Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo (Spanish pronunciation: [kwauˈtemok ˈβlaŋko]; born 17 January 1973) is a Mexican politician and former professional footballer. He currently serves as the mayor of Cuernavaca, Morelos under the Social Democratic Party (PSD). As a footballer, Blanco was known for his attacking ability and played most of his career as a deep-lying forward and his last years as an attacking midfielder. He was also known for his accurate penalties, crucial passes and vision. Blanco is considered to be one of the greatest Mexican footballers of all time.
Blanco is the only Mexican football player with an award in an international FIFA competition, as he won the Silver Ball and the Silver Shoe awards in the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup. He has been awarded the MVP of the Mexican Primera División four times.
He is tied with Ronaldinho as the all-time leading Confederations Cup goalscorer. Blanco is the third leading goalscorer for the Mexico national team and his debut team Club América; he is also Mexico's second top scorer in both the FIFA World Cup and the Copa Libertadores tournament.
Blanco was born in Tlatilco, but grew up in Tepito, where he learned to love playing football in the local fields. Growing up in a rough environment, Blanco developed a style of play based on creativity. Ángel González a scout for Club América discovered him as he won the Torneo Benito Juárez as a part of the Distrito Federal selection team, and brought him to Club América's development program.
Having played most of his career in Club América, with 333 appearances and 135 goals, Cuauhtémoc has become an idol to the club's supporters and an important figure in the history of the team.
Blanco made his debut in the Mexican Primera División in 1992 at age 19 with Club América. He won his first Golden Boot with 16 goals in the Winter 1998 season for Las Aguilas.
In May 2005, Blanco won his first club championship as a player, leading Club América to its tenth league title, when Club América defeated U.A.G. by an aggregate score of 7–4 (1–1, 6–3). In the next three consecutive years between 2005 and 2007, he was awarded the MVP.
He scored his last goal is this club during the championship final against Pachuca in 2007. After that game he moved to Chicago and played the next two seasons for Chicago Fire.
He was loaned for Winter 1997 and Summer 1998 at Club Necaxa, in which he scored 13 goals in 28 appearances.
In the year 2000, after winning the Golden Shoe in the Confederations Cup 1999, Blanco was loaned to Real Valladolid for the 2000–01 campaign. On October of that year in an international WCQ match against Trinidad and Tobago, he received a strong kick from an opposing defender, breaking his leg and leaving him out of the fields for the next six months.
After the peak of his career was stopped by an injury, he continued in the club for another season (2001–02), in which he struggled with homesickness and regaining his form; after scoring great goals in Spain, including a great free-kick against Real Madrid C.F. at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, he returned to Mexico.
In the Apertura 2004 he had a successful season with the Tiburones Rojos in which they ended up leaders, Blanco being an important factor. During this season he gained an important following at the port, which led him to come back later on.
On 2 April 2007, Blanco ventured on to Major League Soccer in the United States and signed with Chicago Fire. He was welcomed by 5,000 fans at Toyota Park as he conducted interviews with the media, signed autographs and greeted with fans.
He was later voted as a finalist for both the M.V.P. and Newcomer of the Year awards in 2007. Blanco was the 2007 Sierra Mist Goal of the Year Winner which was his first season, goal came in week 20 against RSL.
Blanco was the second-highest paid player in Major League Soccer, after Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham, earning $2.7 million a year. Once again finalist for the M.V.P of the year award.
On 24 July 2008 during the MLS All-Stars vs West Ham United, Blanco won the MVP of the game with one assist and one goal, a game in which he only played 46 minutes. The MLS All-stars won 3–2.
On 19 November 2008, it was announced that Santos Laguna signed Blanco on a loan to play only for the Apertura 2008 Liguilla, after the injury of their Ecuadorian striker Christian Benítez. Blanco was formally presented to the press the next day, wearing jersey number 9, and stated that he looks forward to giving Santos a back-to-back championship. Blanco scored his first goal with Santos Laguna 29 November 2008. It was penalty against San Luis goalkeeper Adrian Martinez in the return game which Santos Laguna won 2–1 and 5–2 aggregate score.
Return to Mexico
In October 2009 Blanco announced he would not be renewing his contract with Chicago Fire and would instead sign with Veracruz of Ascenso MX starting January 2010. However, after 6 months with Veracruz he left for Irapuato FC. Led by Cuauhtemoc Irapuato won Clausura 2011, but the team failed to advance to the Primera División losing to Club Tijuana in the promotional final.
In December 2011, Blanco joined Dorados de Sinaloa of Liga de Ascenso. According to Blanco, this will be the last team he represents. He would like to finish his professional player career playing for Dorados de Sinaloa and later pursue his career as a coach. In Apertura 2012 Dorados de Sinaloa together with Blanco won the Copa MX.
Despite Blanco Bravo announced he would retire after the end of 2012, he changed his mind and played for another 6 months with Dorados. However, after the tournament ended, he did not renew his contract and was released from Dorados on June 2013.
Cuauhtémoc Blanco enrolled with Lobos BUAP for the Apertura 2013 Liga de Ascenso Season. After one year with the club, he did not renewed his contract with BUAP and was released from the club at the end of the season, in which the club failed to qualify for the play-offs.
After considering retirement, 41-year-old Cuauhtémoc officially signed with Puebla F.C. for one season, making it his last effort in Liga MX as an active player. On April 21, 2015, he played his final game in the Copa MX final against C.D. Guadalajara, appearing off the bench at minute 70. Puebla F.C. went on to win the cup and send Cuauhtémoc Blanco off as a champion in the final game of his career.
Return To Club América
On February 22, 2016 it was announced that 43-year old Cuauhtémoc Blanco would participate in an official Liga MX match during the Week 9 of Clausura 2016 for the club that started his career, Club América. It would allow him to officially end his career while playing for the club. On March 5, 2016, Blanco started the match wearing a jersey with number 100 and played 36 minutes for Club América at the Azteca stadium in a match versus Morelia, before being substituted by Darwin Quintero. During the game Cuauhtemoc demonstrated his signature move Cuauhtemiña and had two shots on goal, one of which hit the crossbar from the outside of the penalty box. The match was eventually won by America, 4-1.
Blanco has played for Mexico at three World Cups; he was part of the squad at France '98, Korea-Japan 2002 and South Africa 2010. He was also a member of the Mexico team that won the Confederations Cup in 1999 where he was the tournament's leading scorer with six goals, including the winning goal at the Estadio Azteca against Brazil in the final. He was awarded the "Silver Shoe" and "Silver Ball" for outstanding player of the tournament. Blanco holds the record along with Brazilian Ronaldinho as the highest scoring players in the Confederations Cup with nine goals, three in 1997 and six in 1999.
In the selection for the final 23-man squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, then Mexico national team coach Ricardo La Volpe left Blanco out of the team. While the ostensible reason given was that Blanco was frequently injured and not in good form, some people considered this to be a consequence of the previous year's constant bickering, due to on-going personal problems between coach and player.
Blanco became part of the squad that played the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scoring one penalty goal, and the 2007 Copa América, where he scored 2 goals also from penalty kicks. On 13 September 2008, he earned his 100th cap for his country in its 2–1 World Cup qualifier victory over Canada at Tuxtla Gutiérrez, coming on with only 15 seconds left in regulation time. After the match he announced his retirement from international football.
Blanco announced his return to the national team in May 2009. He became a regular member of returning coach Javier Aguirre's squad, playing in all the games throughout the Hexagonal of the World Cup Qualifying. Since then, Blanco has become an important factor in Mexico's team regaining form and confidence.
On 10 October 2009, Blanco provoked the first opposition own goal and scored the second goal in a 4–1 victory over El Salvador to help Mexico clinch a spot in the 2010 World Cup. On 17 June 2010, he scored a penalty in the 78th minute of the 2–0 win against France at the World Cup finals in South Africa. With this goal he became the first Mexican to score a goal in three World Cup tournaments and the third-oldest goalscorer in World Cup history. Blanco is considered by many to be one of the greatest penalty kickers of all time. He also has a penalty-taking record; out of a total of 58 taken, he has only missed two.
Blanco played a tribute game in 2014 against Israel at the Estadio Azteca, which symbolized his official retirement from international football. Mexico went on to win the match 3–0.
|1.||19 January 1996||Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, United States||Guatemala||1–0||1–0||1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|2.||21 January 1996||L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, United States||Brazil||2–0||2–0||1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|3.||7 February 1996||Estadio Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile||Chile||1–0||1–2||Friendly|
|4.||16 June 1996||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, United States||United States||2–1||2–2||1996 U.S. Cup|
|5.||22 June 1997||Estadio Félix Capriles, Cochabamba, Bolivia||Ecuador||1–1||1–1||1997 Copa América|
|6.||14 December 1997||King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia||3–0||5–0||1997 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|8.||16 December 1997||King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Brazil||1–1||2–3||1997 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|9.||7 February 1998||Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, United States||Honduras||1–0||2–0||1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|11.||20 June 1998||Parc Lescure, Bordeaux, France||Belgium||2–2||2–2||1998 FIFA World Cup|
|12.||6 July 1999||Antonio Oddone Sarubbi, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay||Venezuela||1–0||3–1||1999 Copa América|
|14.||25 July 1999||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Saudi Arabia||1–0||5–1||1999 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|18.||1 August 1999||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||United States||1–0||1–0||1999 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|19.||4 August 1999||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Brazil||4–2||4–3||1999 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|20.||9 January 2000||Networks Associates Coliseum, Oakland, United States||Iran||2–0||2–1||Friendly|
|21.||3 September 2000||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Panama||4–0||7–1||2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
|23.||8 October 2000||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Trinidad and Tobago||1–0||7–1||2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
|25.||2 September 2001||Independence Park, Kingston, Jamaica||Jamaica||1–1||2–1||2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
|27.||5 September 2001||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Trinidad and Tobago||3–0||3–0||2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
|28.||11 November 2001||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Honduras||1–0||3–0||2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
|30.||3 June 2002||Niigata Stadium, Niigata, Japan||Croatia||1–0||1–0||2002 FIFA World Cup|
|31.||28 February 2007||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States||Venezuela||3–0||3–0||Friendly|
|32.||10 June 2007||Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, United States||Honduras||1–0||1–2||2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|33.||8 July 2007||Estadio Monumental de Maturín, Maturín, Venezuela||Paraguay||5–0||6–0||2007 Copa América|
|34.||14 July 2007||Estadio Olímpico, Caracas, Venezuela||Uruguay||1–1||3–1||2007 Copa América|
|35.||6 June 2009||Estadio Cuscatlán, San Salvador, El Salvador||El Salvador||1–1||1–2||2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
|36.||9 September 2009||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Honduras||1–0||1–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
|37.||10 October 2009||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||El Salvador||2–0||4–1||2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
|38.||17 March 2010||Estadio Corona, Torreón, Mexico||North Korea||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
|39.||17 June 2010||Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, South Africa||France||2–0||2–0||2010 FIFA World Cup|
Blanco himself has accepted on Mexican television and to the press that his goal celebration is an imitation of the "Archer" celebration created by former Atletico de Madrid striker Kiko Narvaez. In a 2005 interview with Mexican newspaper El Universal (Mexico City), Blanco explains that while watching a Spanish league game accompanied by his teammate Germán Villa, both players agreed to celebrate their next goal by imitating the "Archer" gesture. In the end, only Blanco did it, and jokingly reprimanded Villa for not keeping his word. However, the Chicago Fire official website claimed that Blanco celebrates scoring a goal by acting like the Prehispanic Tlatoani Aztec emperor Cuauhtémoc, "in order to show respect for the Mexican people, and their indigenous Amerindian heritage".
Blanco remains remembered for the Cuauhtemiña (also spelled Cuauhteminha in Portuguese), or Blanco Trick, which he performed notably at the 1998 World Cup. In the trick, when two or more opposition players are trying to take the ball from him, he traps the ball between his feet and jumps through the defenders- releasing the ball in the air and landing with it under control as he leaves the opposition players behind. The trick is easy to perform but is eye-catching and has been incorporated as a special skill into the FIFA series of football video games.
- As of 22 October 2009
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
|2000–01||Real Valladolid||La Liga||3||0||–|
|USA||League||Open Cup||North America||Total|
|2007||Chicago Fire||Major League Soccer||14||4||–|
- Mexican Primera División: Clausura 2005
- Campeón de Campeones: 2005
- CONCACAF Champions' Cup: 1992, 2006
- Copa MX: Apertura 2012
- Liga de Ascenso: Clausura 2011
- Copa MX: Clausura 2015
- FIFA Confederations Cup: 1999
- CONCACAF Gold Cup: 1996, 1998
- FIFA Confederations Cup Silver Boot: 1999
- FIFA Confederations Cup Silver Ball: 1999
- Mexican Player of the Year: 2001–2002
- Mexican Primera División MVP: 1997–1998, 2004–2005, 2005–2006, 2006–2007
- Mexican Primera División Top Scorer: Invierno 1998
- MLS Best XI: 2008
- MLS All-Star Game MVP: 2008
- MLS Goal of the Year: 2007
- Tecate Athlete of the Year: 2008
- Mexico Premio Nacional del Deporte: 2009
- FIFA Confederations Cup All time scorer
|1998||Gotita de amor||Himself|
|2007||La familia P. Luche||Himself|
|2009||Adidas Y tu qué sientes por ella?||Himself|
|2010||Hasta que el dinero nos separe||Himself|
|2010||Más Color (Laundry detergent of Henkel)||Himself||Commercial with Consuelo Duval|
|2010-11||Triunfo del amor||Juan José Martínez 'Juanjo'||Televisa telenovela|
|2011||Pepsi||Himself||Commercial of his Special Edition product|
|2014||Pepsi||Himself||Commercial with Francisco Palencia & Luis El Matador Hernández|
In January 2015, Blanco registered as a Social Democratic Party (PSD) candidate for the municipal presidential elections of the city of Cuernavaca, the capital of the Mexican state of Morelos. In early June 2015 he won in closely contested election, narrowly defeating Maricela Velázquez of the incumbent Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). In a subsequent vote recount Blanco was confirmed a winner of the municipal presidential race.