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Goal Click - Mexico

Goal Click is a global football anologue photography project, helping people understand the world and one another through football. The ambition of Goal Click is to find one person from every country in the world and send each of them one disposable analogue camera. The photographers take photos that symbolise football in their country. 

The project aims to show football’s similarities and differences around the world, the issues, the passion and emotions it creates and the way football can unite people in unstable parts of the world. Goal Click is now officially active in over 80 countries.

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Our Mexican photos come from artist and landscape photographer Pablo Lopez Luz. Pablo documented a typical match day at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario, home of leading Mexican club Pumas UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). “Pumas” were playing Chiapas Jaguares amidst a heavy police presence.

Pumas have won more titles than any other Mexican league team since the turn of the century, despite having one of the lowest payrolls in the league. Last season Pumas made it all the way to the final of the Mexican league championship before losing a penalty shootout to Tigres UANL. 

Quotes from Pablo Lopez Luz

I drove to the Ciudad Universitaria ("University City"), the main campus of the UNAM, while a Pumas football match was being played at the Stadium. I was very surprised with the amount of security surrounding the stadium - there were even mounted police!  In a way it was a very representative scenario of modern-day Mexico, where seeing armed grenadiers (specialist police units for anti-riot duties) in the street has become a common scene. 

Football matches in Mexico City tend to get violent, especially if the home team loses. Therefore the city government has been sending the police for every match to keep order. I thought that this ¨universe¨ could be interesting for an international audience, while serving as a fair representation of the country today. 

The Pumas have a huge following because it is the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) team, Mexico’s most prestigious and loved university. The UNAM was founded back in 1911 and it is the largest university in Latin America. Because of its autonomy and independence, the students and supporters tend to be very proud and politically inclined. The Estadio Olimpico Universitario is the second largest stadium in Mexico, it holds close to 69,000 people. 

Pumas is one of the main two rival teams in our capital Mexico City. America is the biggest rival of Pumas; the city is pretty much split between the teams. Their stadiums are relatively close and they have played against each other in three finals since the 1980s. America is owned by Televisa, the largest private company in Mexico, whereas Pumas is part of the university. America is usually identified with the upper middle class and rich, while Pumas is more of the ¨people's team”.  You could argue Pumas are closer to the Mexican spirit that any other team.

Football is also representative of class dynamics and the meaning of wealth in modern Mexico. Players can become extremely famous and popular in Mexico and are extremely well paid considering their mostly humble beginnings. They tend to lack discipline and spend considerable amounts of money on status symbols and party too much. Big players tend not to stay at the top for very long (compared to other countries) unless they make it internationally and their habits change. 

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