It’s about time we brought one of the biggest names in football, the pack of Mexican hounds known as Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente, to your attention.
Wait a minute, who?
Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente, that’s who.
And what in heaven, earth or the underworld is a xoloitzcuintle anyway?
A type of sacred, hairless Mexican dog, that’s what.
The frontier town of Tijuana, just over the world’s busiest border from San Diego, California is home to 1.6m people and aside from those footballing Xoloitzcuintles, the city is famous for its Zonkeys, the painted donkeys made to look like zebras that provide just one example of the unusual entertainment on offer to the streams of tourists who come looking for a little caricature of Mexico.
For those uninitiated with central American canine culture, Los Xolos’ full name takes some explanation.
Xoloitzcuintles are a breed of hairless dogs, considered sacred by groups including the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Maya, who revered the breed as being guardians of men on their final voyage into the afterlife.
Christopher Columbus wrote about the animals in his journals and quite apart from any mystic properties, Mexico’s national dog would seem to be the perfect pet for allergy sufferers and a unique symbol for a football club.
The Caliente part of the name refers to club’s owner, Jorge Hank Rhon’s Grupo Caliente, who just happen to be Mexico’s largest sport’s betting firm.
Founded in 2007, Xolos de Tijuana succeed a string of now defunct footballing franchises including Dorados de Tijuana, Nacional Tijuana, Chivas Tijuana, Inter Tijuana, Tijuana Stars, and of course, who could ever forget, Trotamundos Tijuana in representing the city.
The star above Los Xolos’ badge symbolises their first major honour which came just five years after their foundation, when La Jauría (the pack of hounds) became Liga MX Apertura 2012 champions having defeated Toluca 4–2 in a two-legged play-off.
We’ve always been fans of Dennis the Menace style shirts at Sartorial Soccer and this season’s Club Tijuana kit by Charly features wide red hoops on black that look like they’ve been daubed across the jerseys by angry protesters.
Los Xolos away kit carries the same broad brush painted approach to design, with a large “X” splashed across the mainly white shirts.
So there you have it, the story behind one of Planet Football’s most unique and interesting badges and certainly one of the biggest names in sport, Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente.
Altogether now . . .
. . . GIVE US A C!