Some might think it’s bad luck to build monuments to living men, but many people – including Saddam Hussein, Joe Paterno, and Rush Limbaugh – could care less about irrational superstitions. Then there’s Mexican futbol deity Hugo Sánchez, who’s backed a biographical documentary currently titled Hugol, produced and directed by brothers Hugo and Alejandro Padilla. And whether or not you’re the superstitious type, it’s hard to deny that the 57 year-old Sánchez is arguably the greatest athlete to ever come out of Mexico.
If you need proof, there are couple of stats that might help you swallow the idea. First, as a forward for Atlético Madrid from 1981-1985, and then Real Madrid from 1985-1992, Sánchez clocked in as the third-highest goal scorer in the history of Spain’s Primera División. Not bad. He also happened to be voted the 26th best footballer of all time by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, one of FIFA’s 100 greatest living players, and the best player ever from the CONCACAF region – all of which more or less qualify him as Mexico’s greatest athlete.
Hugol, which is currently in production, will bring Sánchez’s glorious story to a younger generation, through interviews with Sánchez himself – who finished out his career as a trainer for El Tri and a handful of teams in the Mexican league – as well as international soccer sensations like Maradona, Pelé, and Bora Milutinović. The Padilla brothers have also received the support of Real Madrid and will soon be taking their production on the road to the legendary Santiago Bernabéu stadium. Archival footage of his acrobatic windmill kicks and trademark goal celebration — he would often do a flip as a tribute to his sister who was a gymnast — are also likely to make the cut.
And for those of you who found Hugol to be a terribly unattractive pun, fear not – other names under consideration are Niño de Oro and Penta. Whether or not the title does the man justice, we can be confident Sánchez will fare better than Saddam Hussein or Joe Paterno, monument or not.
Check out the director’s twitter for a behind-the-scenes look at the production.