July 17, 2019

POSTED BY

Rafael Esquer

CATEGORY

The Legend Behind the Badge: Xolos de Tijuana

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What do Mexican muralist Diego Rivera has to do with this club’s badge? When the team’s owner Jorge Hank founded the club, he asked to place Hermoso, his beloved red xoloitzcuintle, or xolo for short, a hairless breed of dog, in the center of the badge. Legend has it that …

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What do Mexican muralist Diego Rivera has to do with this club’s badge? When the team’s owner Jorge Hank founded the club, he asked to place Hermoso, his beloved red xoloitzcuintle, or xolo for short, a hairless breed of dog, in the center of the badge. Legend has it that Diego Rivera gave Hank’s father their first xolo in the 1950s. The Hank family fell in love with the breed so much that shortly after founded a xolo kennel club.

Also known as “the Aztec dog,” this mythical creature dates all the way back to Pre-Colombian times. According to Aztec belief, this dog was created by Xolotl, the god of lightning and death, to guard the living and guide the souls of the dead through the dangers of the underworld. Once an endangered species, the xolo has become a Mexican national symbol.

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Ceramic vessels in the shape of xolo dogs are frequently found in 2,000-year-old tombs in western Mexico. Photograph courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art

Within the breed, a red xoloitzcuintle is extremely rare of only one in one hundred – most are black or gray. In his short life, Hermoso won close to 30 championships in over 25 countries due to its elegance, beauty, gallantry, and great character; Hermoso was known as the Xolo of Xolos. The Club Tijuana’s badge honors its memory by proudly placing a high-contrast black-and-white portrait against a red circle.

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Hermoso, the legendary Mexican hairless dog

Curiously, the original illustration was commissioned as a logo for the kennel club but it was rejected by the director, “It looks like a logo for a soccer club,” he exclaimed to Jorge Hank. When Hank founded the club in 2007, he asked the designer to create a badge after the original illustration.

Even though Hermoso died of cancer at age eight, his legacy lives on in the Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente badge. In 2016, the badge was included in the list of the 20 greatest badges in football by the British newspaper, The Daily Mail.

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Artist Diego Rivera with a Xoloitzquintle at the Casa Azul