Hugo Boumous: The man who makes bravery look like a footballing skill

posted in Specials by FC Goa Official on 25th December 2019

posted in Specials

by FC Goa Official

on 25th December 2019

Hugo Boumous: The man who makes bravery look like a footballing skill

As sports fans, we are well-educated in the finer points. We shout for calls for our beloved teams, even appreciate the foul-drawing theatrics that borders on the lines of deception – if it is a player from our team. 

For instance, it’s much less satisfying for, say, when our team wins on an iffy off-side goal ruled out than with a late winner. We want to see the ridiculous: the stepovers, the nutmegs, the Elastico and those brilliant long-curling free-kicks that seemingly seem to filter through the large outgrowth of trees in a forest to settle into the back of the net. 

You can hear the roar of the crowd from within. 

All other things are taste, acquired through the ages or experience, or worse than that, utterly exasperating.

The crafty Frenchman

Hugo Boumous. The Frenchman is a player that is absolutely adored by the FC Goa fans and for good reason. He brings to the game which not many can. A sense of thrill and all the reasons you want to root for a player and a team.

In the end, what we can all really agree on is that he makes courage seem like a footballing skill. 

What that means in practice is that he is more than a decent playmaker who you truly believe to make the best of any situation. Thanks to his truly audacious sense of adventure and an equally commendable skillset.  

He drives into spaces packed with defenders and yet you believe that he will figure it out. 

The often elaborate and yet simplistic blueprint at the core of Goa’s attack demands a lot from the players. Movement, passing and an inherent sense of timing to get better looks. Boumous might be the only player who doesn’t have to get his through some long drawn out play. 

Give him the ball with space for him to run into. 

He’ll end up trying something that looks inherently outrageous and equally difficult, but there’s a chance that it’ll work out. 

In the ISL, mere talent doesn’t get the job done and so is the case with the Frenchman as well. There is a strength of will that you can easily associate with him. He glows under conditions people shouldn’t logically back him. It feels tangible, something that you can feel through the television screen. 

Refracted light, eager movements that force you to the edge of the seat without you even noticing, the slow maddening cheer, air of the trembling kind and maneuvers (that embody the outspoken nature of the man) seemingly leading to nowhere ends up in something magical.

Indian football and Hugo

Not many knew what to make of the man when he came to Indian shores, but he soon made everyone realise that every time he touched the ball, you could wish for the most exuberant of things to happen, expect the unexpected. 

How do you put a quantifiable number on that?

His initial sojourn was tantalising enough for Sergio Lobera to take out his trusted midfield general Edu Bedia and even Manuel Lanzarote out of the line-up to accommodate the razzmatazz that this man from France was bringing to the table.

The insertion of flair thanks to Boumous’ introduction – many would say played a huge role in getting Goa to the playoffs in the 2017/18 season.

FC Goa, though has always been above one man. Whilst many expected him or Miguel Palanca to step and fill the large hole left by Manuel Lanzarote’s departure, it was surprisingly Edu Bedia who stepped up to the plate. 

And because of such happenstance, we didn’t get to see the best of the man last season. And yet in all these trying and testing times, the man never wavered off from his ways – neither in games, nor in training. 

When the going got tough, he got tougher. He came in early to Bambolim (where FC Goa train) – sometimes an hour earlier than his comrades to put in extra work. There was pedantry to his efforts to get better at his already smarmy moves on the field. 

All that could have accumulated into one of ISL’s best ever goals. In Mumbai, with the Islanders riding high, FC Goa had to dig deep to eke out one of the most vital wins of the season. 

A victory for all to savour. 

Within that small timeline, the Frenchman produced a reminder as to what makes him special. Late on in the game, when a ball was played to him at the centre line, he only wanted one thing. And really badly. 

And thus he set off on his mission. He straight outpaced, outmaneuvered and outmuscled all and sundry that came in his path.  But as he came near Amrinder in the Mumbai goal – he lunged and sputtered at the shot, forcing Amrinder into a great save. He thus created what for many would remain the best goal that was never scored in the ISL.

In these moments of brilliance, he has built himself a fandom.

A valiant fighter on the field, he is no dweeb off it. He is, in fact, a constant reminder of why we all come to sports at a basic level – to be amazed.

Another season of looking for wonders

In the first half of the season, the Frenchman has once again shown why a sports fan would want to root for him. His craft has been at the forefront of it all without giving you a hint that this might just be cheap manipulation. 

While his goal against NorthEast was a timely reminder of his fleet-footedness, his strike against Mumbai threw into light his willingness to get the job done.

He refuses to go down under challenges. He will leave you scratching your head sometimes with his decision-making and yet, a few moments later will wow you with the brilliance of his abilities. 

He’s beautifully unsubtle. There is something to fall in love right there. 

“I am better,” is a phrase that seems to be ingrained in that aura that he carries. It’s a charming and understandable characteristic. You don’t make it to the top of the ISL without some self-confidence. 

When he is out there on the pitch, that whole package comes out as if everybody is underestimating him. You might be critical, but that should also come with some varying degree of respect. 

That’s a trait that has served him as well as FC Goa well. But more than that it has always urged to the core and brought out the best in the fans that watch the game. 

It’s not litigious. It’s a want to impress and even surprise. Forcing us all to be more optimistic in situations than is reasonable. 

Hugo Boumous doesn’t only invoke all those but also delivers on it – the way he propelled FC Goa to the Super Cup triumph. 

He has equally shown his capability to take his game to new heights – playing an important role in the absence of key players and helping FC Goa to the top of the table at halfway mark. 

Adulation from all and sundry is not earned on a technicality. And each day, the crafty Frenchman is showing why there is reason to love him even more.