South American Soccer

Long-time Pachuca goalkeeper Calero dead at 41

Former Colombian national team and Pachuca goalkeeper Miguel Calero died on Tuesday at the age of 41.

A familiar face to American soccer fans from his years as Pachuca’s netminder, Calero made 50 appearances for the Colombian national team and was a key figure on a Pachuca side that won four Mexican League titles and four CONCACAF Champions League titles. He had retired a year ago and become Pachuca’s goalkeeper coach.

Calero suffered a stroke last month and was placed on life support after undergoing brain surgery. He was declared brain dead on Monday before being removed from life support on Tuesday.

What are you lasting memories of Calero?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Bernie

    I remember watching this guy a lot as a kid, so it really feels weird.He was a beast in the net for Pachuca. He had his low points with Colombian team, but he was always humble and a great player. RIP Miguel “El Condor” Calero


  • garbaggio

    Very sad news.

    He was one of the more entertaining and colorful characters in the Mexican league in recent years. Not just the garish goalkeeper outfits but his personality, too.

    Pachuca has been a team I admire because they achieve a lot without the money and arrogance of the bigger teams like America and Chivas. Calero was alway a leader who did a lot to organize their defense, play head games with opponents and refs, and keep the team fired up and focused on winning. And he was a good goalkeeper, too.


  • Rowsdower

    41? Wow that is way too young. My memories go back to the Dynamo/Pachuca matches years ago. What a competitor. Respect.


    • Paddy Megroyn

      Yes, those were some great matches. I remember Calero getting into a shoving match with Dom Kinnear before the teams went to extra time. Calero definitely had a presence about him. RIP.


      • Paddy Megroyn

        I also remember the look of distain from Calero when Ngwenya tried to panenka his PK in the ’07 shootout. That was hilarious.


    • The Imperative Voice

      It kind of sounded to me like he had some sort of blood clotting issues because the retirement followed an arm clot and this was a brain clot maybe a year or so later.

      I don’t know what he was like as a person but I agree I respect his play (along with the rest of Pachuca) against the Dynamo.


  • Patrick

    Tobnput it in perspective, brad friedel is 41. He was a monster in goal during some of those concacaf cl runs, and only ranked behind Jorge campos in the style department. RIP Miguel


  • ed - houston

    seen him play here in houston several times. its sad but, at least, it was from natural causes and not due to violence. RIP.


  • ec

    I’m flying a pirate’s flag at half mast. Pachuca was a great MLS foil in those CONCACAF Champions League tournaments, and he was a great part of it. I went from hating Pachuca, to enjoying rooting against them, to just plain enjoying them. Adios, it’s way too soon, I would have loved to have him floating around soccer as a coach for the next 20 years.


  • ...

    Miren, miren que locura, miren, miren que emoción, ya llegó Miguel Calero, llegó a Pachuca para ser campeón …

    There are thousands of people who will never forget him. He was a legend, he was an emblem, he was Pachuca. I can’t think of another player who has had such an effect on the fans of his club, and he loved them and he loved Pachuca just as much as they did and as much as they loved him. Everyone loved him for what he did, for what he said, for who he was, both on and off the field. His passion, his loyalty. When he retired last year he said: “Si volviera a nacer, me llamaría Miguel Calero, sería colombiano, sería portero y defendería a huevo una vez más los colores del Pachuca.”
    [If I were to be born again, I would be called Miguel Calero, I would be Colombian, I would be a goalkeeper, and I would damn well defend the colors of Pachuca once again].

    His death is an absolute tragedy, especially because he died so young and especially because he was expected to recover from this. He had a cerebral thrombosis on November 25th and was under sedation but not on life support, and he was improving. Then he suffered a second thrombosis on December 3rd. That second thrombosis was what killed him.


    • Silversurfer

      Calero was an absolute beast. His work between the pipes for Pachuca is some of the best seen in North American soccer history. An absolute professional as evidenced by the quote above. Respect.


  • Boston Dread

    This is truly a sad sad day. I always respected him as a constant villain on our collective MLS sides. he will be missed and ALWAYS RESPECTED!


  • Eugene

    Oh man, that’s heartbreaking!! I was always hoping he would come to MLS, he was a fantastic goalkeeper and leader. RIP Miguel Calero


  • dcpohl

    Wow that’s so sad. I watched him play once in a SuperLiga match in Denver. I watched a lot of Pachuca games over the years with them being in CCL. Always respected his play, seemed like a good guy too. Shame.


  • Shark

    He was a great goal keeper….my daughter and I watch the Mexican La Liga all the time and Pachuca is our team….this is really sad…he was fun to watch to as he was a bit of showman to boot….he will be missed….very sad indeed…


  • KarenB

    Most of my memories of Pachuca are with him in goal. He was a brick and fun to watch, he will be missed!


    • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo

      That’s my biggest memory of him as well….wagging his finger ‘no-no’ at Landon as he easily caught Landon’s ‘chip to the middle” . That save, it turns out, gave Pachuca the hardware – in the first game of the Beckham era where a trophy was at stake (and the purported $1million purse)



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