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Hugo Sanchez, Javier Aguirre: MLS beats Liga MX in global reach

Herculez Gomez struggles to see how a 50-team league merging MLS and Liga MX sides can happen by 2026.
Herculez Gomez was left unimpressed by Cruz Azul's 1-0 win over rivals Club America in the Clascio Joven.
Herculez Gomez explains why Liga MX eventually decided to suspend play due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Former Mexico national team managers Hugo Sanchez and Javier Aguirre believe Major League Soccer is a step ahead of Liga MX in terms of global diffusion.

Sanchez starred for both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid as a player and has coached in Spain at Almeria, while Aguirre is head coach of Leganes and was previously at Atletico.

And both agree that Liga MX needs to grow internationally for the league and coaches within it to get exposure in Europe.

"Without doubt I think that Mexican coaches are capable of managing in any part of the world," said Sanchez, known as "Hugol"and who serves as an analyst for ESPN. "The advantage some of us have is that we first played in Europe and later coached in Europe, like in the cases of Javier Aguirre and I.

"Sadly, in the Mexican league we don't have visionary leaders that [internationalize Liga MX], like they did in England and Spain in promoting their tournaments," he continued. "It would mean that games from Mexico could be seen in other powerful countries in the world. Instead, the United States are smart and do it better than us."

Sanchez is the fourth highest scorer in the history of La Liga and the third highest scoring foreign player after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Aguirre, who coached Mexico at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, is currently fighting to save Leganes from relegation.

"No one sees us [in Mexico]," Aguirre told ESPN. "They see MLS and they don't see Liga MX. They see the Libertadores and not the CONCACAF Champions League."

Aguirre pointed to coaches Antonio Mohamed and Luis Zubeldia making the jump from Liga MX to Europe -- Mohamed to Celta Vigo and Zubeldia to Alaves -- but highlighted that it is increasingly difficult.

"After the World Cup in Brazil maybe [former Mexico coach] Miguel Herrera had an opportunity but it passed by," said Aguirre. "They only see us in World Cups and it is a shame."

The issues of the relative visibility of MLS and Liga MX made headlines in Mexico when Inter Miami's Rodolfo Pizarro said that being part of David Beckham's franchise would boost his profile and help him move to Europe in the future.

El Tri legend Rafa Marquez also warned that MLS is becoming more attractive to Mexican star players than Liga MX.

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