The sport of soccer should never forget those who are most vulnerable. Soccer should be the excitement of solidarity, an unstoppable transformative force for a better world.
Just like you Hugo; those who have made it big in this sport ought to have this in mind. You have taken on this new challenge, in the same manner in which you would take on sports challenges, always looking them straight in the eye and full of courage.
You are part of our legend, seven seasons upholding our shield, over 280 games and more than 200 goals. You shot the ball to goal and made impossible plays. You represented the untamable spirit of Real Madrid: dedication, combat, and an uncommon instinct as a goal scorer; that spirit was part of your personality.
With you on our team we won 5 consecutive League Championships, one Copa del Rey, one UEFA Champions League championship, and 3 Supercopa de España championships. The goal man, as you were referred to, 4 times awarded with the Pichichi Trophy. You earned the Bota de Oro Trophy with 38 goals; a record that took over 20 years to be surpassed.
Dear Hugo, thank you for wanting to play another great match in your life with your Foundation.
Hugo came into the world rocking like a hurricane. On the day he was born, the nurse in charge proudly showed him off down the halls of the hospital, so that everybody could see his size and impressive looks. Since childhood he was restless and quite a rascal, however he knew the difference between right and wrong. I instilled in him that he ought to be the best son, student, soccer player, dentist, friend, husband, father and the best person he could be. In my view, he has achieved this.
For someone to achieve any goals and objectives set forth in life, Hugo is the living proof of what believing in your dreams, putting your best effort, dedication, respect, strong will, perseverance and love can do to make it possible. With this mentality Hugo forged himself to be the best Mexican athlete ever. He is a champion since birth. Hugo has been blessed by God and has always counted on the support from people who love him.
I am very happy and at peace because Hugo is always looking after me and my needs. My son has given me many moments of joy, satisfaction and pride. I am very grateful to God because I have been able to enjoy him as well as the rest of my children.
Hugo Sánchez legacy to the Club Universidad Nacional (Pumas) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico is countless. Not only as a soccer player, but later as a coach, his footprint was embedded, leaving a long list of titles and awards. He joined the team as a soccer player after his participation in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. His debut was on 23rd of October of that year, playing against the team from the University of Nuevo Leon Tigres. In March 1977, he scored his first goal against Club de Fútbol América, after a free kick at the Estadio Azteca.
He was the league’s champion in the 1976-1977 season, in 1980-1981 and he was crowned top scorer in 1979 along with his teammate Cabinho. His spectacular twists in the air and his quickness in the penalty box turned him into a model for the leading university offensive squad. He had magical evenings, just as when he played against Atlante in the Estadio Azteca, he flew over the grass and scored with a “chilena” that later would be named “huguina”. No doubt, his greatest moment with Pumas was during the 1980-1981 season, when the team won three major tournaments: The Mexican League, the CONCACAF trophy and the Copa Interamericana, winning over Nacional de Montevideo in a series of three matches.
The last evening that Hugo wore the Pumas jersey was in the final match against Cruz Azul, when he scored a goal. That Sunday, the 9th of August 1981, Hugo closed a very important chapter in his soccer life and started a new adventure in Spain. A few years later, he became a head coach and gave the university a double championship, achieving both seasons’ titles in 2004. The fans recognized him in this new facet as the greatest idol the team has ever had in all of its history.
Hugo will always be remembered as the best goal scorer of all times.
Few would have endured the torment that was arriving at the great metropolis of Madrid with the lack of support and the mistrust of your own directive team. Hugo Sánchez put up with everything and in a short time made his team rich by being traded to Real Madrid. Those that belittled him at first were patting him on the back while counting the earning made from this trade. His arrival at Bernabéu was not easy either, more mistrust. Media headings featured Butragueño and his Quinta. He broke down barriers of mistrust by scoring goals, nothing fancy just scoring at first touch (except for his masterpieces like the chilena against Logroñés). With an effective touch never seen before, he was the best scorer ever winning five times the award for best scorer. I met a timid Hugo in 1981 when he landed in my country, but I said goodbye to a mature Hugo almost in his forties when he scored his last goals with Rayo. During those twenty years, he never failed me as a person, and that is the most important goal that he should be showing off.
Hugo Sánchez elevated his legend status at the National Autonomous University of Mexico with “Club Universidad Nacional” (Pumas). He was able to achieve double league championship in 2004, then he won the title Campeón de Campeones that same year and he drove Pumas to international stardom after they won the Santiago Bernabéu Trophy, playing at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium also known as the white house of sports, where they defeated Real Madrid.
In addition, he qualified that same squad to the Copa Libetadores Competition in 2003, the only time this team ever qualified for this continental tournament. There, the team made it to round of 16 under the technical management of the “PentaPichichi.” Pumas also played at the Copa Sudamericana. It is unquestionable the great contributions Hugo Sánchez provided as a strategist to the team that witness his birth as a soccer player. He gave his team two League Championships in each stage marking the golden era of the feline squad.
Being manager of the National Team was his next objective and after coaching for seven weeks team Necaxa, he was appointed manager of the National Team. Under his leadership, the National Team regained its essence and fighting spirit as they conquered third place in Copa América Venezuela 2007 and obtained second place in Copa Oro 2007. Another achievement in Hugo’s career as a manager is the continuance of Almería in the first division of the Spanish League in the 2008-2009 season, then he was team manager with team Pachuca, México, in 2012.
Hugo Sánchez makes great strides towards the horizon with the mission to give back to soccer a little of so much the sport has given him.
Hugo believes that sports have the potential to build character, perseverance and skill, because the sport of soccer has provided him with all these assets. His gratitude to soccer cannot be expressed in words. Instead, Hugo has decided that the best way to give back is to share the benefits of soccer with a new generation of children. Hugo has poured his heart and soul in developing the Hugo Sánchez Soccerland Foundation and is eager to watch the children evolve as they learn about leadership and foster a sense of team spirit.
I am proud to join Hugo in this journey. For us, it begins with our passion to share the most popular sport in the world – Soccer!