Sport Legendary free kicks (3rd): Hugo alone in San Siro

19:05  08 april  2020
19:05  08 april  2020 Source:   sofoot.com

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  Coups francs de légende (3e) : Hugo tout seul à San Siro © Provided by Sofoot

From the magic of Beckham to the fairground potatoes of Roberto Carlos, in finesse or power, rolled from the inside, stretched out of the neck kick or deliciously brushed from the outside, here are 100 very free kicks.

Inter-Porto (2-1), C1, November 1, 2005

Even if it's always nice to see that a professional coach yells the same instructions to his players as a district coach, a football match in camera closed, it's sad like the rain. The one held at the Giuseppe-Meazza stadium, aka San Siro, on November 1, 2005, is the exception. That night, Hugo Almeida's free kick with FC Porto on Inter's turf would not have had the same flavor had it been scored in front of crowded stands. The songs of the Nerazzurri would then have masked the noise of the impact when the Portuguese's left foot hit the ball. But also that of the nets when the same ball, sent at a speed robertocarlesque , smashed the window of Júlio César. And it is precisely these sound elements that brought this praline to the Pantheon of legendary strikes.

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At the origin of the closed door, the smoke launched on Dida To understand why this meeting of phase of groups of Champions League was disputed behind closed doors, it is necessary to go back a few months. More precisely on April 4, 2005 and a quarterfinal return of C1 between Inter and AC Milan. Beaten 2-0 on the way out, the Nerazzurri cash a pawn of Andriy Shevchenko in half an hour of play. And while they fight to offer themselves an remounted unexpected, their supporters decide to stop themselves the torture after a goal by Esteban Cambiasso refused for a contentious obstruction. Projectiles land on the lawn. Like Pascal Dupraz a few years later, the goalkeeper of AC Milan Dida lies on the ground, except that it is not because of a paper plane, but because he received a burning smoke smoke on the 'shoulder.

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The referee decides to end the match, AC Milan wins the derby on green carpet and qualifies for the semi-finals, while Inter are sanctioned by UEFA in four matches behind closed doors. It is therefore in front of their television screen that the domestic supporters see their club take over Shakhtar Donetsk in the play-offs (2-0, 1-1). Before watching Hugo Almeida's sensational free kick from their couch in this group stage match against Porto, ultimately won by Inter. (2-1).

The culmination of a wasted career Recently retired, Hugo Almeida was able to ask himself a few questions about his career for the Portuguese newspaper Record . Inevitably, the globetrotter (passed by the championships of Portugal, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Russia, Greece and Croatia) evoked this famous free kick, "the most beautiful goal of his career ": " It was an act of faith. Ricardo Quaresma looked at me, laughed and said that I was crazy to try to hit him directly. I replied that I was focused and that I felt I could do it. This sensational strike, straight towards the skylight, the former Portuguese international (57 capes) tried to reproduce it several times. With more or less success: "I scored a free kick with Werder Bremen, but not as far. I gained confidence in the exercise, but it didn't always come out as well. "

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Hugo Almeida:" The mustache was just a bet with a friend "

At the time, this pawn which dynamites the cage of San Siro is supposed to boost a career started two years earlier under the orders of José Mourinho . In 2005, Hugo Almeida was then 21 years old and embodied the succession of FC Porto (the page with the generation that won the Champions League in 2004 was turned) and of the Portuguese selection - the attacker already donned the suit of the successor by Pedro Miguel Pauleta. If the plan goes off without a hitch in the 2005-2006 season with this free kick against Inter and the Liga Nos title won with Porto, the rest will not go as planned.

First there is this transfer to Werder Bremen - "I was sad when I was asked to leave Porto. It was complicated for me the first months in Germany. I did not speak the language, people were cold and closed " -, then this failed transfer to Real Madrid in 2010: " José Mourinho wanted me at Real Madrid, but the sports director did not accept. I was very happy because you do not receive such a proposal every day. And finally it turned into disappointment. » Once the train has passed, Hugo Almeida tries to catch it by lining up the pawns on the side of Beşiktaş. But nothing helps, and the Portuguese will drag his 192 centimeters in less upscale clubs at the end of his career (Cesena, Kuban, Anji Makhatchkala after the hype ...) until his retirement last February. Regardless, Hugo Almeida will remain this giant striker who is just good at putting a whim or a hooking goal. Finally very far from the image of maestro that he sent back after his paw to Inter. To remember Hugo Almeida, the best is still to start playing the video of his free kick and close your eyes while waiting for the detonation. “BOOM! »

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