Liga MX player rankings: Who made the top 30 this season?

Published on: 24 May 2024

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It's not easy to distill a list of 466 players down to 30.

Looking at the full landscape of Liga MX's 2024 Clausura regular season, there's an immense variety of game-changers, goalscorers, and unsung heroes within Mexico's top flight.

Nonetheless, 30 stood out.

With a focus on statistical leaders along a number of different categories (thanks to data from TruMedia/StatsPerform) and also weight given to those who featured more frequently for top-performing teams, we've created a ranking of the best players from the tournament.

No ranking system is perfect, and subjectivity does come into play with our list, but there's no denying the elite work-rate of those that have been included. Keep in mind that while overall talent is taken into consideration, this is a list that will focus solely on performances from the Clausura regular season.

Beginning with #30, let's get things started.

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30. Andres Montaño, midfielder, Mazatlan FC

A forgetful season for 14th place Mazatlan, but the same can't be said for Montaño. The impactful 21-year-old, who scored four times in 17 games, was tied for second in the league in total key passes (33). He also ranked second in successful take-ons (67.5%) for players with at least 40 attempts. Unsurprisingly, he was added to Mexico's preliminary Copa America squad.

29. Alexis Peña, defender, Necaxa

Were it not for Peña, Necaxa could have possibly missed out on their top 10 spot. Constantly handling plenty of pressure, the defender led the league in clearances (109) and finished with the best successful tackle percentage (63.6%) for players with 30+ tackle attempts. Among those with 75+ duels, Peña also earned the best percentage (70.7%) of successful duels. Like Montaño, he was added to Mexico's latest call-up.

28. Fernando Tapia, goalkeeper, Queretaro

Despite featuring in only 10 of Queretaro's 17 regular season matches, the Mexican youth international amassed the second-best goals prevented rating (4.9) this season. Keep an eye on the 22-year-old that was one of the breakout stars at last year's Leagues Cup.

27. Cesar Huerta, forward, Pumas

Even in a subpar run of form, the young Mexican winger/forward stepped up with a total of seven assists, just one shy of league-leader Oussama Idrissi. Eager to carry the ball forward, Huerta ranked third in carries that advanced 10+ meters and fifth for carries after a 1v1.

Since joining Pumas in 2022, Cesar Huerta has been an impactful winger and also earned his Mexico senior debut since then. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)26. Nicolas Ibañez, forward, Tigres

A rotational starter with frequent appearances off the bench, the Argentine provided five goals and four assists in just 823 minutes of play. While Andre-Pierre Gignac is still the star of Tigres' show, Ibañez added more when it came to goal contributions.

25. Jorge Rodriguez, midfielder, Monterrey

Sitting in the heart of the XI, "Corcho" Rodriguez was Monterrey's conductor as their leader in completed passes with 757 in total. With four assists in tow thanks to those passes, the Argentine was also solid with his defensive work rate.

24. Brian Garcia, defender, Toluca

A late bloomer in the Mexican soccer scene, the proactive fullback seamlessly aided both the defense and attack. The 26-year-old earned three goals and four assists, two of which were game-winning assists. From Toluca's third place roster, Garcia led the team in carries following a defensive action (55).

23. Ricardo Monreal, forward, Necaxa

Recently called up to Mexico's youth national team, the 23-year-old ranked third this season in assists, with six in total. Capable of becoming the most well-rounded striker in Liga MX thanks to his distribution, possession (he ranked fourth in take ons with 77 total), and defensive abilities, Monreal just needs to pick up his goalscoring rate after finding the back of the net only twice in the Clausura.

22. Henry Martin, forward, Club America

Typically in the conversation of the best forward in Liga MX, Martin took a slight step back with six goals and four assists in the Clausura. The striker did enough to make our list, but with an apparent slowing of his pace at 31, he was one of the more noteworthy omissions from Mexico's latest call-up.

Henry Martin is a reliable source of goals for Club America, and recently signed a contract extension at the club. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)21. Victor Guzman, defender, Monterrey

The most constant presence in the backline of the fourth-best defense. The 22-year-old led his team in interceptions (28) and shots blocked (8), while also ranking third within Monterrey's talent-heavy roster for total carries (454). Reliable at a young age, it's only a matter of time before he heads to Europe.

20. Alexis Vega, forward, Toluca

Comeback player of the season? Vega went from one goal and zero assists with Chivas in the Apertura, to six goals and four assists in his Clausura return to Toluca. Thanks to his rejuvenation that included additional support through distribution and ball recoveries, a place was recently secured with Mexico's preliminary roster.

19. Diber Cambindo, forward, Necaxa

A true striker, the Colombian was the joint-leading goalscorer with eight in total. In fact, if penalties weren't taken into consideration, Cambindo's eight goals would make him the lone leading scorer in Liga MX's Clausura regular season.

18. Jesus Orozco Chiquete, defender, Chivas

Part of a backline that allowed just 17 goals in as many matches, Chiquete stood tall as the league-leader in possessions won (56) in the defensive third and ranked second in progressive carries (203). Within Chivas, he was the team's leader in clearances (56), interceptions (16) and overall defensive interventions with 222 in total.

17. Federico Viñas, forward, Leon

Along with Cruz Azul's Uriel Antuna, Viñas was the joint-leader in Liga MX when it came to the highest contribution of goals (35%) for their teams. The forward led the league in xGOT (expected goals on target) with a tally of 9.8, provided 10 goal contributions (eight goals, two assists), and also ranked seventh in defensive interventions among forwards. It's no wonder why he's training with Uruguay ahead of the Copa America.

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2 Related16. Diego Valdes, midfielder, Club America

An attack-minded workhorse, the 30-year-old Chilean ranked first in the league in big chances created (10), crosses completed (32), and xA (4.84). Helping push Club America to first in the table, Valdes chipped in five goals and three assists.

15. Salomon Rondon, forward, Pachuca

A candidate for signing of the season, Rondon has turned back the clock as the joint-leading goalscorer with eight in total. The 34-year-old Venezuelan ranked first in xG (9.27) and total shots (60). Able to help the backline, Rondon also ranked second in clearances (19) among forwards in the league.

14. Christian Rivera, midfielder, Club Tijuana

If there was one bright light for 16th place Club Tijuana, it's Rivera. The Colombian put in an immense amount of work as the league-leader in tackles (59), recoveries (141), and carries following a defensive action (79). On top of all that, he was also his team's leading goalscorer with six to his name.

13. Erick Gutierrez, midfielder, Chivas

An invaluable member of the Chivas roster who led the team in passes completed (802). Gutierrez ranked second in the league in recoveries (123) and carries following a defensive action (77). Among all midfielders, he also ranked second in defensive interventions (219).

12. Rafael Carioca, midfielder, Tigres

A distribution engine in Tigres' midfield, the Brazilian ranked sixth overall in the league with passes completed (880), and from those who attempted 800+ passes, the highly accurate Carioca ranks third in his pass success rate (90.5%).

11. Oussama Idrissi, forward, Pachuca

Seated as the league-leader in assists (8), the joint-leader in carries after a 1v1 (62), and tied for third in passes made in the final third (242), few players were as dangerous in the attack as the Moroccan international. When looking at goal contributions, the former Feyenoord player also led the league with 12 total (four goals, eight assists).

Oussama Idrissi only joined Pachuca in September 2023, but the Morocco international has become a key part of the squad. (Photo by Oscar Fuentes/Jam Media/Getty Images)10. Sergio Canales, midfielder, Monterrey

The heartbeat of Monterrey's attack, Canales single-handedly pushed results in his team's favor with seven goals and four assists. Constantly pulling many of the strings, he ranked sixth overall in the league with passes made in the final third (192).

9. Alvaro Fidalgo, midfielder, Club America

The 27-year-old Spaniard often plays at a level far beyond his Liga MX peers. Fidalgo ranked first overall in progressive passes (181) and ranked second in passes made into the final third (169). Able to quickly gain ground, he's also fourth in the league with total carries (795).

8. Roberto Alvarado, midfielder, Chivas

With an eye towards the Copa America, Alvarado was sensational for Chivas. "Piojo" amassed five goals, five assists, and led the league in passes made in the final third (286). A catalyst in the attack, the Mexican midfielder was also the joint-leader in carries after a 1v1 (62).

7. Jean Meneses, forward, Toluca

When looking at Toluca's success in 2024, much of the praise should be given to the winger. Along with his six goals and five assists, Meneses was third overall in passes made in the final third (242) and was the joint-leader with Tigres' Juan Brunetta in possessions that finished with a goal (20).

6. Juan Brunetta, midfielder, Tigres

With seven goals and four assists, Brunetta is a clear-cut answer for Tigres' MVP. Second only to Pachuca's Idrissi in total goal contributions in Liga MX, the Argentine also excelled as a efficient runner in possession, ranking joint-third in carries that advanced the ball 10+ meters (82).

5. Carlos Rodriguez, midfielder, Cruz Azul

A resurgent tournament for "Charly" Rodriguez. The Mexican national team player led the league in key passes (41), carry distance (4719 meters), and finished second overall in xA (3.8). Crucial with regaining possession, Rodriguez also ranked fourth in ball recoveries (110). Will his renaissance continue through the Copa America?

4. Gonzalo Piovi, defender, Cruz Azul

The standout candidate for signing of the season. Piovi led the league in passes completed (1096), interceptions (41), carries that advanced the ball 10+ meters (101), and was ranked second overall for defensive interventions (256). Unafraid to test the opposing goalkeeper, Piovi, when compared to fellow defenders, led the league in shots (28) and shots on target (7). A sensational debut tournament for the 29-year-old Argentine.

3. Jona dos Santos, midfielder, Club America

Where would Club America be without Dos Santos? Among the select few that made 1000+ pass attempts in Liga MX, no one was more accurate than the Barcelona product that had an eye-catching success rate of 93.9%. Defensively, he was also Club America's leader in tackles (25), interceptions (17), and ball recoveries (79).

2. Uriel Antuna, forward, Cruz Azul

Not many likely predicted that Antuna would be the joint-leading goalscorer this season. With his eight strikes, he was also the joint-leader in the highest goal contribution (35%) for a team, alongside Viñas. Although his xG (6.03) indicates he probably won't be able to keep this pace, it's still exceptional to see his 10 goal contributions (eight goals, two assists) that pushed Cruz Azul to second in the standings.

1. Luis Malagon, goalkeeper, Club America

It's not a goalscorer or a chance creator, instead, it's someone in net. With the top goals prevented rating (5.44) in Liga MX, no goalkeeper was as dominant as Malagon this season. Of the 13 goalkeepers with 15+ games, no other also topped his save percentage (78.2%). His season was enough for Mexico to drop historic goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa from the Copa America roster, thereby paving a path for Malagon to become one of the breakout players at this summer's tournament.

Luis Malagon has steadily improved over recent years, and his performances have earned him a chance to shine at Copa America for Mexico this summer. (Photo by Oscar Fuentes/Jam Media/Getty Images)

Honorable mentions that didn't make the top 30 list: Carlos Rotondi (Cruz Azul), Rodrigo Huescas (Cruz Azul), Marcel Ruiz (Toluca), Brandon Vázquez (Monterrey), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Marcelo Flores (Tigres), Alan Mozo (Chivas), Érick Sánchez (Pachuca), Guillermo Martínez (Pumas), Eduardo Salvio (Pumas), Pablo Barrera (Queretaro), Luis Amarilla (Mazatlan)

Source: espn.co.uk

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