Cuauhtemoc Blanco

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Mexico’s Blanco fears for life, family following hitman’s accusations

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The mayoral tenure of former Chicago Fire and Mexico national team star Cuauhtemoc Blanco has taken a wild turn.

Blanco, 44, has been accused by an assassin of paying for a murder, and says he fears for the lives of those in his family as repercussions echo throughout Mexico.

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The mayor of Cuernavaca, Blanco denies that he ordered the killing of businessman Juan Manuel Bejarano, an accusation sent his way by the hitman.

Here’s what Blanco said, according to ESPN’s Tom Marshall:

“Yes, I am afraid, afraid for my life, for my family but I am staying here. I am staying here. If anything, this [incident] gives me strength to continue to fight the injustices because this is really an aberration and a sickness. Why did they do this? You all should be asking, why did they do this?”

Blanco retired from playing in 2015, and it’s fair to say the wild and serious nature of this story trumps anything from Blanco’s legendary career on the pitch.

El Tri legend Cuauhtémoc Blanco carried off field a Copa MX champion after a mere 23 year career

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Cuauhtémoc Blanco is retiring a champion after helping Puebla to a 4-2 win over Chivas Guadalajara in the Copa MX Clausura final at Olimpico Universitario BUAP Stadium on Tuesday.

The 42-year-old forward may be best known for his exploits with Club America and the Mexican national team, and here for his time with the Chicago Fire, but played for many teams over the course of a 23-year career.

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He’s retiring after playing the final 20 minutes of the title match, lifting a trophy and… going off to run for Mayor of Cuernavaca, according to MLSSoccer.com.

As a side note, check out unused sub and USMNT veteran Herculez Gomez in the above photo. Michael Orozco is a regular starter for Puebla.

source: Getty ImagesBlanco netted 39 times in 120 caps for Mexico, and took a ceremonial turn for El Tri this year.

He was part of two Gold Cup winners and has the 1999 Confederations Cup title to his credit, too.

On the club side, Blanco was an MLS Best XI member for Chicago, and scored 18 goals in parts of three seasons. His most prolific days came with Club America, where he scored 125 goals in 333 appearances.

Blanco also played for Real Valladolid, Veracruz, Necaxa, Iraputo, Sinaloa and BUAP.

It’s impossible not to respect the achievements of Blanco, even as begrudging admirers from the U.S. side. Godspeed, Cuauhtémoc, and… enjoy politics?

Cuauhtémoc Blanco is back in the top division of Mexican soccer

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Think a soccer player’s career ends in his mid-thirties — if he’s lucky? Well, Cuauhtémoc Blanco is out to prove you wrong. The 41-year-old has made a return to Mexico’s top flight, making a substitute appearance for Puebla in their 1-1 draw with Veracruz on Saturday.

Blanco spent most of his career wth Club América, debuting in 1992 at age 19. He spent an incredible 15 seasons with Las Aguilas, scoring 135 goals and helping them win the clausura in 2005 and the CONCACAF Champions League in 2006. He went out on loan a few times, but he always returned to Mexico.

Until 2007, that is. That’s when Chicago Fire paid a handsome sum to tempt Blanco to Major League Soccer. He stayed for two seasons before heading out on loan to Santos Laguna. From that point on, Blanco remained in Mexico.

But playing for Santos in 2008 was the last time that Blanco experienced first-division soccer, spending his recent seasons in Mexico’s second tier. He considered retirement, but Puebla convinced him to sign on for one season, almost certainly his last as a player.

Speaking to reporters after the draw with Veracruz, Blanco said, “I’m happy and grateful to the Puebla fans and team owners who gave me this chance to come here…I lacked a goal to take the three points.”

Next time out, Puebla face Blanco’s former club, America, where the forward is something of a hero. Maybe he’ll mark the occasion by scoring against them.