Tuesday 13 April 2021 6:11 pm

Mesut Ozil, Eva Longoria, Kate Upton and US investors in Swansea City form unlikely consortium to buy into Mexican football club Necaxa

Former Arsenal star Mesut Ozil and actor Eva Longoria are among an eclectic group of investors said to be buying into Mexican football club Necaxa. 

Model Kate Upton, her Major League Baseball star husband Justin Verlander and two US sports executives involved with Swansea City are also part of the consortium, according to reports.

The group has agreed to buy around 50 per cent of Necaxa, says Sportico. Any deal would need to be approved by Mexican football chiefs.

Necaxa are three-time Liga MX champions but all of those titles came in the 1990s. They returned to the top flight after a five-year absence in 2016.

Serial investor Al Tylis, who owns shareholdings in Major League Soccer side DC United and Championship club Swansea, is heading up the deal.

Alongside him is Sam Porter, who is chief strategy officer at DC United and on the board at Swansea.

Ozil, who was linked with a move to DC United earlier this year, was among the Premier League’s highest-paid players before leaving Arsenal for Turkish club Fenerbahce in January.

Ozil could join Beckham in owners’ club

The World Cup-winning former Germany playmaker would be the latest sportsperson to move into ownership.

Former England captain David Beckham co-owns MLS franchise Inter Miami, while NBA superstar LeBron James has a stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool and baseball’s Boston Red Sox.   

Actor Longoria is also an investor in US women's team Angel City, along with Serena Williams
Actor Longoria is also an investor in US women’s team Angel City, along with Serena Williams (Getty Images)

Longoria is part of the female-led ownership group of new US women’s team Angel City. Fellow actor Natalie Portman, Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, are co-investors in the National Women’s Soccer League side.

US investors have flooded into Europe but this would represent their first major foray into Mexican football.

Liga MX is the most-watched football league in the US, averaging more than 800,000 viewers per game – more than MLS and the Premier League combined.

The Mexican top flight has also made itself more attractive to investors by scrapping relegation for at least five years.

Necaxa are three-time champions of Mexico but only returned to the top flight in 2016
Necaxa are three-time champions of Mexico but only returned to the top flight in 2016 (Getty Images)

A possible merger between Liga MX and MLS has even been talked up by Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

That may prove more difficult in practice, but Mexican and US teams have adopted two new cross-border competitions.

The countries will also be co-hosts, along with Canada, of the 2026 World Cup.