Fútbol Americano

"Fútbol Americano" was the marketing name used for the first National Football League (NFL) regular season game held outside the United States.[1] Played on October 2, 2005 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31–14. The game drew an NFL regular season record of 103,467 paid fans.[2]

The name "Fútbol Americano" is Spanish for "American football," a term used to distinguish it from fútbol, which is Spanish for association football (soccer in American English). Fútbol is an approximation of the English word "football" in Spanish phonology; a more literal translation of "foot ball" is balompié,[3] a calque term that is not used in Spanish-speaking countries other than for stylistic purposes in media.[4]

Fútbol Americano
Fútbol Americano logo
Fútbol Americano logo
San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals
14 31
Head coach:
Mike Nolan
Head coach:
Dennis Green
1234 Total
SF 14000 14
ARI 012613 31
DateOctober 2, 2005
StadiumEstadio Azteca, Mexico City
RefereeEd Hochuli
TV in the United States
AnnouncersMike Patrick, Joe Theismann, and Paul Maguire


Beginning in 1986, the league held a series of annual pre-season exhibition games, called American Bowls, that were held at international sites outside the United States.[5] Several years later in his annual news conference prior to Super Bowl XXXIX in February 2005, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced that the league was considering holding regular season games outside the United States, with Toronto and Mexico City as the primary candidates.[6]

In March, the league announced that the first NFL regular season game outside the United States was to be played on October 2, with the Cardinals facing the 49ers in Mexico City.[7] It was scheduled as a home game for the Cardinals, mostly because the team rarely sold out at their then-home field, Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.[7]

To mark this historic game, all NFL players during that weekend wore "Fútbol Americano" stickers on their helmets, while "Fútbol Americano" banners were placed in all league stadia.[1] (In the 2012 season, home team stadia had "Fútbol Americano" stencils, goalpost wraps and banners placed in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.)[8] The league does not consider this 49ers-Cardinals game in Mexico City as an "American Bowl",[5] nor officially lists it as part of the NFL International Series (see below).[9][10]

Game summary

The San Francisco 49ers got all the momentum scoring two fumble returns for touchdowns and taking a 14–0 lead with 7:57 to play in the first quarter. However, San Francisco would never score again. In the second quarter, the Arizona Cardinals scored two field goals and a 17-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald with an unsuccessful two-point conversion to still trail 14–12 at halftime. Kicker Neil Rackers, who scored two field goals in the second quarter, scored two more in the third to take an 18–14 lead. Arizona then dominated the fourth quarter, as they scored a field goal (21–14), a touchdown (28–14), and another field goal to win the game, 31–14.

The football used on the opening kickoff was later sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[11]

Scoring summary

  • 1st Quarter
    • SF – D. Smith fumble recovery in end zone (J. Nedney kick), 49ers 7–0.
    • SF – D. Johnson 78 yd. fumble return (J. Nedney kick), 49ers 14–0.
  • 2nd Quarter
    • ARI – FG N. Rackers 40, 49ers 14–3. Drive: 12 plays, 66 yards, 4:56.
    • ARI – FG N. Rackers 45, 49ers 14–6. Drive: 8 plays, 50 yards, 3:55.
    • ARI – L. Fitzgerald 17 pass from J. McCown (pass failed), 49ers 14–12. Drive: 7 plays, 69 yards, 1:03.
  • 3rd Quarter
    • ARI – FG N. Rackers 48, Cardinals 15–14. Drive: 6 plays, 47 yards, 3:17.
    • ARI – FG N. Rackers 23, Cardinals 18–14. Drive: 8 plays, 44 yards, 4:04.
  • 4th Quarter
    • ARI – FG N. Rackers 43, Cardinals 21–14. Drive: 7 plays, 26 yards, 3:02.
    • ARI – A. Boldin 27 pass from J. McCown (N. Rackers kick), Cardinals 28–14. Drive: 5 plays, 35 yards, 2:47.
    • ARI – FG N. Rackers 24, Cardinals 31–14. Drive: 4 plays, 7 yards, 1:41.



After the success of the 2005 Fútbol Americano game, the NFL began holding more regular season games outside the United States. Beginning with the 2007 season, the league has hosted games every year at London's Wembley Stadium in a series known as the International Series. The series expanded to a second London venue in 2016 with a game at Twickenham Stadium. Starting in 2018, the primary venue for International Series games will switch from Wembley to the new stadium being built by the Premier League's Tottenham Hotspur. From 2008 to 2013, the Buffalo Bills played one regular season game at Toronto's Rogers Centre in what was known as the Bills Toronto Series.

As of 2016, the 2005 Fútbol Americano game was one of only four NFL games played outside the US to have aired on American national television, the others being a New York Jets-Buffalo Bills game in Toronto in 2009, which aired on NFL Network; a Detroit LionsAtlanta Falcons game in 2014 in London that started at 9:30 a.m. ET and was broadcast nationally on FOX; and an International Series game between the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders in 2016 held at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and televised by ESPN. The latter game was the first Monday Night Football game held outside the U.S.

All other games in the Bills Toronto Series and NFL International Series have been regionally televised like any other NFL Sunday afternoon game.

References and notes

  1. ^ a b "History to be made in Mexico City". NFL.com. 2005-09-28. Archived from the original on 2006-06-25. Retrieved 2006-08-07.
  2. ^ "Cardinals handle 49ers in Mexico 31–14". NFL.com. 2005-10-02. Archived from the original on 2006-06-27. Retrieved 2006-08-07.
  3. ^ balompié. Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy
  4. ^ Uses of the form fútbol. Pan-Hispanic Dictionary of Doubts
  5. ^ a b 2006 NFL Record and Fact Book. p. 616. ISBN 1-933405-32-5.
  6. ^ "Tagliabue discusses team for L.A. in address". NFL.com. 2005-02-04. Archived from the original on 2007-01-02. Retrieved 2006-08-07.
  7. ^ a b "Mexico could be host to regular-season game". NFL.com. 2005-03-15. Archived from the original on January 9, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-07.
  8. ^ "NFL's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month". NFL.com. Retrieved 2012-09-20.
  9. ^ Breer, Albert (2013-09-27). "NFL's future in London, Joe Philbin's winning ways and more". National Football League. Retrieved 2013-10-27. London's Wembley Stadium has been the site for every International Series game played thus far.
  10. ^ "2014 International Series Games Confirmed" (Press release). NFL. 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  11. ^ "Ball from historic Mexico City game arrives in Canton". Pro Football Hall of Fame. 2005-10-05. Retrieved 2006-08-07.
2012 Copa de España de Fútbol Americano

Spain's american football cup 2013 was the 18th edition of the Cup.

The six LNFA Elite teams entered the competition. L'Hospitalet Pioners and Rivas Osos, as champions and runners-up of last season LNFA Elite, received a bye to the semifinals. The quarter-finals were played on November 11 and November 18. The semifinals will be played on December 2.

L'Hospitalet Pioners are the current title holders.

Copa de España de Fútbol Americano

The Copa de España de Fútbol Americano (Spanish Cup of American Football) is an annual cup competition for Spanish gridiron teams. Founded in 1995, it is the second most important gridiron competition in Spain, after the league.

Copa de España de Fútbol Americano 2014

Copa de España de Fútbol Americano 2014 (Spain's American Football Cup) was the 19th edition of the Cup.

Seven teams entered the competition. L'Hospitalet Pioners won the title for the fifth time in a row and ninth overall.

Estadio Jesús Martínez "Palillo"

The Estadio Jesús Martínez "Palillo" is a multi-use stadium located in the Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City in Mexico City. It is currently used mostly for American football matches and is the home stadium of two of the Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional's six teams. The stadium has a capacity of 6,000 people.

LNFA 1995

The LNFA 1995 was the first season of the new American football league in Spain. It was the result of the merger between two previous leagues.

18 teams were divided in two conferences. The Conferencia Nacional (National Conference), with the teams from the defunct American Football League, and the Conferencia Española (Spanish Conference), formed by the teams from the Catalan league.


LNFA 2 (initials of Liga Nacional de Fútbol Americano 2) was the name of the second most important american football league in Spain, behind LNFA, and Portugal´s most important at the time.

The league was run by the Spanish Association of American Football (Agrupación Española de Futbol Americano (AEFA) in Spanish language).

It was established in 2004 and folded in 2009.

It was played under nine-man football rules.

LNFA 2009

The 2009 LNFA season is the XV since her foundation in 1995. The Copa de España de Fútbol Americano also is held and is the second competition most important.

LNFA 2010

The 2010 season of the LNFA was the 16th season of top-tier American football in Spain. In the 2010 season the league expanded to 15 teams, divided into three conferences of five teams each. The Conferencia Española included the five top teams of the 2009 season. At the end of the regular season, the top two of the Conferencia Española acceded directly to the semifinals for the title, and faced the winners of the playoff between wild cards.

LNFA 2011

The 2011 LNFA season was the 17th season of top-tier American football in Spain. The regular season began on January 22, 2011 and ended on May 14, 2011. The playoffs began on May 15 and ended on June 18.

The tournament was about to keep its format of 15 teams divided into three conferences of five teams each, but Marbella Sharks withdrew the competition months before it started, so the teams were reassigned. The Spanish Conference included the six top teams of the 2010 season. The National and Hispanic Conferences included four teams each. At the end of the regular season, the three top finishers of the Conferencia Española accessed directly to the semi finals for the title, and faced the winner of the playoffs between wild cards.

L'Hospitalet Pioners won their fourth LNFA title, the second in a row.

LNFA 2012

The 2012 LNFA season was the 18th season of top-tier American football in Spain. The regular season was played from January 29, 2012 until the end of may, 2012.

L'Hospitalet Pioners won their 5th LNFA title and the third in a row.

LNFA 2013

The LNFA 2013 season was the 19th season of top-tier American football in Spain. The season began with the Spanish Cup on November 11, 2012, and finished with the LNFA final on June 2, 2013.

LNFA 2014

The LNFA 2014 season was the 20th season of top-tier American football in Spain.

As in the previous season, the teams were divided into two categories, renamed Serie A and Serie B, with promotion and relegation between both divisions.

The 2013-14 season started on November 6, with the first game of the Spanish Cup, and finished on June 15, with the LNFA Bowl game.L'Hospitalet Pioners are the defending champions, but lost to Badalona Dracs in the semifinals. Dracs ended the season winning their sixth title.

LNFA 2018

The 2018 LNFA season is the 24th season of American football in Spain.

Teams were divided into two categories, named Serie A and B.

Badalona Dracs are the defending champions.

LNFA 2019

The 2019 LNFA season is the 25th season of American football in Spain. It will start on 19 January 2019 and will end in June 2019 with the LNFA Bowl.

Badalona Dracs are the defending champions.

Liga Nacional de Fútbol Americano

Liga Nacional de Fútbol Americano (LNFA) is the name of the top gridiron league which operates in Spain. It was founded in 1995 after the merge of several previous Spanish competitions.

The league is run by the Spanish Federation of American Football (Federación Española de Futbol Americano (FEFA) in Spanish language).

At the end of the season, league champion and runner up clinch bids to compete at next year's European Football League, while third and fourth teams classify for the EFAF Cup.

There has been changes in the number of teams throughout the years. Since 2015, teams are divided into three categories: Serie A, with the top six teams, second tier Serie B with ten teams competing in two conferences, and Serie C, with regional and interregional leagues.

Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional

The Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional (LFA) is a semi-professional American football spring league in Mexico, founded in 2016. Starting with four teams, the LFA has since expanded to eight members as of 2019. The championship game is called Tazón México (Mexico Bowl), and it is currently played on the second Sunday in May. The players are drafted from the two College Football conferences that exist in the country: ONEFA and CONADEIP.

Mexico national American football team

The Mexico national American football team (Spanish: Selección de fútbol americano de México) represents Mexico in international American football competitions. The team is controlled by the Mexican American Football Federation. Mexico has participated in competitions such as the Aztec Bowl, the IFAF World Cup, and the IFAF Junior World Cup.

Mexico finished second place in both the 1999 and 2003 IFAF World Cup, losing both times to Japan. They did not participate in the 2007 Cup, but returned to competition in the 2011 Cup. They qualified for the 2015 Cup.

Players are usually the selected players comes from teams from the ONEFA, Mexico's main college football league.

Organización Nacional Estudiantil de Fútbol Americano

The Organización Nacional Estudiantil de Fútbol Americano, usually known by the acronym ONEFA, is the major college football league in Mexico.

American football has been played in Mexico since the early 1920s in different colleges and universities, mainly in Mexico City. In 1928 the first professional championship was played, organized by Jorge Braniff. From the 1920s to the 1970s more universities and colleges joined the championship, and four categories, called fuerzas were created. The First Fuerza became the National League in 1970, and in 1978 it was reorganized under the name ONEFA.

In 2010 a breakaway league, CONADEIP, was formed by the Monterrey Tech system and two other private universities.

The universities that originally participated in the ONEFA were Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua and Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro.

Today the ONEFA is formed by 100 teams divided into four categories: Liga Mayor (College), Liga Intermedia (Undergrad/ Varsity High School, Liga Juvenil (two categories – Junior High/ Middle School), and Liga Infantil (six categories – Middle School/ Elementary School).

The most important one is the Liga Mayor ("Major League" – college level), whose championships, until 2014, were organized into two conferences: the Big 8 Conference, and the National Conference. The champion of the National Conference was promoted to the Big 8 Conference taking the spot of the team in last place which, in turn, was relegated to the National Conference. For the 2015 season, there are 19 teams participating divided into three conferences: Green, White, and Red. The teams from the Green and the White conferences are eligible to play for the national championship.

Osos Toluca

Osos Toluca (English: Toluca Bears) are an American football team based in Toluca, Mexico. The Osos compete in the North Division of the Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional, the top American football league in Mexico.

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