Former Mexico, Chicago Fire great Cuauhtémoc Blanco retires, ending legendary 23-year career

Iconic Mexican midfielder Cuauhtémoc Blanco closed the books on his legendary career on Tuesday night, playing in what he said will be his final match before retirement.

Always a showman, the longtime Major League Soccer, Liga MX and Mexican national team star went out in style, coming on for the final 20 minutes for Puebla in their 4-2 win over Chivas Guadalajara in the Copa MX final to lift a trophy in his last match.

Blanco, 42, made more than 600 professional appearances in his 23-year career, debuting for Club Ámerica in 1992 and appearing in more than 300 contests for Las Aguilas before making a blockbuster move to the Chicago Fire in 2007.

One of the biggest Designated Player signings in the history of the league, Blanco was a huge hit in Chicago, earning MLS Best XI honors in 2008 and leading the Fire to the playoffs in all three of his seasons in with the club. He appeared in 71 regular-season and playoff games for the Fire, recording 17 goals and 27 assists before returning to Mexico following the 2009 season.

Blanco was also one of the biggest stars in the history of the Mexican national team, scoring 39 goals in 120 career caps for El Tri. A veteran of the 1998, 2002 and 2010 World Cups, Blanco was the first Mexican to score in three World Cups and – along with Brazilian star Ronaldinho – is the joint all-time leading scorer in the history of the Confederations Cup tournament.

Blanco will not stay with Puebla for the remainder of the Liga MX season, calling it quits early in order to run for mayor of the city of Cuernavaca.