Hugo Sánchez MárquezLegendary Mexico Footballer
- Date of Birth
- July 11, 1958
- Place of Birth
- Mexico City, Mexico
- 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
- Playing Position
Hugo Sánchez Márquez (born 11 July 1958) is a retired Mexican professional footballer and current manager. A prolific goalscorer known for his spectacular strikes and volleys, Sánchez is widely regarded as Mexico’s greatest-ever footballer, and one of the greatest of his generation. In 1999, the International Federation of Football History and Statistics voted Sánchez the 26th best footballer of the 20th century, and the best footballer from the CONCACAF region. In 2004 Sánchez was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players. He is the fourth highest scorer in the history of Spain’s top division.
He began his career playing for Pumas de la UNAM in 1976, and briefly on loan to the San Diego Sockers of the North American Soccer League in 1979. He returned to UNAM in 1980. Sánchez then moved to Spain to play for Atlético Madrid in 1981, playing for the Colchoneros for four years before moving to cross-town rivals Real Madrid, where he would experience the best years of his career, winning numerous titles and accolades.
From 1977 to 1994, Sánchez was a member of the Mexico national team, gaining 58 caps and scoring 29 goals. He participated in three FIFA World Cup tournaments and was a part of the Mexico team that reached the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup.
As a manager, he won two-consecutive league championships with UNAM. After managing Necaxa, he was announced as coach of the Mexico national football team in 2006, but was fired in March 2008 due to poor results. In 2009, Sánchez was named manager of UD Almería in an attempt to save the team from relegation. Almería was not subject to relegation for the 2009–2010 season.
As a teenager, Sánchez played for the Mexico national team at the 1976 Summer Olympics. Having already played in over 80 international matches, Sánchez signed as a youth player at the age of 18 for Pumas de la UNAM, a professional team representing Mexico’snational university, where he completed a degree in Dentistry while playing for the first team. That year, UNAM managed to get its first championship in the Primera División. Two years later, he became the league’s top-scorer with 26 goals.
In 1979, UNAM agreed to exchange players during the off-seasons with the San Diego Sockers of the North American Soccer League. He played in the NASL during the summer and in the Mexican league during the fall, winter and spring. UNAM loaned Sánchez to the Sockers in 1979 and 1980 where he became a dominant striker for the Sockers, averaging nearly a goal a game.
Sánchez’s five seasons with UNAM were during the team’s golden years. In 1980–81, his last season with the club, Sánchez and UNAM won its fifth league championship, a CONCACAF Champions Cup and a Copa Interamericana. During his five years with UNAM, Sánchez scored 104 goals in 200 appearances.