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By ESPN Staff
Nov 16, 2006

Mexico name Hugo Sanchez as new coach

PACHUCA, Mexico, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Hugo Sanchez, a former Real Madrid striker who is widely considered Mexico's best-ever player, was named national team coach on Thursday.

Sanchez, who won five consecutive league titles with Real Madrid in the 1980s alongside the likes of Emilio Butragueno, had been coach of Necaxa in Mexico's club championship.

Sanchez, 48, was five times the top scorer in Spain's Primera Liga He replaces Ricardo La Volpe, now manager at Argentina's Boca Juniors, as Mexican coach.

Known as 'Hugol', a combination of his name and the word for 'goal' in Spanish, Sanchez had long been tipped to coach Mexico.

'The time has come for Hugo,' former Argentina captain Diego Maradona said last week.

Sanchez's outspoken nature and ranting about refereeing decisions had previously prompted the Mexican Football Federation to hand the job to other candidates.

As a player at club level, he won trophies galore. But his biggest soccer disappointment was at national level, with Mexico a constant underperformer in major championships.