Liga MX Team of the Decade: Lozano and Gignac take starring roles

Lozano Gignac GFX
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With 2020 approaching, Goal picks the best players to have played in the Primera Division over the past 10 years

  1. GK: Nahuel Guzman
    Manuel Guadarrama

    GK: Nahuel Guzman

    Guzman's style has gotten Tigres in trouble at times, but the occasions on which he has bailed out the team far outnumber the mistakes he has made when wandering off his line.

    It is no accident the club won four titles with Guzman in goal, with his skill with his feet and shot-stopping ability helping anchor a unit Tigres relied upon. He also caught the eye of the Argentina national team, heading to the 2018 World Cup as the third-choice goalkeeper for the Albiceleste.

    Whether arranging his defense or commenting on politics in his native Argentina, "El Paton" never has been afraid to speak his mind, making him a beloved figure for many.

  2. RB: Paul Aguilar

    RB: Paul Aguilar

    A model of consistency for Club America, Aguilar has held down the right-back spot on one of the strongest teams of the decade since he arrived in 2011. Unafraid to get forward and get in goalscoring positions, Aguilar also gave plenty of defensive heft, whether asked to play as more of a wingback or in a back four.

    He earned three league titles and a Copa MX with Las Aguilas, played in the 2010 and 2014 World Cup and even today, at age 33, is still proving his worth to the Mexico City side.

  3. CB: Pablo Aguilar
    Manuel Velasquez

    CB: Pablo Aguilar

    He won trophies with Club Tijuana, won trophies with Club America and even won trophies at Cruz Azul - Aguilar is an intense defender who also can be dangerous when getting forward.

    At the back, he often shut down even the best attackers in the league and helped his teams keep tight behind them

    If Aguilar helps bring a league title to Cruz Azul, he really will have achieved a miracle. Liga MX crowns with Xolos and America, plus a pair of CCL titles with Las Aguilas, a Copa MX win with La Maquina and various individual honors, however, means he has already done more than enough to be mentioned among the elite defenders of the era.

  4. CB: Nestor Araujo
    Oscar Wong

    CB: Nestor Araujo

    Now playing in La Liga with Celta Vigo, Araujo was one of Santos Laguna's most important players from 2013-2018. Despite being a right-footed player, Araujo generally lined up on the left side of defense and still was able to stymie attackers.

    While he was injured for much of the campaign leading up to Los Guerreros' second title of the decade, he regularly turned in top-tier performances. Santos did not win the title in the 2017 Clausura when he was named the league's best defender, but the season was a big step for Araujo and the club. 

    He likely could have gone to Europe even sooner had he so desired. Instead, Araujo left having twice won the league and cup on two occasions each.

  5. LB: Jorge Torres Nilo
    Getty Images

    LB: Jorge Torres Nilo

    Left back has not been a position of strength in Liga MX over the last decade, but Torres Nilo emerges as the finest thanks in no small part to his ubiquity. The Tijuana native ran up more than 300 matches with Tigres and in the process helped the club to five titles.

    He earned himself spots in both the 2011 Apertura and 2016 Apertura Best XIs with his impressive defensive showings in Tuca Ferretti's system and in 2017 enjoyed a quality campaign as the club won a title and narrowly missed out on a bicampeonato.

  6. RW: Luis Montes
    Pedro Pardo

    RW: Luis Montes

    Though more of a playmaker, we did not want to leave "Chapito" Montes out of the team simply for positional reasons.

    Montes scored 46 goals in this decade and set up dozens more. He was a key part of Leon's bicampeonato team that won back-to-back titles for only the second time in league history.

    And he's not done yet. Montes has continued to play a big part for Leon, coming back from a gruesome injury that kept him from the 2014 World Cup to contribute to the 2019 Clausura's regular-season champions' campaign while earning looks from Mexico manager Tata Martino at age 33.

  7. CM: Guido Pizarro
    Azael Rodriguez

    CM: Guido Pizarro

    While his later arrival than some of the Tigres core this decade and a brief, unsuccessful trip to Sevilla mean Pizarro does not boast as many titles as others, his impact on Liga MX was sizeable. 

    Pizarro has three league titles, including the 2019 Clausura after he came back from La Liga, and was the best midfielder for two of the first three years he spent in the country after arriving from Lanus.

    Difficult to get past in the middle of the park and secure in possession, Pizarro can do a bit of everything and do it well.

  8. CM: Guido Rodriguez

    CM: Guido Rodriguez

    Completing our double-Guido central midfield pairing is Rodriguez, who immediately made an impact when he joined Club Tijuana in 2016 and has been good enough with America the last three years to earn a spot in the team of the decade.

    Without Rodriguez, Las Aguilas would not have won the 2018 Apertura, and it is tough to imagine Edson Alvarez taking the steps he did without Rodriguez playing next to him.

    It would be no surprise to see Rodriguez move to Europe in the near future, with interest rumored in the summer. And why wouldn't European clubs be interested in a player with his ability in midfield?

  9. LW: Hirving Lozano
    Getty Images

    LW: Hirving Lozano

    Lozano moved to PSV in 2017 but was already starting for Pachuca when he was only a teenager, making an enormous impact on Tuzos. In 2016, "Chucky" helped the team earn its first title since 2007, a feat he followed up by starring in the run to the Concacaf Champions League title a year later.

    Lozano was nearly unstoppable playing out wide for Pachuca, regularly topping the charts as the most fouled player in the league.

    He closed his Pachuca career with 43 goals in 149 games with a higher rate in the latter portion as he grew into the game. His contributions to the club in La Bella Airosa and to the league as a whole will not soon be forgotten.

  10. FW: Andre-Pierre Gignac
    Azael Rodriguez

    FW: Andre-Pierre Gignac

    The numbers speak for themselves. France international Gignac, who arrived in the north of Mexico in 2015, is Tigres' all-time leading scorer, moving past Tomas Boy with his 105th goal in August 2019. He has twice been the top scorer in the competition and also has excelled in the playoffs, earning the "Mr. Liguilla" moniker while helping Tigres to four titles.

    Gignac's influence goes beyond the field. The connection he has with the fans in Mexico and how he has embraced his adopted city and country have paved the way for more Europeans to consider playing in Liga MX in the future.

    But even if he had moped around and done nothing off the field, his on-field exploits would be enough to name him the best forward Liga MX has seen this decade - and perhaps beyond.

  11. FW: Oribe Peralta

    FW: Oribe Peralta

    Peralta has three titles in the required time period and was the top scorer in the league once in the last 10 years. He has consistently been the best Mexican striker in the competition, though his form has cooled off in recent years and will likely fall short of 200 career Liga MX goals.

    That said, during his time with Santos Laguna and America, Peralta was a force that rival defenders were required to cope with as he led dangerous lines and often found big goals in big games.

  12. Honorable mentions
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    Honorable mentions

    Goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin, now with Porto, narrowly missed out on edging his compatriot Guzman but amassed fewer trophies with Santos Laguna and America.

    In defense, reliable Paraguayans Jose Maria Basanta and Dario Veron also merit consideration. Miguel Layun also has a case as left back, winning titles with America back when 'everything was his fault'  but there were also the seasons that led to that meme before he left for Europe.

    Some true legends up top lacked space, not least of which being Christian Benitez. The late forward was top scorer four times during the decade but spent only three years total in Mexico during our timeframe.

    Humberto Suazo had an incredible career with Monterrey but fell off late while Mauro Boseill and Julio Furch were consistent up top but were not able to displace APG or El Hermoso.

  13. How they line up
    Goal

    How they line up

    So, there you have it, our Liga MX Team of the Decade!

    But what do you make of our selections? Are there any glaring omissions, in your opinion?

    Post your thoughts – and your own line-ups – in the comments...