Calcutta: Rene Higuita still misses friend Andres Escobar.
The former Colombia goalkeeper, who arrived in the city on Thursday to play for IFA All Star XI against Brazil Masters, was emotional when he was asked about his 1994 World Cup teammate. Escobar was shot dead in Medellin after the South American giants made an early exit from the USA World Cup.
“For me, football is a passion. Every footballer is passionate and dedicated to the game… It was really sad that he passed away in an unfortunate manner. I still miss him,” he said.
Higuita and Escobar started at the same Colombian club Atletico Nacional. While Higuita began his career in 1986, Escobar joined him a year later. As fate would have it, their friendship blossomed over the next few years.
One may recall that Higuita was the inventor of the Scorpion Kick. In a game against England at the Wembley in 1995, he dived forward to clear a Jamie Redknapp shot with his heels. Though the act was rendered eccentric by many, it would later become his signature feat. He was also one of the first goalkeepers to venture out and score goals.