Hugo Sánchez: The Best Mexican Soccer Player Ever!

The name Hugo Sánchez rings a bell? No? Well, he is a Mexican ex soccer player, but not an ordinary one: he was the best. He was the striker and best player of FC Real Madrid in the ’80s: He won five consecutive league titles – from 1985–86 to 1989–90 – a Copa del Rey title, the UEFA Cup, a Golden Boot, four-consecutive Pichichi trophies (becoming the only player in Spanish futbol history to achieve this without sharing the trophy) and he is one of three players to win five Pichichis, scoring 208 goals in 283 games in all competitions.

Hugo Sánchez aka “Niño de Oro”, “Pentapichichi”, “Macho” or “Hugol” was born in Mexico City in 1958. He began his playing career in the amateur field, entering the basic forces of Pumas UNAM in 1969 at the age of 11 years. By 1975 he was already playing in the Mexico Youth National Team and won the title at the World Junior Amateur Sub-20. He also won the gold medal at the Pan American Games in Mexico 1975 and participated with its selection in the Montreal Summer Olympics in 1976.

1976 was his professional debut with “Pumas” of UNAM, Mexico’s National University Team. That year, UNAM got its first championship in the First Division. Two years later, he became the league’s top-scorer with 26 goals. In 1980 he won the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and the Interamerican Cup in 1981 that year he said goodbye to the Pumas leaving for another adventure: playing in Spain.

In Spain he will develop his skills and was the best time in his career. He started playing for the Atletico de Madrid which he joined in 1981 and where, after a period of adaptation, won out in the 84-85 season, obtaining the Copa del Rey, the second place in the Spanish League and the Pichichi Trophy (awarded to the top scorer ) thanks to his 19 points. After that Real Madrid started to pay attention to Sanchez and by the summer of 1985 he was playing for them.

With Real Madrid team Sanchez would enter in the prime of his career alongside players such as Jose Antonio Camacho, Emilio Butragueño, Rafael Gordillo, Jorge Alberto Valdano or Michel. Real Madrid won one UEFA Cup (1986), five consecutive league titles (1986 to 1990), one Copa del Rey (1989), two Super Cups in Spain (1988 and 1990) and four new Pichichi Trophy maximum director of the League: 1986 (22 goals), 1987 (34) 1988 (29) and 1990 (38, equaling the record of the legendary famous Spanish player Zarra). “Hugol” was the top foreign scorer in the Primera Division of Spain for over twenty years until March 23, 2014 when he was surpassed by Lionel Messi.

Check out this 38 goals (with one touch!)

In the 1992-93 season, Sanchez returns to the Mexican soccer league to play for Club America. With them he wins the Champions Cup CONCACAF beating Alajuelense of Costa Rica, scoring the winning goal in the final. In 1993, he participated in the America’s Cup held in Ecuador, where the Mexican team won the runner-up.

A year later, he returns to the Spanish futbol league, signed for Rayo Vallecano, team playing 29 league games and scoring 16 goals.

In 1994-95, Sanchez was hired by FC Atlante. Later, in 1995-96, was transferred to the second division Austrian team FC Linz. That year he played alternately with the team of FC Dallas of the newly formed American League. FC Linz was champion of the First League Austria of the 1995-96 season with Hugo as its most notorious reinforcement, ensuring super lead by beating SV Spittal in Week 27 of the tournament and leaving his closest rival, SV Gerasdorf unable to reach it. He participated in 20 of the 30 matches of the competition and scored in five games for a total of 6 in the league.

Before retiring as a player, Hugo Sanchez played a tournament (Summer 1997) in Mexico with Atletico Celaya, the team where he met with Real Madrid fellows Emilio Butragueño and Miguel Gonzalez Michel, debuting on January 11 against Monterrey. April 20 marks his second goal of the tournament, defining a 3 to 1 victory against Pachuca, this being his last official goal. His last official match was disputed on May 4, 1997. Hugo Sanchez was formally retired from playing in a friendly soccer match held in his honor with Real Madrid on 29 May 1997. The result of the match was Real Madrid 4 PSG 1: Hugo scored three goals.

Nowadays “Hugol” Sánchez works as a futbol soccer analyst and commentator at the Latin version of ESPN in a sport show called “Futbol Picante” where he still is a very controversial guy, but he can afford to be like that, lets not forget that he was not another ordinary futbol player: he was the best Mexican soccer player ever!

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15 Jul

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