Miguel Calero: The 5 Best Moments of Former Pachuca Goalkeeper's Career

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2012

Miguel Calero: The 5 Best Moments of Former Pachuca Goalkeeper's Career

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    Miguel Calero, one of the most successful goalkeepers in Mexican football, passed away yesterday around noon in a Mexico City hospital.

    The Colombian, dubbed "El Cóndor", played for his national team and spent most of his club career with Pachuca, where he secured four league titles, four CONCACAF Champions League cups, a South American cup and a SuperLiga.

    On November 26, 2012, Calero suffered a thrombosis of the right carotid artery. He was moved from Pachuca to Mexico City for an emergency brain surgery.

    Despite the encouraging prognosis, his health began to deteriorate on Thursday.

    In honor of one of the greatest figures of "Los Tuzos" here are five memorable moments of his career.

Colombian League

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    He made his professional debut with Deportivo Cali in 1988 at age 17.

    One of his brightest moments with the Colombian club came on March 29, 1995 when he scored from behind the midfield against Deportivo Pereira.

    This was the first time in 48 years that a professional goalkeeper netted in the local league.

    In the 1995/1996 season, Miguel helped Deportivo Cali secure its first league title since 1974.

1999 Copa América

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    Miguel Calero witnessed a hat trick of misses by Martín Palermo at the group stage of the 1999 Copa América.

    The Argentinean striker sent his first penalty straight to the crossbar; he skied the second one and Calero blocked his third chance.

    This night will always be remembered as one of the toughest for Palermo and one of the greatest for the Colombian keeper.

Clausura 2006 Semifinals

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    Pachuca qualified to the playoffs of the local league as the best team of the regular season.

    After defeating Monarcas Morelia in the quarterfinals, "Los Tuzos" played against "Chivas" in the semifinals.

    Pachuca won the first leg 2-1, however, the second match was harder. Guadalajara improved considerably and by the stoppage time, the aggregate score favored "Chivas" 4-3.

    In the last play of the match (90+3'), Gabriel Caballero put a cross in the rival's box that Miguel Calero sent to the back of the net with a potent header.

    With this result, Pachuca tied the score and secured a spot in the final stage, as they were situated higher in the general table.

2007 SuperLiga Final

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    Los Angeles Galaxy and Pachuca played the final match of the 2007 SuperLiga.

    They had already faced each other in the group stage, where "Galaxy" defeated the Mexican club 2-1. Both squads advanced to the knockout stage.

    Los Angeles defeated DC United easily, while Pachuca went to the penalty shootout against Houston Dynamo.

    In that stage, Miguel Calero stopped Joseph Ngwenya's shot, giving his team an important advantage. Rafael Márquez Lugo scored Pachuca's winning penalty.

    In the final match, "Galaxy" and "Los Tuzos" tied at two goals after the overtime. In the penalties, Landon Donovan had the chance to give his team the title, but Calero denied it; the match went to sudden death.

    Pachuca won the title after Abel Xavier missed his kick.

2010 CONCACAF Champions' Cup

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    The last time Pachuca won a title was at the 2010 CONCACAF Champions' Cup, and Miguel Calero was an instrumental piece in that achievement.

    In the first leg "Los Tuzos" lost to Cruz Azul 2-1 at Estadio Azul. A week later, on home turf, Pachuca's keeper saved his team in the third minute and didn't allow a single goal in the match.

    Calero hoisted his 10th trophy as a "Tuzo" and as the captain of the squad; a position he held for nine years.