Tricky midfielder Cesar Villaluz has joined San Luis from Mexican Primera Division rivals Cruz Azul for an undisclosed fee.

The 23-year-old helped La Máquina Azul finish second in the Apertura’s regular-season standings, before Enrique Meza’s team unexpectedly lost to Morelia in the quarter-finals last month. San Luis just missed out on the play-offs.

Villaluz made his professional debut for Cruz Azul in 2006, coincidentally against San Luis. He leaves the Estadio Azul having scored 16 goals in 158 games for the club.

The Mexico City native first came to prominence at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2005, when he helped a team including Efrain Juarez, Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela lift the trophy. Impressively, Villaluz scored three goals and made four assists in five appearances in that tournament.

He was also part of the Mexico side that was eliminated by Argentina in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007, and has since won caps at senior international level.

Cruz Azul have been crowned Mexican champions on eight occasions, while San Luis are yet to lift a major trophy.

The latter, coached by Ignacio Ambriz, will make their Clausura 2012 bow at home to Pumas on 7 January, when Villaluz is expected to make his debut.