“When a son leaves first, it kind of doesn’t fit you”: Hugo Sánchez

As a footballer, an idol. As a commentator, a controversial character. But Hugo Sánchez is also a man. Beneath a personality that is identified by a high ego and constant self-praise, the fragile and honest identity of a guy who hardly likes to show himself outside his most intimate circles is sheltered.

In fact, his most loved ones are the ones who set the tone to open and break down as an individual who is conceived as the best Mexican soccer player of all time. His wife and daughters are essential to convert Hugo, the goal and the glory in an open door to know the entrails of ‘the Pentapichichi’, who in turn accepts that opening showing himself in a facet unthinkable for many: a sensitive subject capable of shedding tears without caring that they see him. He has reasons to cry. For example, the death of his son Hugo, who died in 2014.

He also shed adolescent tears from the frustration of scoring a goal in a game that was irrelevant to anyone but not to him, as Mario Carrillo puts it. That crying is indicative of his emotional profile rarely explored or commented on. These are sentimental manifestations that Hugo Sánchez himself had to repress or hide to forge a character that led him to have the world at his feet -being a striker for Real Madrid and scoring 38 goals at the first touch leads to positioning himself as the center of the planet-, a way of being before the public that has caused animosity and irritation in others. However, as the writer Juan Villoro reflects, it is necessary to understand that ‘Hugol’ had to be like this after the circumstances against which he faced to succeed in European soccer.

Being Hugo Sánchez is not easy. Just as Tomás Boy, Luis Flores and other members of the Mexican National Team in 1986 had to maintain a complex relationship with him to interact, so did his family. The obsession that he has for excellence in everything is even questioned by one of his daughters, a girl who is at the same time confrontation and reflection for ‘the Golden Boy’ at this point in life, period in which he does not have to prove anything to anyone about his legacy on the courts.

Directed by Francisco Javier Padilla and produced by Mónica Lozano, the documentary comes to Prime Video to tell through itself and other voices a Hugo Sánchez who is also human with or without the ball in between.

Interview with Hugo Sánchez about Hugo, the goal and the glory, by Prime Video

One of your daughters comments in Hugo, goal and glory that as a person you keep everything to yourself so as not to harm others. Do you keep everything? Why?

I don’t really keep everything. There are things with which I have the ability to solve. What happens is that in difficult and complicated moments I am very cold. For that, soccer helped me a lot because there have been moments of great pressure and a lot of responsibility. I have been mentally preparing myself to deal with these situations without having to worry others. And if they are loved ones, well less.

For that I have classmates, teachers or friends who can support me. Since soccer is what I have liked the most in my life, since I was a child I set goals and objectives to go far in this sport. Since I was younger, I became aware of what I had to do, or what methodology I could develop to fulfill my purposes. It has gone well for me as I planned it since I was a child and I continue to practice it (being cold). To this day I maintain that ideology of life.

In the documentary you mention that you gave priority to soccer over your family when you went to Europe. How has the transition been to weight your family over soccer?

For me, family has been my engine, the motivation of my life. After knowing myself from my qualities and defects, being in my initial family (parents, siblings) in an atmosphere of cordiality and support, I was formed in such a way that my father, showing off to his friends, stuck in my head that I was going to be the best soccer player in the history of Mexico.

It got into my head so much that it stayed with me and I didn’t get it out of there so as not to make my father look bad with his friends. Then my mother told me that he had to be the best at everything: the best son, the best boyfriend, the best husband, and so on. I grew up with that upbringing, with that mentality. Since it was something that worked for me, I wanted to pass it on to my daughters and my son Hugo, may he rest in peace. What I lived and helped me I wanted to communicate it to you. In some cases they got it and in others it seems like a different requirement than what they are used to.

After the Pumas period, the National Team and having finished my dental career, I went to Spain to play for Atlético de Madrid. I left because I wanted to be the best in Mexico and the best in Concacaf. To be the best I had to go to Europe. So I was advised with the thought that if I wanted to achieve my goals and objectives I had to be focused on it.

As they told me that there were very beautiful women in Spain and that could distract me, they suggested that I go married. So I got married. I had my children Hugo and Hemma. Although I was excited to have a family, that first marriage happened because of soccer. That’s why I say I married football. And yes, first it was football and then family.

Years passed for him to have experience and maturity in decision-making. Every time my great stage as a footballer passed, after being more than 30 years old, my way of seeing things changed. I was able to focus on what my family is.

Seeing Hugo Sánchez cry is not something common. On screen you do it talking about Hugo, your son. Why did you decide to open up that way?

If the documentary film is for them to know me as a person and as a human being, then I have to be authentic. As the opportunity arose for it to be so, I wanted to do it with great pleasure. People place me as a footballer and technical director, and not everyone. As a person, only my family and close friends know me.

This work allowed me to open up, open my heart in certain passages and be who I am. Those difficult moments (such as Hugo’s death) are to learn to live with that pain. I not only lost my son Hugo, but also my father and one of my sisters.

They are complicated pains. The normal thing is that the grandparents leave first, then the parents and then one, but when a child leaves first, it doesn’t fit you. That serves to learn to live with that pain. It’s the same as learning to live with people who don’t think like you and don’t agree with your ideas. It’s about learning to deal and live with those situations.

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