Pumas boss Michel: Liga MX's Club America could compete in La Liga

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Pumas UNAM coach and Real Madrid legend "Michel" Gonzalez thinks Liga MX is undervalued and that Mexican football shouldn't necessarily be looking north to MLS for guidance and inspiration.

Michel guided Pumas into sixth place in the Liga MX table before the 2020 Clausura was suspended in march due to the coronavirus pandemic and has been impressed with Mexican football since joining the club almost a year ago.

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"This is a unknown and sometimes discredited league, [but] I think the level is good," former Spain international Michel said in an interview with ESPN's Futbol Picante. "I believe that the teams that are at the top of this competition are on another level, but they would also be in Spain."

"Club America is a really big team in Mexico and in Spain it would be a step below Real Madrid and Barcelona," he continued.

Michel has seen the increased closeness of Liga MX with MLS and the media speculation surrounding whether the northern league is catching Mexico's top division, but believes Liga MX is still very much on top.

"It seems that even Mexicans don't value [Liga MX] very much," said Michel. "I here a lot about MLS this, MLS that and we see that every time a Mexican [team] takes on a [MLS team], the team from here is a lot better. Here they keep talking about MLS taking away players from Mexicans, but I don't think so, Mexico is very attractive."

The former Sevilla and Malaga coach has gradually made an impact at Mexico City club Pumas -- one of Liga MX's "big four" -- taking over a struggling team and building a side that has competed well this season without spending much money.

"With full respect and I hope that nobody takes it the wrong way, but Chivas had $50 million to reconstruct the team, we have had 50 million neurons to turn the situation around," said Michel, in relating to Chivas' spending spree last winter.

"It we have $50 million, we would lose our essence," he continued, hinting at Pumas' traditional policy of playing young players. "I don't know if it is good if money is the only weapon to return Pumas to where they've always been, throughout history it has always been the opposite, they've never had $50 million to build a team."