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La Liga Legends: Hugo Sanchez, the Pentapichichi

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In the second entry of La Liga Legends series, we take a look at the incredible career that Mexican striker Hugo Sanchez had with both Real Madrid and Atletico.

There are very few players in football history who can set records that no one else can beat, Mexican striker Hugo Sanchez is one of those names who did it playing for both major clubs from Madrid and that gives him a spot as one of La Liga Legends in our ongoing series. As one of Mexico’s most successful players in history, Hugo Sanchez grew up in the Pumas UNAM youth academy and had a very prolific career in the five years he played in the Mexican league. With the club from the Mexico capital, Hugo went on to win two league trophies and scored at least 30 goals per season during his last three years. With those numbers, it was only a matter of time before a club from Europe wanted to sign him, La Liga club Atletico Madrid was the squad that signed him back in 1981 and thus Hugo Sanchez’s career started in the Spanish La Liga.

First trophy and a controversial transfer to Real Madrid.

During his first years with the Colchoneros, Hugo required some time to adapt to the European way of life but he started to perform as one of La Liga’s top players as soon as that period was finished. During his fourth season playing with Atletico, Hugo Sanchez played his best season yet for the Rojiblancos as he helped his squad to win the Copa del Rey trophy and also won his first ever Pichichi trophy as La Liga’s top scorer with 19 goals in the 1984-1985 season. But that season’s amazing performance was the only reason Atletico’s most hated rival needed to go after the Mexican, who agreed on a shocking transfer to Real Madrid in the summer of 1985 and became Atletico Madrid’s most hated player in the club’s history. But Sanchez decision to leave the Colchoneros was not what angered Atletico fans the most, it was the level of play the Mexican reached what really set them off.


Hugo becomes a Real Madrid legend.

The following four seasons that Hugo Sanchez played for Real Madrid, are still amongst the most impressive solo performances from any player in the club’s history. The Mexican striker went on to become a five-time Pichichi winner, with four individual awards he won with Los Blancos after the one he conquered with the Colchoneros. Hugo also was the most important player of that Real Madrid side that conquered five straight La Liga trophies, an achievement where Hugo Sanchez became arguably the best center-forward in the world. The Mexican striker became internationally known as the Pentapichichi from that moment forward, he even became one of the players who practically trademarked the bicycle kick goal which was known as the ‘Huguiña’ by the end of the eighties decade and he reached his peak as a professional when he won the European Golden Boot after scoring a staggering 38 goals in a single La Liga season.

Hugo Sanchez unique record in football.

There is no question that the most impressive accolade that Hugo Sanchez got throughout his career was the Golden Boot, but more than winning that prestigious award is the way he got it. There has never been another player in football history who has won this award or any top scorer recognition for that matter, who did it by banging in every single goal at first touch. Hugo Sanchez managed to accomplish that during the 1989-1990 season and became one of La Liga’s most unique Legends who graced the game during that period of time. Perhaps the only negative of Hugo Sanchez’s career in Spain, was the fact that his squad was never able to win the European Cup (today is known as the Champions League) because there was another squad back then that dominated continental football: Italian giants AC Milan. But this doesn’t take anything away from the amazing career Hugo Sanchez had in Spain.

What is the most impressive record that Hugo Sanchez got throughout his career? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.