The Mexican club Cruz Azul has a unique narrative about their journey in the Mexican Football League. With one of the largest and most passionate fanbases in Mexico City and country-wide, their fans had a dry spell of 23 years without a title. They waited long, but they finally made it this May when they beat Santos Laguna in the final of the Guard1anes Tournament.
Manuel Rosas, a long-life fan of Cruz Azul was there at the Estadio Azteca when this happened and he wants to share with all the Homefans Community what it means to be a Cruz Azul fan, and how he has shared this passion with more than 400 travellers from different corners of the world by hosting his unique Cruz Azul matchday experience. Now, he has joined Homefans and he wants you to know why you should go to Mexico City to experience football at the Estadio Azteca.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Manuel Rosas, but everybody knows me better as Manu! I was born in 1983 in the heart of México City. I’m currently living in Santa Fe, and I’ve travelled to South America and Europe just to follow my true passion, which is and will always be football (soccer). And because of that, for the past 3 years, I’ve been hosting a México City futbol soccer experience with almost 400 travellers from around the world (and counting).
I’m a super fan of Cruz Azul FC. I’ve dedicated almost 28 years of my life to fully support the team and I have been a season ticket holder since 2008. I’ve also went abroad to see Cruz Azul play in Paraguay, Morocco, Argentina, USA, and of course at most of the ground in Mexico.
Why do you support your club? How did it start for you?
I was born in a family of Club America fans, but from early on I knew that I was looking for something else. I needed to do better :). . I was 9 years old when I found what I was looking for, a club with an identity as a hard working class in México, where money was not the only currency to win championships, but hard work & sweat. A club with an immense history of glory in the 70’s after winning 7 titles in 10 years. A club which needed no introduction every time they played away – stadiums all across Mexico were filled with more Cruz Azul fans than home fans.
And so, one day I had my first chance to go to a local match and see Cruz Azul play live in Estadio Azteca. I did not hesitate for one second and since then I was hooked. That was and will always be my love, passion for life… the blue of Cruz Azul. We then moved to Estadio Azul for 18 years where I wouldn’t miss a game, and where I witnessed the amazing dribbles of my favourite player of all time Cesar “Chelito” Delgado. Now we are back on Estadio Azteca, & the tradition keeps going on indefinitely… Azul forever, Azul for life.
What does the club mean to you and the rest of the city?
Cruz Azul means loyalty. I will never forget being in a full “Estadio Azteca” leaving everything in the stands to support our players when we were facing River Plate on the Copa Libertadores quarter finals, Rosario Central in the semifinals and the world famous Boca Juniors at an outstanding final in 2001. It was the first and only time that a Mexican club made it that far in the South American tournament forcing the match to penalty kicks . The entire city was dedicated to support the team that year, but unfortunately we lost.
Cruz Azul later entered into a slide of second places, where people thought fans would leave the team. But we showed them strength, loyalty and true love. We showed the city and the country what means to be an actual fan, by always supporting but never leaving behind.
In May 2021 and after 23 years, Cruz Azul won its 9th Championship, and again, the city, the country and millions of Cruz Azul fans abroad got mad by creating one of the largest celebrations in México City’s history. Of course, I was one of them… Cruz Azul means everything to me. It’s not just the team I support. It’s also who I am and what I live for…
Why did you sign up to become a host on Homefans?
Homefans represents what I wanted to be all my life. A partner. Somebody who understands how and why local fans live soccer the way we do. Hosting travellers to be our comrades for at least one day on a soccer experience, show them how and why we support our team and in general why we love soccer and touring trough México City. It’s something hard to explain, but I could say it’s one of the biggest satisfactions of my life. I want this dream to keep going, I want to meet more and more people from remote places to show them how good we are at what we do.
Now, with Homefans, I have no doubt the greatest experiences in México City are yet to come.
What do you recommend travellers to visit in Mexico City?
As a start, if you are looking for a place to stay, look for a place in La Condesa, Roma Norte, or, Roma Sur, there you will have everything close & at the right price.
Then, in my opinion these are the “must” activities that you shouldn’t miss:
1) Estadio Azteca live soccer experience. (Better if you are up for a Cruz Azul match!)
2) Wakeboard / ski experience in Tequesquitengo lake.
3) Teotihuacan hot air balloon ride.
4) “Lucha Libre” en Arena México.
5) Visit Mexico City stadiums on a guided tour.
6) Trajinera ride in Xochimilco canals.
7) Mariachi night at “El Tenampa” in Garibaldi.
8) Walk in La Marquesa.
9) Bike ride in Polanco & Chapultepec.
10) Market tour in “La Merced”.
What’s the typical Cruz Azul match day experience like?
We start by picking up our guests at their hotel or lodgement. After we welcome them to the tour, we ride across México City showing them interesting places of our vibrant city. We then hit a Famous “Taquería”, a place where all guests enjoy a delicious order of “Tacos” and talk about everything that needs to be tailored for our upcoming match and learn everything about Cruz Azul.
Then we move forward to the Stadium parking lot, where we always have the coolest pre-match Tailgate moment with drinks and surrounded by fellow Cruz Azul fans. This is usually the moment that our guests appreciate the most since the environment is really outstanding.
Finally we enter and walk to our reserved seats to watch and support our team on a live match. If our guests were brave enough, then for sure they are wearing a borrowed Cruz Azul jersey at this moment, cause we always have fan gear for guests to borrow.
At the end of the match, we safely drive all our guests back to their hotel to say goodbye… I hope we can keep hosting hundreds of travellers trough Homefans on our Cruz Azul match day experience to show them how great our team, our city and our country are.
Where can people find you on Homefans and what activities are you hosting?
I’m currently hosting 3 activities on Homefans:
P.S. I also made a song supporting Cruz Azul. You can watch it here