|Full name||Hugo Miguel Ribeiro Leal|
|Date of birth||21 May 1980|
|Place of birth||Cascais, Portugal|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|1997–1998||→ Alverca (loan)||20||(3)|
|2005||→ Académica (loan)||12||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
He amassed Primeira Liga totals of 148 games and nine goals over the course of 11 seasons, having started his career with Benfica. He also played professionally, albeit with little impact in the countries' top division, in Spain and France.
Born in the Lisbon outskirts of Cascais, Leal started his career with local giants Sport Lisboa e Benfica and, not yet 17, made his first division debut against S.C. Espinho, in a 2–0 home win on 20 April 1997. He made his breakthrough in the 1998–99 season, playing 27 league games and scoring three goals; in between, he served a loan stint at Benfica's feeder club F.C. Alverca, at the time also in the top level.
In the summer of 1999, Leal moved abroad to play for Spain's Atlético de Madrid. In his first year, the club was relegated to the second division; in his only goal of the season, a 13 May 2000 home draw against Sevilla FC, he was also sent off; he stayed for the following season but could not help the Colchoneros win promotion back into La Liga, although he had established in the starting XI (36 matches, four goals).
Leal joined Paris Saint-Germain F.C. in 2001, helping the capital outfit to two French Cup finals in consecutive seasons. However, on 8 March 2002, in a match against FC Lorient for that competition, he suffered a serious injury to his left knee, being sidelined for the rest of the campaign after undergoing surgery and also missing that year's UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship; his playing time was gradually cut, and both the player and the team agreed on an early contract termination on 4 August 2004.
In the summer of 2004, Leal signed a four-year contract with F.C. Porto. He played for six months with the team before moving to Académica de Coimbra on loan as he did not get enough playing time. At this point, he seriously consider ending his playing career.
For 2005–06 Leal moved to Sporting Clube de Braga, but left the club by mutual agreement in January 2007 after only managing 17 league contests in nearly two seasons. In August he returned to Lisbon, joining C.F. Os Belenenses in a one-year deal, in another season severely cut short due to injuries.
In late October 2008, Leal signed a one-year contract with newly promoted C.D. Trofense. After the club's top division relegation, he returned to Spain after eight years, signing with UD Salamanca (also level two) in a 1+1 deal (second year only if club attained promotion).
During his only season with the Castile and León side, Leal was an undisputed starter, but Salamanca not only did not promote but almost suffered relegation. In late July 2010, the 30-year-old returned to his country, signing for Vitória de Setúbal. In his third game, at former side Benfica, he missed a penalty kick to equalize the score, after the opposing team had just been reduced to ten men (eventually Vitória lost 0–3).
- Paris SG
- "Hugo Leal falha Europeu" [Hugo Leal to miss European Championship] (in Portuguese). TSF. 19 March 2002. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "Hugo Leal rescinde com Paris St-Germain" [Hugo Leal rescinds link with Paris St-Germain] (in Portuguese). TSF. 4 August 2004. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "Hugo Leal picked by Porto". UEFA.com. 8 August 2004. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
- "Hugo Leal: Pensava um dia regressar ao Benfica, hoje já não" [Hugo Leal: "Once i thought about returning to Benfica, not anymore"] (in Portuguese). IOnline. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "Hugo Leal bound for Braga". UEFA.com. 11 July 2005. Retrieved 3 August 2008.
- "El Salamanca ficha a Hugo Leal, ex del Atlético de Madrid" [Salamanca signs Hugo Leal, formerly of Atlético de Madrid] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 18 July 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Ten-man Benfica bounce back – Roberto redeemed?". PortuGOAL. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2011.