Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León
, also known as UANL
or simply Tigres
, is a popular Mexican professional football
club, which plays in the Primera División
. It is the youngest professional team from the state of Nuevo León
. The side plays home games at the Estadio Universitario
, located in San Nicolás de los Garza
, a municipality in the metropolitan area of Monterrey
. The UANL Tigres
are the official team of the state-owned university, the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León
(UANL, or Autonomous University of Nuevo León).
Their chief rival is Club de Fútbol Monterrey or Rayados, and the annual crosstown derby is known as the Clásico Regiomontano.
- La Primera Division Championship(s): 2
- La Primera Division Runner-Up: 3
- 1979-80, Invierno 2001, Apertura 2003
- Interliga Championship(s): 2
- Mexico Cup Championship(s): 2
- Mexico Cup Runner-Up: 1
- La Segunda Division Championship(s): 1
- La Primera Division A Championship(s): 2
- Invierno 1996, and Verano 1997
- World Series of Football Championship(s): 1
- UANL Tigres were born as Jabatos, and later changed their name to "Tigres" (Tigers) in 1960.
- In 1967, their home, the Estadio Universitario was built.
- In 1974, they were Mexican Division Champions and therefore promoted to the First Division.
- In 1975, they became the first team in the state of Nuevo León to win an official First Division Cup Championship.
- In 1978, only a year after being promoted, they became the first team in the state to win the League.
- In 1979, they became League Runner up after losing to Cruz Azul. Some consider this the best final in the history of the Mexican First Division. The Azteca Stadium Electronic Score Bilboard played the phrase "TIGRES. estos si tienen corazon" over and over after the final game was over.
- In 1982, they won their second First Division League Championship.
- In 1989, they became Cup runner-up after losing to Puebla.
- In 1996, after years of corrupt management of the state-controlled university, and of the team, Tigres were relegated to Primera División A. They played their final game against their arch-rivals, CF Monterrey, and lost 2-1. Note that Mexico uses a percentage-based relegation system, in which the team with the worst performance percentage in three years (instead of the worst team in the season) is relegated. In fact, Tigres qualified for the play-offs in 1996, but the cumulative effect of corruption on the team caused the crisis. As a result, the team was privatized, and the administration of the team was given for 10 years to Sinergia Deportiva, a trust-holder run by Cemex.
- In 1997, after two consecutive Primera "A" championships, the team returned to the Primera Division.
- In 2001 and 2003, the team reached the final, both times against Pachuca, and both times were defeated in their stadium.
- In the tournament for the Torneo de Clausura 2003, CF Monterrey and UANL Tigres met in the semi-finals and Monterrey eliminated Tigres by an aggregate score of 5-3 including an embarrassing loss to Monterrey in Estadio Universitario 4-1.
- In October 2003 the team invited the marching band from Texas State University to perform at its match against the Rayados.
- In October 2004, the team purchased the rights to a franchise in the MISL called the Monterrey Tigres. However, due to conflicts with the previous MISL franchise the Monterrey Fury, the team elected not to complete its purchase of the team, and the MISL terminated the indoor franchise in December 2004.
- In January 2005, Tigres became champion of the InterLiga and qualified for their first Copa Libertadores de América.
- Once again, in the tournament for the Torneo de Apertura 2005, Monterrey and Tigres met in the semi-finals with Monterrey once again eliminating Tigres and advancing to the finals.
- In Jaunuary of 2006, Tigres defeated their arch-rival Club de Futbol Monterrey to win their second InterLiga, and qualify again to Copa Libertadores.
- On August 3, 2006, Cemex, the company who controls Tigres, celebrated its first 100 years with a match between Tigres and FC Barcelona in Monterrey. The game ended with the locals losing by 3-0. Syndey Balderas of Tigres scored an own-goal, Ronaldinho scored with a free kick and later passed to Eiður Guðjohnsen for a third goal.
- On July 19, 2008, Tigres U.A.N.L. played against Atletico de Madrid as their official presentation for the Apertura 2008 tournament. Atletico de Madrid opened the score with goals from John Heitinga and Diego Forlan for a sturdy 2-0 in favor of the Spanish side. Tigres responded well to this for Blas Peres and Manuel Viniegra tied the game, causing the Estadio Universitario to erupt with joy.
Throughout the years, Tigres has been represented by different songs. The club anthem is played in an informal manner every time Tigres plays, and it is also played on local radio programs that cover Tigres games or are about soccer in Monterrey, and talk about Tigres.
The current anthem was written and composed in 1996 by José Antonio "Tony" Villegas, and produced by Santiago Yturria. This is the newest Tigres anthem, created when the team was privatized. A hip-hop remix of the anthem has also been created since.
This anthem is different from past anthems because it glorifies attributes and values that are popularly related to the city of Monterrey or the State of Nuevo León, and relates those values to the team. Some of these values include hard work, dedication to a common goal, unity, strength, the value of the locality, positive example to children, and the dream of always being the best.
There are a number of matches which the media, or the rivals, regard as special matches for Tigres. However, Tigres fans consider the Clásico Regiomontano
to be their only true derby. Following, is a list of matches that are called "special" or "classic" by the media:
- Tigres UANL vs. Monterrey
- This is the authentic Clásico Regiomontano derby. On every Clásico, the Stadium is sold out before tickets even go on sell to the public in booths. In the history of Clásicos, Tigres is the better team with 31 victories, and only 29 defeats. Tied games are 24. One game was suspended.
- Tigres UANL vs. Cruz Azul
- Some media outlets call this a derby, because Cruz Azul represents a cement company, and Tigres are administered by CEMEX, the second largest cement company in the world. It is called by some media outlets the "Cement Derby", or "Clasico del Cemento." But actually this derby was born for economic reasons.
- Tigres UANL vs. Club Universidad Nacional
- Because Tigres, representing the University of Nuevo León, and Pumas, representing the UNAM, National University of Mexico, represent the two most prestigious public universities in Mexico, this game is sometimes called the "University Derby", or "Clásico Universitario".
- Tigres UANL vs. Santos Laguna
- The people of the city of Torreon, and the state of Coahuila at large, have a rivalry with the state of Nuevo León. Therefore Santos Laguna, based in Torreon, has rivalries with both Tigres and CF Monterrey. However, neither Monterrey-based team views this game as a derby.
Tigres have a large and loyal fanbase concentrated in the state of Nuevo Leon and Northeastern Mexico. Tigres fans were recognized for supporting Tigres legend Walter Gaitan even after his poor performances in his last few games with Tigres. Tigres have held the record for the largest average attendance in Mexico for ten years running (42,777), which is the 98% of the available capacity of the Estadio Universitario, making Tigres the most viewed professional team in Mexico in any sport.
In January 2005, the team won the InterLiga
Championship in Houston
. With this, they qualified for the prestigious Copa Libertadores de América
. This was the first time the team qualified to any international tournament.
The Tigres adventure in the Libertadores included their first ever game in that tournament against Alianza Lima in Peru on February 15, 2005 (away, score: 0-0) and May 3, 2005 (home, score: 0-0). Their first ever win on the tournament, on February 23, 2005, against Caracas FC, from Venezuela (home, score: 3-1), and on April 13, 2005 (away, score: 2-5). This last game is the biggest-scoring game the team has had in its history on the tournament.
In the same group was also the Club Atlético Banfield. They confronted themselves in March 15 (home, score: 2-2) and in April 6, 2005 (away, score: 0-3).
The Tigres qualifyied (along with Banfield) into the next stage, where they met against previous year champion colombian team Once Caldas. On May 19, 2005, both teams tied (away, score: 1-1) and then, Tigres won on the second game on May 26, 2005 (home, score: 2-1) thus qualifying to quarterfinals against São Paulo, who later went on to become champion, and who only lost a match in this tournament against this team.
On Quarterfinals, the first game on June 1, 2005 was lost (away, score: 4-0) and the next game on June 15, 2005 was won (home, score: 2-1). The aggregate score was 5-2 against, and the team was eliminated from the championship.
In summary, UANL Tigres won 5 games, tied 4 and lost one, and ended 5th.
With Tigres, Hugo Sánchez became the first person born in Monterrey to ever score in the tournament.
After defeating their arch-rival, Club de Fútbol Monterrey, at the Home Depot Center in California, Tigres won their second consecutive Interliga and became the first Mexican team to qualify to two consecutive Copa Libertadores de América.
In this edition, Tigres faced the Universidad Católica from Chile, the Corinthians, from Brazil, and Deportivo Cali, of Colombia.
This was a tougher group stage than they had last year, and was one of the toughest in the tournament. However, Tigres qualifyied for the next round, but only by goal-difference advantage, and after a last minute goal by Carlos Ramírez.
Because of its intensity, this group staged produced a lot of memorable games, particularly against Universidad Católica and against Corinthians at home and away. Tigres ended second in the group due to goal difference advantage, in a last minute goal against U. Católica, and so qualified again for playoffs.
However, they were eliminated in the round of sixteen. Tigres played Libertad of Paraguay on April 27, 2006 and again on May 4, 2006. The matches ended 0-0, and Tigres were eliminated on penalty kicks (5-3).
In summary, Tigres played 8 games, and produced 3 wins, 3 ties, and two defeats.
This performance was noticeably inferior from its first, and it produced its first penalty kicks experience in Copa Libertadores.
(*)also holds Mexican citizenship
The number 7 in Tigres has been immortalized to honor Gerónimo Barbadillo.
- 12 (reserved for the fans)
The club does not assign the number 12 to any player in order to honour its fans as the 12th man.
Tigres B is the Primera División A affiliate of Tigres UANL. They play in the lower division to provide a training ground for prospective players aspiring to play in the Primera División de México. They currently play in San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León.