Club: Club Atlético Independiente
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- Hugo Eduardo Villaverde (born 27 January 1954 in Santa Fe) is a retired Argentine football defender who played most of his career for Club Atlético Independiente.
Villaverde started his professional playing career in 1973 with home town club Colón de Santa Fe at the age of 19.
In 1975 he joined Independiente where he became a key player throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He won four league titles, the 1984 Copa Libertadores and Copa Intercontinental with the club.
Villaverde played for the Argentina national team in 1979, but never returned to the international scene after suffering an injury in friendly match against Scotland.
1973-1975 Colón de Santa Fe 57 appearances
1976-1991 Independiente 380 appearances
1977 Independiente Primera División Argentina (Nacional)
1978 Independiente Primera División Argentina (Nacional)
1983 Independiente Primera División Argentina (Metropolitano)
1984 Copa Libertadores
1984 Intercontinental Cup
1988-89 Independiente - Primera División Argentina
This guy was the best complement to Trossero's style of playing. He didn't know attack because he never does it, he never went to attack, he was something like an "Anchor Man" for a midfielder, when Independiente had a corner kick, or a free kick, he was one of those that stay in his field to contain the possible counter-attack. He must be one of the defenders more useless in attack that I've ever known, he never went to attack and his aggression was nule. The same with his shooting abilities, in more than 15 years of career he never scored a goal, something strange playing more than 400 matches. There isn't too much to explain here. Those levels of ATT+AGG+S/DEF would be the best configuration to represent his style in the game that I could found.
His positioning may be is the best of all Independiente's history, I've read that from people who know a lot of history and players, and It's noticiable in the videos that I could find. He was descripted a lot of times as "unpassable" in 1 on 1 situations, he waited you, made an invisible feint to make you doubt when you dribbles and from one moment to other, he stole you the ball and gave a pass to Marangoni. This was the best description of him in defensive duties: Unpassable. Totally comparable with Milito's prime, same style but more aggressive in the mark, he had a variety of forms to steal the ball or rechaze the ball far from the goal, and he was the support of all the defence in those years full of glory. He was really smart to know when a player has a second of distraction in his dribble or the ball isn't too near to his foot to try and steal it, and he did it lots of times, must be one of the best in that era in defensive terms in Argentina for sure. About Balance wasn't any special, acceptable handling but wasn't a key attribute in his style of playing, was the needed for a boy with his little body, and nothing more; as his response, Trossero was better anticipating than him, it was really strange watching him running to intercept a ball in the midfield as Trossero made constantly; he used his response to look for the ball to head it or sometimes to intercept a lost ball in his own box.
In terms of stamina and mentality, in first one I assigned him the same value of Trossero, would be very similar minutes played by both players, because they always played together in Colon and in Independiente by years, and it was really strange to change defenders in that time in Argentina, so usually he finished the matches without problems and running a lot (different of Trossero in this, because he ran to cover spaces and in defensive works). He also was owner of a temperamental attitude, and this was the base of that defence, the pressure, the "never give up" attitude, but in this case I put significaly 4 points below Trossero, because he was the captain and the leader of defence, and Villaverde was his teammate of back defence and also wasn't owner of a great voice in defence to order, was just and necessary, far from Trossero's leadership, I think that the difference is notable with those numbers. Also I've assigned Marking and Covering to don't put higher his level of defence, which I think that's enough but as I've explained those cards are really needed to replicate his excellent 1 on 1 situations with opponents and to cover the blanks left by Trossero.
May be one of his best attributes to contribute with his excellent positioning and steal of balls, was his speed. He was a really fast CB for those years and most in Argentina, all the time he did coverings (as I've explained in Trossero's set) because his central back mate usually went above and left blank spaces, and Villaverde used his speed to reach and cover those spaces and defend the team helped by Marangoni or Enrique in that aspect. Probably if he'd play in these years, he could have even better TS/ACC, but with the current numbers in this set will be enough to represent his awesome quickly coverings. In this case his tiny body was with a really nice agility in it and helped him to carry the ball and change direction quickly to reach to cross opponents and could make incredible tackles also in the box, I assigned him a point better than Trossero because of this.
What can I say about his header/jump? It was just amazing, his jump was very similar to Milito's prime, really, he wasn't a tall player, but he compensated this with an atletic jump as one of the best that I've ever seen in an Independiente's player; also he won most of the times aerial battles in defence, he was a wall in the air despite having a really little body. He used his response, timing, jump and header ability to win in the box because he wasn't exactly a strong player.
He was a really difference between his levels of pass and technique with his dribble. The first one was may be one of his distintive attributes, he was always a "clean" pass from deep, Milito's style also, giving always the ball to a teammate (mostly to Marangoni), and accurate most of the times. He was a really technical player, his first touch was really good, and comparing him with Trossero was better for sure, only with watch both physical conditions, you'll notice that his technical abilities are good but Hugo's was better, and as I've read in many Independiente's sites, must be the best in the history in this aspect (technical) to give passes and stop the ball and doing succesful most of the times. About his dribble, no, he didn't translate his good conditions stopping the ball and passing to it. His control of the ball was the average for a CB, or even less than that. Usually he didn't dribble because near him he had a better dribbler as Trossero, so he didn't take risks in that and always gave a pass to him.