Monarcas Morelia

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Monarcas Morelia 2.svg
Full name Club Atlético Monarcas Morelia
Nickname(s) La Monarquía (The Monarchy)
Los Canarios (The Canaries)
Los Purépechas (The Purépechas)
Founded 21 November 1924; 93 years ago (1924-11-21)
Ground Estadio Morelos
Morelia, Michoacán
Ground Capacity 35,000
Owner Grupo Salinas
Chairman Álvaro Dávila[1]
Manager Roberto Hernández
League Liga MX
Apertura 2017 4th (Liguilla Semifinals)
Website Club website
Current season

Club Atlético Monarcas Morelia is a Mexican professional football club based in Morelia, Michoacán, playing in Liga MX.[2] The team is owned by Grupo Salinas and plays its home games in Estadio Morelos.



Club Atlético Morelia was founded November 21, 1924, as "Oro Morelia" in Morelia, Michoacán. In 1950, Club Deportivo Morelia was among the teams that founded the Segunda División. After the 1956–1957 season, in which they ended up in second place, they were officially promoted into the Primera División to replace Puebla. After an unsuccessful season, in 1968 Monarcas Morelia was relegated back to the Segunda División. During mixed 1968–1971 seasons, C.A. Morelia appointed Nicandro Ortiz as chairman. Ortiz acquired the team and strengthened its position in the league.

The 1978–1979 season thrust Morelia into contention for promotion; in 1980, Monarcas Morelia played under manager Diego Malta who helped his team towards the Mexico Championship and finally promotion to the Primera División in 1981.

In 1996 the major broadcast company TV Azteca bought the team. By the year 2000 the club were playing under the Monarcas moniker. In recent years Monarcas Morelia has been one of the main protagonists in the Primera División.

Although the team had played Mexican professional football for 70 years, it had never won a first division tournament until winter 2000, when the club raised the cup after beating Toluca on penalties. The team was crowned champions away in the Bombonera Stadium. The Morelos Stadium has never been the site of its team winning a final. On the day after the victory, a crowd that some[who?] estimate at 100 thousand people welcomed the team as it paraded along Morelia's main avenue, Avenida Madero on their way to the stadium where the crowd congregated as the team raised the cup and the fans congratulated the team for its first ever first division trophy.

After missing the playoffs for three consecutive tournaments, Morelia finished in third place in the general table in the Apertura 2009. Morelia defeated Santos Laguna in the first round, 4–2 on aggregate. Morelia was then defeated by Cruz Azul in a semi-final that was filled with controversy due to Cruz Azul player Joel Huiqui intentionally using his hand to hit the ball away and prevent Morelia midfielder Wilson Tíago from scoring. (Huiqui later played for Morelia.) With a 2–1 aggregate score, Morelia was eliminated. Morelia qualified for the 2010 Copa Libertadores by ending in third place in the classification phase. It was the second time that Morelia participated in the Copa Libertadores, the first being in 2002. Morelia was the Runner-up of the Clausura 2011, after a hard fought final against Pumas. Pumas won the tie 3–2 on aggregate, taking the trophy home.

In 2010, Morelia became the SuperLiga champion, with a 2–1 victory in the finals over the New England Revolution in which Miguel Sabah scored both Morelia goals.

On November 5, 2013 Monarcas Morelia won their first Copa MX title in a 3–3 match that went to penalties, where they would take the victory. This title also allowed them to participate in the inaugural edition Supercopa MX, which they won against Tigres UANL with a global score of 5–4.

Relegation Struggles[edit]

After 15 years, a dismal 2014–15 campaign left Monarcas as one of the last teams in the relegation table, an aggregate of a clubs most recent points totals that decides which teams will be relegated. As a result Enrique Meza was chosen to be the coach for the Apertura 2015 season. Meza had already saved Morelia before, in the 1995–96 season. After no notable improvement in team performance, Meza was let go from the position of head coach in 2016, with Roberto Hernandez taking over as interim manager. Hernandez's tenure would coincide with the signing of Peruvian forward Raul Ruidiaz on loan from Univesitario. The signing of Ruidiaz would prove to be crucial to the club's fortunes, as he would go on to score 20 goals throughout the 2016-2017 Liga MX season, finishing as top scorer with 11 goals in the Apertura and 9 goals in the Clausura. In the following season, Morelia was in danger of being relegated on the final match day of the Apertura, residing in last place in the relegation table and needing a victory over Monterrey to avoid the drop. Tied 1-1 in extra time, Raul Rudiaz scored a crucial winner that moved them out of the relegation zone, with Veracruz being relegated in their stead. Ruidiaz's goal additionally qualified them for that season's liguilla, its first since the 2016 Clausura.



The club's colors are generated from the city's flag which are yellow and red, which are the same colors in the Spanish flag, because the city is a novohispana city.

In the club's beginnings the club went under the name of Oro and were known as the canarios (canary) until 1999 when the club changed its name to Monarcas, due to the 3 monarchs found in the city's flag, which has been used from its foundation.

First kit evolution 1924–1999[3]




Monarcas Morelia Stadium Estadio Morelos

Towards the end of the 1980s it was decided that their stadium (Estadio Venustiano Carranza) was lacking capacity and that a new stadium with a greater number of seats needed to be constructed. On April 9, 1989, after several construction delays, Stadium Jose Maria Morelos and Pavón (located on the outskirts of the Quinceo mountain) was opened, and the inaugural game was between Atlético Morelia and Club América (who are Morelia's main rivals). The stadium has an official capacity of 45,000, although on inauguration in 1989 it is estimated that more than 50,000 were in attendance. Morelia won the match with the score 2–1. In 2011, the stadium was given a new look, seeing as the FIFA U-17 World Cup was taking place in Mexico.


Squad for season 2012.

Morelia has had some notable players in their history. Marco Antonio Figueroa is the club's all-time leading scorer with 130 goals. Adolfo Bautista, Rafael Márquez Lugo, Moisés Muñoz, Miguel Sabah, Joel Huiqui, Adrián Aldrete, Enrique Pérez, Édgar Lugo and Elias Hernandez, are some of the players that were called up to the Mexico national team while playing with the team. Raul Ruidiaz was the first Morelia player to achieve a Liga MX top socring title.

First-team squad[edit]

As of 20 July 2018[4][5]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Mexico DF Efraín Velarde
4 Mexico DF Jorge Valadéz
5 Mexico DF Carlos Guzmán
6 Chile DF Sebastián Vegas
7 Mexico MF Carlos Fierro
8 Mexico MF Mario Osuna (on loan from Querétaro)
10 Chile MF Diego Valdés
11 Peru FW Irven Ávila
12 Mexico MF Rodolfo Vilchis (on loan from Atlas)
13 Uruguay GK Sebastián Sosa
16 Mexico DF Eduardo Chávez
17 Argentina DF Emanuel Loeschbor (on loan from Cruz Azul)
19 Peru MF Ray Sandoval
20 Chile MF Rodrigo Millar
No. Position Player
21 Paraguay FW Sebastián Ferreira
23 Mexico MF Salvador Reyes
24 Ecuador DF Gabriel Achilier (captain)
25 Mexico MF Roberto Meraz
26 Mexico MF Aldo Rocha
27 Mexico FW Miguel Sansores
29 Mexico FW Claudio Zamudio
30 Mexico MF José Luis Chávez
31 Argentina MF Gastón Lezcano
32 Mexico DF Ignacio González
33 Mexico GK Ricardo Gutiérrez
34 Mexico DF Mario Trejo
35 Mexico GK Luis Malagón

Retired numbers[edit]

Out on loan[edit]

No. Position Player
Mexico GK Guillermo Pozos (loan to Murciélagos)
Mexico GK Carlos Felipe Rodríguez (loan to León)
Mexico DF Daniel Arreola (loan to Atlas)
Mexico DF Rodrigo Godínez (loan to BUAP)
Mexico DF Antonio Olvera (loan to Tampico Madero)
Mexico MF Julio Atilano (loan to UAT)
Colombia MF Jefferson Cuero (loan to América de Cali)
Argentina MF Alejandro Gagliardi (loan to Chacarita Juniors)
No. Position Player
Mexico MF Víctor Guajardo (loan to Venados)
Mexico MF Luis Morales (loan to UAT)
Peru MF Andy Polo (loan to Portland Timbers)
Mexico MF Hibert Ruíz (loan to UdeG)
Mexico MF Christian Valdez (loan to UdeG)
Mexico MF Jorge Zárate (loan to BUAP)
Mexico FW Fernando Ortíz (at Sonora)

Reserve teams[edit]

Morelia Premier

Reserve team that plays in the Segunda División in the third level of the Mexican league system.

Top Goalscorers[edit]

Monarcas Morelia
Rank Player Goals
1 Chile Marco Antonio Figueroa 130 Goals
2 Brazil Alex Fernandes 71 Goals
3 Mexico Miguel Sabah 64 Goals
4 Uruguay Carlos Miloc 59 Goals
5 Mexico Rafael Márquez Lugo 58 Goals
  • Players in bold are currently active with Monarcas Morelia.
  • Players in italic are still active but are not currently with Monarcas Morelia.
  • Does not include international competition goals.



Invierno 2000
Runner-up (3): Apertura 2002, Clausura 2003, Clausura 2011
Apertura 2013
Runner-up (1): 1964–65
Runner-up (1): 2015


  • CONCACAF Champions' Cup: 0
Runner-up (2): 2002, 2003



External links[edit]