Hugo Duro, the unexpected scorer | Soccer | Sports

Hugo Duro (Getafe, 24 years old) still finds it hard to believe that he is among the ten best scorers in the League. Last season, when Valencia was on the edge of relegation, he was only able to contribute one goal and that frustrated him. “I didn’t know how to manage it well. Now I would do it differently,” he acknowledges. When in the summer he asked for the number 9 that was free after the departure of Justin Kluivert, his father told him where he was going, that he didn’t need any more pressure, but he stepped forward and kept it. “Some fans commented on how cheap Valencia’s number 9 was, and it was true. But now I’m glad I’ve shown that I’m up to the task.” This season he has already scored a dozen goals and he allows himself to pass by Diego López, who is assisting a journalist, and joke out loud: “Tell them who the best player on the team is…”. Although the truth is that this status is quite new for him: “If I’m honest, in the summer I didn’t think it would be like this at this point, to be honest. He had worked hard afterwards and I knew he was going to get better, but seeing me there… Phew. I’m at home, I see myself on TV and I freak out. “I am a very humble boy.”

The forward reunites this Saturday with Real Madrid, one year after that afternoon at Mestalla bathed in nitroglycerin. “When what happened happened, I saw the fans insulting Vinicius and I told my teammates: ‘Look at those assholes.’ It seemed perfect to me that Vinicius went and pointed them out because those people do not represent anyone in the club, much less in Mestalla. Then, regarding the tangana, we must understand that they are moments of tension and that we had a lot at stake. I didn’t behave with Vinicius in the best ways, but they were the ones that worked for me. I didn’t mean to hurt him. I think he didn’t take it the wrong way because we met later and he didn’t make a bad gesture at me or anything.”

Hugo Duro knows well the weight of the white club. After training as a player at Getafe, he was transferred to Real Madrid. There he lived a time of contrasts. He ended up playing for Castilla, in Second B, but he also went through the first team locker room. “There was a sensational group with people who supported me a lot. I will always thank Sergio Ramos for how he treated me, Lucas Vázquez and Isco helped me a lot.” There he met one of the best forwards in the world, Karim Benzema. “I paid a lot of attention to him, even though he was light years away. It was different. You watched him train and despite being surrounded by excellence, he looked different. I remember playing the typical small games in which no one had spaces, and he found them.” Although his favorite striker is Antoine Griezmann. “I like the way he sees football. Surely there are many in the League stronger than him, but the way he moves, plays and makes the rest play makes him unique, it is my weakness.”

The man from Madrid is happy this season. He already has ten goals, is engaged to his girlfriend and is surrounded by talented young people. “Every time a new player joins the first team, I get depressed. Anywhere else he would be one of the three or four youngest in the squad.” He doesn’t want to focus on any of them, but he throws himself in front of Javi Guerra because he has “amazing conditions”, Diego López, one of those who has given him the most assists, the dribbling ability of Fran Pérez, or Christian Mosquera, a pillar in the defense of only 19 years. “His is very strong. I don’t want to talk too much, because they take him away from us, but the truth is that at that age I am impressed by the hierarchy he has. He is a player that amazes me and he looks like he is 35 years old.”

Hugo Duro assures that the night before the game he sleeps like a dormouse, but that the night afterward he doesn’t sleep a wink. “Between the products we take to activate ourselves, the tension and the nerves, I come home and don’t sleep at all. Many times I put on the game. On Saturday we play at nine and it is easy for me to arrive here (in the Ciudad Deportiva) on Sunday without having slept. Those seven or eight hours at night, while my girl and my parents are sleeping, I have nothing to do, so I play the game, read things and try to learn. I’m also a person and when things don’t go well I laugh when I read some of the comments.”

His father, who is an engineer, and his mother, a housewife, go to Valencia every time their son has a match at Mestalla. His father reminds him from time to time how she led him towards football. “He says that as a child he was very heavy with the ball, that he didn’t stop all day. And, furthermore, he is a member of Getafe and he started taking me to the field since I was one year old.” His parents always liked sports and the two used to go running through the pine forest of Cerro de los Ángeles, in Getafe, where the boy took the opportunity to play on a futsal field there. Now they go to see him whenever he can and stay in the house that the boy shares with his girlfriend and a Shiba Inu dog named Nala. His girl, whom he will marry in the summer, is Nerea Martí, a 22-year-old girl who is also an elite athlete – she is a driver in the F1 Academy – and an ambassador for a fashion brand. “She travels more than me, and longer trips. That’s why she scolds me when I complain because we have an hour and a half trip on game day.”

Hugo Duro has several tattoos in tribute to his parents, his grandmother and his sister. On his back he also tattooed a phrase full of interpretations that he took from the movie ‘Finding Nemo’: ‘Keep swimming.’ This is what the forward did after his bad season. And today, even if he doesn’t believe it, he is one of the best scorers in the League.

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