud I got be a part of that because on our team and their team, there were so many emblematic and legendary players,” said Hermosillo.
In 2001, Hermosillo was regaled with what is a rarity in Mexican football: a farewell match. Players from far and wide traveled to Mexico to take part in the exhibition affair, including international football legends Diego Maradona and Jurgen Klinsmann. What followed was a wonderful spectacle from all the players, who showcased all their skills and quality, making for a night that Hermosillo won’t ever forget.
“It was a wonderful night. Cruz Azul offered this farewell match and it was an honor. There ended up being 44 players total! That’s four teams! There were people who hadn’t even confirmed who ended up coming. It was truly marvelous. Klinsmann scored an incredible goal, Maradona was there… The match was so good because it was a group of friends who enjoyed playing with each other and it showed. It’s a memory I’ll always have,” concluded Hermosillo.