José René Higuita Zapata
Born 27 August 1966 in Medellín, Colombia.
Joined Al Nassr in 2012
Higuita is a Colombian former football goalkeeper nicknamed El Loco ("The Madman"). Rene Higuita was well known for his 'sweeper' playing style-taking risk in leaving his post empty to clear balls and even dribble.
In a friendly against England in 1995, he saved a shot with a Scorpion kick, in which he faced the pitch, fell forward to waist level and parallel to the ground, knees bent, feet curled back and cleared the ball using the undersides of his feet. In 2002 the UK public voted Higuita's save on the list of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments. He was once described as the 'master of the unpredictable'. Higuita is the current 4th highest goalscoring goalkeeper of all time with 41 goals.
Higuita's style of play, which was first shown to a global audience during the 1990 FIFA World Cup, was pioneering in influencing goalkeepers to take more responsibility for situations further from goal. IFFHS ranked Higuita the 8th best keeper in South American history.
Rene Higuita played the majority of his club career with Colombian side Atlético Nacional where he helped the team win the Colombian League on numerous occasions as well as the Copa Libertadores and Copa Interamericana, both in 1989.
He came out of retirement in 2007 to sign for Venezuelan club Guaros de Lara FC. In January 2008, aged 41, he signed for Colombian second division team Deportivo Rionegro. In June 2008 he signed for Colombian first division team Deportivo Pereira and retired in January 2010.
Higuita would often take set-pieces for the Colombian national team and became known for scoring directly from free-kicks, as well as penalties. In all, he scored 7 goals in his 68 international appearances. Higuita is also famed for inventing the scorpion kick, a clearance where the keeper jumps forward, positions his legs over his head and in doing so, kicks the ball away with his heels. This save earned him considerable media attention when he successfully used it in a friendly game against England at Wembley Stadium on 6 September 1995, blocking a shot by Jamie Redknapp. It ranked 94th in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Sporting Moments in 2002.
On the pitch, Higuita was known for his eccentric playing style, taking unnecessary risks and actively trying to score goals. He was also prone to blunders, and it was a mistake by him that knocked Colombia out of the 1990 World Cup, when he seemingly dithered with the ball at his feet near the halfway line enabling Cameroon striker Roger Milla to dispossess him and score, putting Cameroon through to the quarter-finals. Higuita himself described it as "a mistake as big as a house". As a result of such behaviour, Higuita was nicknamed El Loco ("The Madman") by media and fans alike.
Higuita is friends with Diego Maradona and played in the Argentine's farewell match in 2001.
He has expressed the wish to coach the Colombian national team and in December 2008 he got the job of goalkeeper coach for his former club Real Valladolid.
He joined Al Nassr FC in Saudi Arabia on 12 January 2012, to become the club goalkeeper coach.