René Higuita (born August 28, 1966 in Medellin) is a
Colombian football goalkeeper, who played 69 international
matches for the Colombian team, in which he scored three goals.
René HiguitaHe is famed for inventing the "scorpion kick", a
clearance where the keeper jumps forward, places his hands on
the pitch and then kicks the ball away with his heels. This save
earned him wide admiration when he pulled it off in a friendly
against England in 1995, blocking a shot by Jamie Redknapp. It
ranked 94th in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Sporting Moments in
Higuita was imprisoned in 1993, after getting involved in a drug
cartel kidnapping. Acting as a go-between for the drug barons
Pablo Escobar and Carlos Molina, he was largely responsible for
securing the release of the Molina's daughter by delivering the
ransom money. He received $64,000 for his services, which breaks
Colombian law as it is an offence to profit from a kidnapping.
He was incarcerated for 7 months before being released without
charge. In another scandal, he tested positive for cocaine on
November 23, 2004 while playing for an Ecuadorian football club.
On the pitch, Higuita is known for having an eccentric playing
style, taking unnecessary risks, and he actively tries to score
goals. He is also prone to blunders, and it was a mistake by him
that knocked Colombia out of the 1990 World Cup, where he
seemingly dithered with the ball at his feet 35 yards from goal
enabling Cameroon striker Roger Milla to dispossess him, and
Milla then put his team through to the quarter-finals.
Higuita is great friends with Diego Maradona and played in the
Argentinian's farewell match in 2001.