Hugo Sanchez

Hugo Sanchez Biography – Introduction Mexico produced some quality soccer players throughout time, but none of them were as successful and revered as Sanchez, the striker who is rightfully considered the most important person in the history of Mexican soccer. Follow me in this biography to find out how this player went on from playing for a (then) relatively unsuccessful Mexican team, to the queen of European soccer: Real Madrid. Hugo Sanchez Biography – Childhood Born in Mexico City, Hugo Sanchez Marquez was fast to make a name for himself. As a young footballer, Hugo Sanchez managed to get into the ranks of the youth squads of the Mexican national soccer team, playing in over 80 international games before he reached the age of 18 and was eligible for a professional contract. At this time, he was a valuable member of the UNAM Pumas youth club and a hot prospect for the future for Mexican soccer. Hugo Sanchez Biography – UNAM Pumas Full name Hugo Sanchez Marquez Date of birth July 11, 1958 Place of birth Mexico city, Mexico Height 5.9FT - 1.75M Playing position Striker In 1976, being offered his first contract as a professional soccer player, Hugo Sanchez was already uncommonly experienced for his age and made an instant break into the UNAM Pumas' first team. In 1977, he was also selected for the senior squad of the Mexico national team, so his career was well on its way even from an early age. Sanchez' time with the UNAM Pumas was a great launching pad for his career, as he got to play regularly as a striker, scoring no less than 99 goals in 200 matches for the Mexican side, in the 5 seasons he got to play for them. He helped UNAM win the Mexican championship twice and became top scorer in the league twice. With the Mexican league being held during the fall, winter and spring, UNAM agreed to loan Sanchez to the USA team San Diego Sockers twice, during the summers of 1979 and 1980. He proved his worth as a striker with the Sockers as well, scoring 29 goals in 32 games in the short periods he stayed with the club. But his awesome performances would soon bring him a new experience, one that is well sought after by almost all South and Central American players nowadays: the move to Europe. Season Club Games Goals 1976-1981 UNAM Pumas 200 99 1979-1980 San Diego Sockers (loan) 32 29 1981-1985 Atletico Madrid 111 54 1985-1992 Real Madrid 283 253 1992-1993 America 29 2 1993-1994 Rayo Vallecano 29 16 1994-1995 Atlante 32 13 1995-1996 Linz 18 3 1996 Dallas Burn 23 6 1996-1998 Atletico Celaya 12 2 1976-1998 Career 769 477 Hugo Sanchez Biography – Madrid Already an established player in Mexico, Hugo Sanchez still had to prove himself in Europe, after Spanish side Atletico Madrid bought him from the UNAM Pumas in 1981. His start in Spain wasn't the best, as Sanchez needed 2 years to fully adapt himself to the new country and new playing style, before he got himself back to the form that made him the scarecrow of all Mexican goalkeepers a few years earlier. The next 3 seasons spent at Atletico would see Sanchez up his goal tally to a total of 54 in 111 matches. The 1984-1985 would be his best though, as Atletico, with Sanchez in top form, would win the Spanish Cup, the Spanish SuperCup and finish second in the Spanish LaLiga, the Mexican striker also winning the "Pichichi" trophy, awarded for the best scorer in the league each year. His awesome performance drew the attention of town-rivals and European bigwigs Real Madrid, who bought him at the end of his best season so far with Atletico. The Mexican was already an established soccer player when he moved to Real and he was at the peak of his career. However, gaining a first team place wasn't an easy feat for anyone, with Real having some extremely talented and prolific strikers in the squad, such as Emilio Butragueno, or Jorge Valdano. Still, Sanchez managed to sneak his way in and become a regular for Real Madrid. Real had a truly outstanding team during the time Sanchez played for them, winning 5 consecutive league titles (85 to 90), the UEFA Cup in 1986 and the Spanish Cup in 1989. The Mexican striker's contribution was no small feat, as he managed to win four consecutive Pichichi titles as top goalscorers, with a goal tally of 253 in 283 matches, an enormous performance for any world class striker. Years National Team Games Goals 1977-1998 Mexico 60 29 Hugo Sanchez Biography – Retirement In 1992, Sanchez decided it's time to return home, but not at the club that launched him into professional soccer, UNAM Pumas, going for one of their rivals, America. He played for one season here, but his performances were rather poor in comparison to how he played in Spain for the past 10 years, so he decided to go back to La Liga at the end of his first season with America, this time playing for Rayo Vallecano, a smaller team than Atletico or Real Madrid. Although finding his scoring pace again Sanchez was on a constant move for the next years, playing in Mexico again for Atlante (1994-1995), for Austrian side Linz (1995-1996), in the United States for Dallas Burn (1996) and finally in Mexico again, for Atletico Celaya, where he would retire from professional soccer in 1998, age 40. Currently, Sanchez is the coach of the Mexico national team, his declared goal being that of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.


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