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Hugo Porta is the greatest Argentinean rugby player in history and he was arguably the best fly-half in the world during the peak years of his career. He, more than anyone else, attracted the attention of the world to rugby on the South American continent. His superlative kicking skills were credited as being the single major factor in the emergence of Argentina as a power in world rugby. During his career Porta was Argentina’s leader and their inspiration.
Porta played his club rugby for Banco Nación in Buenos Aires. His natural game was that of an artistic, running fly-half but he was equally adept at playing the kicking game when required. Among his glittering array of achievements on the field, he kicked all 21 points in the Pumas' famous draw with the All Blacks in 1985, 18 points in the draw against France in 1977 and 16 points in the 24-13 victory against Australia in 1979.
He made his international debut in 1971 and amassed 530 points for the Pumas during 57 matches spanning almost 20 years. He captained his country 43 times before he retired from the game in 1990. He also played for and captained South America during a series of matches between 1980 and 1984.
Porta's metronomic kicking skills brought him several milestones at international level. He kicked 54 conversions in Test matches, 109 penalty goals and landed 25 drop goals. He twice scored 23 points in a Test match against France in 1974 and his career total of 530 international points was Rugby Union's world record until overtaken by Australia's Michael Lynagh.
A graduate of Buenos Aires University and an architect by profession, after serving his country for 19 years on the field of play, Porta was appointed Argentina's Ambassador to South Africa in 1991, before returning to his homeland where he became Minister of Sport from 1996-1999.
He has received many awards, including ‘Best Rugby Player in the World’ in 1985. He became a founder member of the Laureus World Sports Academy in 2000 and is currently President of the Laureus Foundation in Argentina.