Hugo Boumous: The emergence of a leader

posted in Specials by Souvik Roy Chowdhury on 6th February 2020

posted in Specials

by Souvik Roy Chowdhury

on 6th February 2020

Hugo Boumous: The emergence of a leader

“We won today, but that’s just it. It’s over. We got two more finals to go. We got Mumbai next. We go again. We win again,” an animated Hugo Boumous delivered a commanding speech in the group huddle at the end of the game yesterday against Hyderabad FC.

Leadership. Now that’s a term that is tough be quantified by a number. It’s only in fleeting moments that they take effect and leave an everlasting impression in your sub-conscience. 

It might be a moment that suddenly grazes upon you like a sight of an aeroplane flying too low – grabbing hold of your complete attention or it might be in the omnipresent attitude, the yearning to lead from the front every day with your actions.  

On idle days when you go out on walks, you are suddenly reminded of them/those times – like the memories of your first kiss. You smile, feeling blessed it happened and you were present there at that time, at that place. 

That aura, that command of respect had a name on Wednesday night at Fatorda. He was clad in orange and wearing the number 4. His name was Hugo Boumous. 

“It was not only his goals, but it was also the whole way he carried himself about the pitch, that’s what leadership is about,” states Clifford Miranda, the interim Head Coach of the FC Goa. “He played with a chip on his shoulders and when you see that in someone, it gets reflected in the players around one.”

The Frenchman had very little going his way last season. With Edu Bedia in conversations for being one of the best in the league, it was understandable why. 

“Last season, I think that lit a fire under him. He has always been his biggest critic. He has kept working on himself, and look, how he has turned it around,” says skipper, Mandar Rao Dessai. “He is a constant reminder that if you work hard, you can achieve great things. And in doing so, inspire the people around you.”

The story this season for Boumous has so far been about consistency. No longer just a flash merchant,  the Frenchman has done it all this season. He has found the back of the net time and again – tap ins, acrobatic strikes that can have damaging implications to your jaws, rampaging runs or give-and-goes that end with a precise finish – and FC Goa won, adding a new dimension to the persona. 

And then there are these. 12 games, 8 goals, 6 assists. Stats don’t always tell you the whole story, but you can’t overlook the numbers. Not this season. ‘Overlook’ is not a word something you can associate with FC Goa and certainly not Hugo Boumous.

Underneath the Street Fighter-esque goal celebrations, the languid touches and the backheels passes has germinated an individual whose abiding obsession is just to win football games.

The search for self-glorification has been moulded to deliver something greater than that. He just wants to do whatever he can do to help his team and sometimes a little bit more.   

He has grown a layer over himself, one can clearly see with the non-objective eye. His energy is infectious and his quality unquestionable. And now he seems to have taken over the mantle of being an example – a leader. He has recontextualised himself, delighting the FC Goa faithful and finding a new set of fans to annoy in each game. 

In doing all this, this French merchant of disbelief has become amber-hued in literature one pens down for not only a footballer, but a leader of men. We long knew he has the ability and moves to emotionally flatten opponents. These days he is also emotionally enlightening the people around him.