Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
While still very young, Sanchez played for the Mexico national football team in the 1975 Pan-American Games and the next year in the 1976 Summer Olympics. At the age of 18 and having already played over 80 international games, Sanchez signed as a youth player for UNAM Pumas. That year, UNAM managed to get its first championship in the Mexican Football League, and just two years later, he became top-scorer in the league, with 26 goals. During this time, Sanchez competed in Mexico during the fall, winter, and spring, but played in the United States for the San Diego Sockers in the summer.
Sanchez played five seasons that were the golden years of UNAM Pumas. In his last season with the team, Hugo again became the top-scorer in a tie with his teammate Cabinho and UNAM won not only its second championship, but also the CONCACAF Champions Cup.
Career in Spain
After five successful seasons in Mexico, with 99 goals to his name, Sanchez drew the attention of several Spanish sides, and signed with Atletico de Madrid in 1981. It took him a while to find his feet in La Liga, but by the 1984-85 season he was scoring regularly with a team that won the Copa del Rey, finished in second place in the Spanish League and won the Spanish Super Copa . That year Hugo also won his first Pichichi trophy for being the most prolific scorer in the league.
At this point, he reached the high-point of his career, signing for Real Madrid in 1985 and playing with players such as Camacho, Butreagueño, Gordillo , Valdano and Míchel. This team won five consecutive league titles (from 1985-86 to 1989-90), the Copa del Rey in 1989, and the UEFA Cup in 1986. During this time Sánchez garnered four consecutive Pichichi trophies.
His trademark was to perform a celebratory somersault after each goal he scored, honouring his sister, who was a gymnast and participated in the Montreal Olympics.
After this fantastically successful period, Sanchez returned to his native Mexico for a season, before playing for a variety of clubs in Spain, Austria and the USA (he played for the Dallas Burn in the inaugural year of Major League Soccer). He finished his career playing for Atlético Celaya with his old colleagues from Real Madrid, Butreagueño and Míchel.
- 1975-1979: UNAM (Mexico)
- 1979-1979: San Diego Sockers (USA)
- 1979-1980: UNAM (Mexico)
- 1980-1980: San Diego Sockers (USA)
- 1980-1981: UNAM (Mexico)
- 1981-1985: Atlético de Madrid (Spain)
- 1985-1992: Real Madrid (Spain)
- 1992-1993: América (Mexico)
- 1993-1994: Rayo Vallecano (Spain)
- 1994-1995: Atlante (Mexico)
- 1995-1996: Linz (Austria)
- 1996-1996: Dallas Burn (USA)
- 1996-1997: Atlético Celaya (México)
Despite huge domestic success, Sanchez did not have a similarly successful international career. He played 75 matches (and scored 46 goals) for the Mexican national team, but it coincided with a difficult period for the nation's football team. Mexico didn't participate in two World Cups that could have been very important for Hugo. He only scored one goal in the three World Cups in which he competed.
- Argentina 1978: 0 goals, 3 appearances
- Mexico 1986: 1 goal, 4 appearances
- USA 1994: 0 goals, 1 appearance
Hugo retired from football on May 29, 1997, playing with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium - the stadium that witnessed most of his glory throughout his career - in a match against Paris St. Germain with a result of 4-1 in favor of the Real Madrid with Hugo scoring three goals.
As a coach
After four seasons coaching the UNAM Pumas, the team that saw his birth as a soccer player, Hugo Sanchez obtained the Clausura 2004 Tournament of the Mexican League, defeating the Chivas of Guadalajara in the final match.
He has expressed a desire to coach Real Madrid, the club where he starred for much of his career, and also one of the best, richest and most famous teams in the world.
Later that year, Hugo became the first coach to win two consecutive titles in Mexico's relatively new short season format ("Torneos cortos"), beating the Monterrey Rayados in the league championship series.
In 2002, after Javier Aguirre resigned as Mexico's National Team coach, Hugo voiced his candidacy to coach the team, but members of Mexico's soccer federation saw Hugo as too inexperienced at the time (he had not won any sort of championship or had major success as a coach at that moment) and eventually hired former Argentine goalkeeper (member of Argentina's 1978 World Cup champion squad) and seasoned coach Ricardo LaVolpe as Aguirre's replacement. LaVolpe and Sánchez have been embroiled in a war of words since then, with Hugo expressing his obvious discontent of being shunned for the coaching job.
Sánchez is the son of Héctor Sánchez, who played for Asturias and Atlante. Hugo has a degree in dentistry from UNAM and is married to Isabel Martín and has two sons. He is also known as "Niño de Oro" ("golden boy"), "Hugol" and "Pentapichichi" (for his 5 Pichichi trophies).
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