Hugo Gatti

Hugo Gatti

Football player infobox| playername= Hugo Gatti
playername= Hugo Gatti

fullname = Hugo Orlando Gatti
Retired = 1988
nickname = "El Loco"
dateofbirth = Birth date and age|1944|8|19|df=y
cityofbirth = Carlos Tejedor
countryofbirth = Argentina
height = height| m = 1.82
clubnumber =
position = Goalkeeper
youthyears = 1960-1961
youthclubs = Atlanta
years = 1962-1964
clubs = Atlanta River Plate Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata Unión Santa Fe
Boca Juniors
caps(goals) = 030 (0) 077 (0) 224 (0) 045 (0) 381 (0)
nationalyears = 1967-1977
nationalteam = fb|Argentina
nationalcaps(goals) = 018 (0)
pcupdate = October 13, 2006
ntupdate = October 13, 2006

Hugo Orlando Gatti, "Loco" Gatti (born August 19, 1944) is a former Argentine professional football goalkeeper who played in the Argentine First Division for 26 seasonses icon [ Hugo Orlando Gatti bio] - -] and set a record of 765 appearances. He won three national championships, two "Copa Libertadores" tournaments, and one Intercontinental Cup with Boca Juniors, and played professionally until the age of 44.

Gatti, nicknamed "El Loco" (Spanish for "crazy") was recognized for his charisma, his innovative playing style for his position and his eccentricity. He developed himself into a goalkeeper who relied on positional play rather than on his reflexes. He would frequently leave the penalty area to function as an additional field player, and join his teammates in defense – and many times in attack. Unlike most goalkeepers of his era, he made extensive use of his feet, head, and chest to control or strike the ball. He was one of the pioneers of the "achique", the goalkeeping technique of running out to challenge an oncoming opposing player. [,1464,10333,00.html?articleid=10333 "Revolution between the Latin American Goalposts"] - - FIFA, January 10, 2000.] He was also notable at facing penalty kicks, saving 26 of them throughout his career, tied for the most ever in "Primera División" with contemporary goalkeeper Ubaldo Fillol.

Gatti was voted Player of the Year of Argentina in 1982, and was ranked as the third best Argentine goalkeeper of the 20th Century in a poll by the IFFHS. [ [ IFFHS' Century Elections] - - by Karel Stokkermans, RSSSF.] [ [ The World's best Goalkeeper of the Century] - - IFFHS. Retrieved November 2006.]

Early life and career

Born in Carlos Tejedor, Province of Buenos Aires, Gatti was the youngest of four brothers. During his youth he was adept of playing as a forward, which according to himself was the best way of knowing how forwards tend to think and behave. [es icon [ Hugo Orlando Gatti: "El achique de Dios"] - - Sociedad Media Punta Ediciones, S.L., Madrid]

In 1960, at the age of 16, he attended a C.A. River Plate match and saw Amadeo Carrizo play, who would become one of his role models as a goalkeeper. He then started playing for Atlanta in the Argentine sixth division. His "Primera División" debut came in 1962 against Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata.

Professional club career

Gatti played 38 matches for Atlanta, and after that he was acquired by River Plate. He played 77 matches for River between 1964 and 1968, alternating as the first choice goalkeeper with Amadeo Carrizo, until he was transferred to Gimnasia y Esgrima, for which he appeared in 244 league matches between 1969 and 1974. In 1975, he joined Unión de Santa Fe, which put on an impressive season with coach Juan Carlos Lorenzo.

Boca Juniors

Although Gatti was already famous prior to his arrival to Boca Juniors, it was in that club where he became legendary, and it is Boca Juniors the club he is historically most associated with. Gatti played a total 381 league matches and 47 "Copa Libertadores" matches [ [ Statistics of players in the Copa Libertadores] - RSSSF] for the "Xeneizes" from 1976 until his retirement in 1988. He is the goalkeeper with the most appearances in Boca Juniors history and the second overall player behind Roberto Mouzo, who played in 396 league matches. [ [ "Profile of Hugo Gatti - one of the all-time greats"] ]

His debut with Boca occurred on February 15, 1976. In 1977 he won the "double" of the Metropolitano and the "Copa Libertadores". In the Copa Libertadores final, he saved a crucial penalty kick by Cruzeiro player Vanderlei. [pt icon [ "Gatti, El loco"] -] [es icon [ "Futbol Argentino: Los grandes del arco"] - - Grupo Clarín] The following year, Boca won the Copa Libertadores again, and then beat Borussia Moenchengladbach in the final of the Intercontinental Cup. He won his third "Metropolitano" in 1981.

The 1980s were a difficult time for Boca, and Gatti had periods of inactivity during those years. His last match was on September 11, 1988, a day in which an error by him cost him Boca the result. He was made a reserve after that, and he would never play an official match again.

On January 24, 1984, a friendly match between Boca Juniors and Gimnasia y Esgrima was played as a tribute to him. [ [ Club Atlético Boca Juniors - All Results 1977-2001] - RSSSF]

National team

With the Argentine national team, Gatti won 18 caps. between 1967 and 1977. His international debut was on August 13, 1967 against Paraguay. [ [ HUGO GATTI : Cuando el arte ataque ] ] He was part of the 1966 World Cup squad, but did not play as the first choice keeper was Antonio Roma. Argentina did not qualify for the 1970, and for the 1974 tournament, he was not selected to the squad. He was a starter during many friendlies prior to the 1978 World Cup under coach Cesar Menotti, but Gatti was left out of the finals squad in favour of Ubaldo Fillol. [ [ "Goalkeeping greats"] -]

His last international match was in June 5, 1977. [ [ Notable dates in Boca Juniors history] ]


Gatti has continued to be involved in football since his retirement as a player, writing columns and opinions that have been controversial at times. For example, during the 2006 World Cup he was heavily criticized as a racist for expressing mock surprise at the large number of black players in the Ecuador national football team in a column for Spanish sports newspaper "AS".


Team honours - "All with Boca Juniors"
*"Metropolitano": 1976, 1981
*"Nacional": 1976
*"Copa Libertadores": 1977, 1978
*Intercontinental Cup: 1978Individual honours
*Player of the Year of Argentina: 1982


*In 1980, Gatti said of then youth player Diego Maradona: " un gordito que juega muy bien al fútbol" ( [Maradona] "is a fattie who plays football very well"). In a subsequent match, Maradona, at the time playing for Argentinos Juniors, scored 4 times against Boca and Gatti in a 5-2 win. [ Gatti's post-2006 World Cup interview with ESPN] - - September 2006.]

References and notes

Further reading

*es icon [ Hugo Orlando Gatti's biography] -
*es icon [ "Hugo Orlando Gatti: El achique de Dios"] -

External links

* [ Hugo Gatti - palmares, photo gallery, video, wallpapers]

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