Rene Higuita, the Colombian goalie famous for his daring “scorpion kick,” hopes to score in politics and win the October elections in the municipality of Guarne, just outside his native city Medellin.
Higuita, known as “El Loco” in Colombia, has been living in the upper class municipality for 14 years and told newspaper El Tiempo that he decided to run for mayor after being approached by group of community leaders who asked him to be their leader in the run-off to the elections.
“Whenever possible I try to do social work, but there’s a lot more I could do politically. With my background and knowledge I know how sports is the most basic of all. It involves health and education. I’ve also spent time in jail and know how at least 30 or 40 percent of the delinquents leave prison more screwed up than when they entered. Prisoners are not rehabilitated and they are not taught the value they need as individuals,” he said then.
Colombia’ most famous goalie ever told El Tiempo he has so far refused to join any existing political parties and hopes to win the elections as an independent candidate. “The idea is to play independently. Because of this we have been gathering signatures for three weeks now.”
To become an official candidate, Higuita needs 5,000 signatures. “We already have a thousand. We hope to collect seven or eight thousand.”
When the October elections come around, Colombia’s most colorful soccer star ever says he needs “around 4,500 votes to become mayor, but I hope to get 10,000.”