André-Pierre Gignac, Tigres UANL
André-Pierre Gignac celebrates his 5th Liga MX title after Tigres defeated Chivas 3-2 to win the Clausura 2023 tournament Photo via Mexsport

André-Pierre Gignac has a date with destiny this Sunday.

Since signing for Tigres UANL in 2015, the Frenchman has solidified his name as one of the most important players in the history of the Mexican league. On Sunday he'll have a chance to keep on enriching his legacy as Tigres take on Club América to decide the Liga MX's Apertura 2023 champion.

A loss against this tournament's 'Superlíderes' wouldn't taint a brilliant 8-year spell with the Monterrey club, but it is a golden chance for Gignac to further his candidacy for a spot in the Mount Rushmore of Liga MX.

With a rich soccer tradition that goes back decades, Mexico has seen an vast amount of great players, local and foreign, grace its league. This abundance of talent is what has prevented Gignac's incredible run with Tigres to be regarded -without any arguments- as one of the best players to ever play in Mexico. A new title might provide him with more ammunition for such a claim.

Where does he rank among other Liga MX greats?

Since setting foot in Mexico, the former Marseille striker has scored a total of 199 goals for Tigres in all competitions. Out of those, 174 of them were scored in the league, including 33 in the playoffs. Only 12 players have scored more goals in the history of Liga MX.

Gignac has won a total of five Liga MX titles, which currently ties him for the 2nd-most ever by a player born outside of Mexico. He and his teammate Nahuel Guzmán could tie Gabriel Caballero (6) if they beat the 'Águilas' on Sunday.

Never-ending comparisons

Ever since Gignac started to stand out, there have been endless comparisons between him and past Liga MX legends such as Evanivaldo Castro "Cabinho" and José Saturnino Cardozo.

Cardozo, the illustrious Paraguayan, had one of the best careers in Mexican soccer, helping Toluca win four league titles and setting multiple scoring records, including a whooping 249 goals with the 'Diablos' and 4 regular season scoring titles. For years, Cardozo was the benchmark of what a superstar should look like, and Gignac's performances have been compared to Cardozo's nonstop by Mexican media ever since his arrival.

Gignac has scored all sorts of goals since arriving to Liga MX, including this amazing bicycle-kick strike against Pumas

Even though Gignac has won more Liga MX titles, Cardozo still leads in some of the scoring categories. Only the Paraguayan (9) has scored more goals in the final round than Gignac, who has 7.

Gignac has been able to close the gap with other great Liga MX strikers with clutch performances in the playoffs. His 33 'Liguilla' goals rank 3rd-most by any player, only bettered by Jared Borgetti (41) and Cardozo's 43 goals.

The Tigres striker only failed to score in just one of the six final series he has played (Apertura 2017 vs Monterrey). And the only final that Tigres lost during Gignac's era has been the Clausura 2017 final against Chivas. If the 'regios' want to become just the 4th different team to win back-to-back titles in the short tournament era, they will have to beat the best team during the regular season, Club América. In 25 games against the 'Azulcremas', Gignac has been able to score 12 times including one during the Apertura 2016 final.

All of Gignac's 7 goals in Liga MX finals - Via Tigres UANL official Youtube channel

During a pre-match press conference before the Quarterfinal clash against Puebla, Gignac seemed sincere when asked about what was next for him beyond this tournament. "Whoever comes here (Tigres), will see that what we do is not easy. We are nearing the end of the story as a player, but I want more for this club. I want to help more. For now I am focused on my career as a player, I know I've got a lot more to offer," declared the Frenchman.

Gignac, who just turned 38 last week and whose current contract runs through 2025, might not have that many more opportunities to win more titles, which makes this Apertura 2023 final against a legendary club like América the perfect chance to write another page to his already legendary book.

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