Blanco has played for Mexico at three World Cups; he was part of the squad at France ’98, Korea-Japan 2002 and South Africa 2010. He was also a member of the Mexico team that won the Confederations Cup in 1999 where he was the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals, including the winning goal at the Estadio Azteca against Brazil in the final. He was awarded the “Silver Shoe” and “Silver Ball” for outstanding player of the tournament. Blanco holds the record along with Brazilian Ronaldinho as the highest scoring players in the Confederations Cup with nine goals, three in 1997 and six in 1999. In the selection for the final 23-man squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, then Mexico national team coach Ricardo La Volpe left Blanco out of the team. While the ostensible reason given was that Blanco was frequently injured and not in good form, some people considered this to be a consequence of the previous year’s constant bickering, due to on-going personal problems between coach and player. Blanco became part of the squad that played the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scoring one penalty goal, and the 2007 Copa América, where he scored 2 goals also from penalty kicks. On 13 September 2008, he earned his 100th cap for his country in its 2–1 World Cup qualifier victory over Canada at Tuxtla Gutiérrez, coming on with only 15 seconds left in regulation time. After the match, he announced his retirement from international football. Blanco announced his return to the national team in May 2009. He became a regular member of returning coach Javier Aguirre’s squad, playing in all the games throughout the Hexagonal of the World Cup Qualifying. Since then, Blanco has become an important factor in Mexico’s team regaining form and confidence. On 10 October 2009, Blanco provoked the first opposition own goal and scored the second goal in a 4–1 victory over El Salvador to help Mexico clinch a spot in the 2010 World Cup. On 17 June 2010, he scored a penalty in the 78th minute of the 2–0 win against France at the World Cup finals in South Africa. With this goal he became the first Mexican to score a goal in three World Cup tournaments and the third-oldest goalscorer in World Cup history. Blanco is considered by many to be one of the greatest penalty kickers of all time. He also has a penalty-taking record; out of a total of 58 taken, he has only missed two. Blanco played a tribute game in 2014 against Israel at the Estadio Azteca, which symbolized his official retirement from international football. Mexico went on to win the match 3–0.