Hugo Sánchez certainly knew a thing or two about the noble art of the overhead kick during his playing days. Many madridistas still get glassy-eyed at the memory of his acrobatic effort against Logronés from April 1988 - a goal which the Mexican admits is his perosnal favourite out of the 207 he scored for Los Blancos. He sat down with AS to analyze Nacho's stunner against Cultural Leonesa midweek.
Did yo see Nacho's screamer against Cultural Leonesa?
Yes, I loved it. There are not many players with the skill, agility and elasticity needed to pull off a strike like that. Years ago it was even more difficult to pull off spectacular strikes like scissor-kicks. I was one of the few players who dared to attempt it.
So players back in your day were less daring?
Today's players are more audacious when it comes to acrobatic strikes because physically they are in better conditions. It's as simple as that. Look, Nacho is a defender and he's scored the goal of the season... He's got the kind of genetic make-up which is so important in football which allow players to practice and develop those kinds of shots. He's like Ramos, who scores some incredible goals while simultaneously is the best centre-back in the world. I saw myself reflected in Nacho when he pulled off that scissor-kick - I hasten to add, scissor-kick and not overhead-kick.
What's the difference?
An overhead-kick is when you have your back to goal, where you don't have the goal in view - you can only guess where the goal is. My one against Logroñés in '88 is a good example. The scissor-kick meanwhile is what Nacho did, it involves jumping a metre or so off the ground, swinging your kicking leg with the goal more or less in view.
What are key ingredients needed for a perfectly-executed scissor-kick?
Nacho can tel you - his was a perfect scissor kick - and it went in... From the moment the cross comes in, you need to be absolutely certain in my mind that you are going to attempt it. You cannot have any doubts. You then raise your non-kicking leg - I am naturally left-footed so for me, it would be my right leg. Then you make the scissor action, dragging your kicking leg across the other. It's important to synchronize the movemient of your legs, guage the height and speed of the ball, read the spin on the ball… and make contact.
You make it sound like something from an engineering mannual…
That's right. Nacho's goal was straight from the Playstation; something which can only be reproduced on a videogame.
Candidate for goal of the season
Do you think it deserves to win the Puskás award?
It's certainly one which should be in consideration, and of course it could win. The scissor-kick and overhead-kick were two of my favourites. I scored a couple that were a bit similar to Nacho's against Cádiz and Valencia while I was at Real Madrid. And I even scored one against Real Madrid for Atlético.
How many goals of that kind did you score throughout your career?
Lots - 30, 40… One of the famous ones was an overhead-kick I scored for Pumas against Atlante. That was probabkly the second-best goal I scored. Afterwards, Atlante's president organized a meal for both teams as a tribute to that goal. He gave me a Rolex as a present for that goal, but the one I netted against Logroñés in 1988 was something else, that one was unique.