Legendary Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita said farewell to soccer on Sunday in a special match organized in Medellin. It was the very last chance for fans to see “El Loco” (the madman) in action.
In the ceremonial match, Higuita put on his old, green-white Atletico Nacional jersey to play against a Colombian all-stars team.
The legendary goalie did what made him world famous: he scored a goal and showed off his legendary scorpion kick.
Higuita was joined on the field by the mammoths of Colombian football history. Carlos “el Pibe” Valderrama, Faustino Asprilla, Leonel Alvarez, goalie Oscar Cordoba, Mauricio Serna and Victor Aristizabal all took part in the game.
In an emotional speech, Higuita thanked the fans of Atletico Nacional and Colombian football for their support.
“It is impossible to know you and not love you. It is impossible not to praise God, who united me with you at this moment. I never imagined this moment, because today I am living both the beginning and the end as active soccer player. I feel the emotion of the beginning, but the nostalgia of leaving a career that I love deeply,” Higuita told fans.
“Thanks to my country, which I carry in my heart. I hope we will live in peace, that we can all look each other in the face, shake hands, hug and that the hostages return to their homes. This is what I ask of the authorities and the armed groups,” the emotional goalie added.
Higuita also took the chance to publicly ask forgiveness for the controversies regarding his ties to drug lord Pablo Escobar and his cocaine addiction.
“I am not a perfect being, I am just a poor sinner,” Higuita said.
The 43-year old paisa played professional soccer until last year when he returned to Colombia’s mayor league for one last season.