Gymnastics vs. Racing: "Diego Maradona writes another chapter of his legend in Gymnastics", by Jorge Barraza | Total Sport


Still undefeated Diego Armando Maradona. Debuts this Sunday against Racing (9 a.m. / TyC Sports). It's good, so we can't analyze it for the result. And so the charm remains intact, the perfume of illusion that its presence generates in the suffering fans of Gymnastics; also the global expectation. Then the reality bath will come and there you will know if the mood inflator that Diego represents is enough to go up the slope of the descent. But, for now, everything is agitation, joy, smiles, hope. And pride: see the name of Gymnastics in all the media of the planet, sit at the table of those who are everyday topics here, in Spain, in Italy or England. It is the status that gives rise to the cruelest ostracism to be directed by Diego Armando Maradona.

We have to make a little history. In the most ancient times of Hurricane (and that is a serious thing), everything happened to him. Dr. Paladino, famous for being the doctor of Carlos Monzón and all the boxers, is a Balloon fan, and coined an anthological phrase: “Hurricane is the only club in the world that makes a goal, a heart attack fan dies and They cancel it. ” I was so haunted. Something like that happens to Gymnastics. He is able to hire Guardiola, play ugly and lose. And he suffers, in addition, the many satisfactions of Students, his bitter rival. Until 1967, the Wolf was slightly more than the ‘Pincha’, that year the student took off began: he held eleven titles against any of his neighbor. But Diego parked the car at the gym door and put them on par.

The Wolf has a swelling, enduring as there are not two, and it is a lovable club, an unavoidable part of Argentine and South American football, the oldest of all in the continent: 1887. Year after year he has been avoiding the scythe of the B. Now It is in a very delicate position, colista with a point in 5 days and with a desperate average. The last of those saved takes 11 points. That is, I should discount at least 11 to match it. To achieve such a miracle he called Maradona.

More than that, he thought of it as a redeemer who would take him out of marasmus and pessimism, to revolutionize the club, shake his people, his own players and stop the defeatist parable from the excitement. No leader thought that Maradona's tactical elucubrations would save Gymnastics, nor that he would give a chair in front of the board or that he would rehearse innovative and surprising plays. It comes in a motivational plan, to the rescue of the ship already at sea. The move was a colossal success, there was more talk about Gymnastics in a week than in a century, 25,000 people came to the presentation sick, a line of blue and white shirts was launched with the name of the star (at $ 78) and sold out; 5,000 new members registered in a week. They send emails from all over the world to join. And there are 15 new sponsors wanting to enter. But, above all, the happy faces appeared in the WhatsApp of an emotionally sunk club.

"There was no happier city on earth yesterday than La Plata." Such was a remembered and certain headline cover of the daily centenary “El Día” (platense) in its edition of October 17, 1968, according to the epic that the moment demanded. At the edge of the previous midnight, Students had reached the summit in the Everest football: world champion in England, against the famous Manchester United of Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles, George Best, Denis Law … The same holder fit for Monday 9, but with Gymnastics as the protagonist. Its people woke up in a state of euphoria.

It is the product that Maradona sells: passion. It does not offer 4-3-3 or sides that are sent to the attack, it sells excitement, excitement, debauchery. On the podium of monsters in history, fight with Messi, Pele and Di Stefano; on the cusp of idols, it goes with two laps of advantage. How does that bellied man, with difficulties of diction and trouble walking, awakens such adhesion? The one who filled the stadium was not Maradona, it was the memory of Maradona. The faithful cling to the stamp of the young and unstoppable Diego, venerate the hero of Mexico 86, love the novel that he won only the world title, the subject who went down to the English and the Germans. That ‘scallion’ emerged from nowhere that skillfully and mischievously reached the football moon. Because it was a number five Neil Armstrong. No one incarnated like him the movie of the boy left the village that conquers the world. That Oscar won it for all eternity. But it was not the helpless child who bows his head but a lion who faced the corporations and told them what no one dared.

Maradona demonstrates, with Gymnastics, that football is basically emotion. You will never appeal to a blackboard or video, but fill a court with your name. And it is not only in Argentina. If Diego assumed the command of Napoli they would not reach three stadiums to get people in. The idolatry of the Argentines by Maradona is glassy, ​​one half wants it, the other hates it. But the first loud loud, the other is silent. He dug a huge rift between unreasonableness and sanity. A subject who, with a microphone in his hand, in front of a crowd and in front of an audience of millions, tells the president of the nation: "Macri, you have little left, button (pimp)". And the president must refrain from answering him. Cool with that. It's Diego, and nobody dares to speak out against him. It has an army behind. His character is feared, but above all his popularity, a tsunami capable of destroying anything.

It is not meek. You can go back on the highway, snub a king or come to a press conference and tell two hundred journalists together "to continue sucking." Because of the ostensible paternity in the classic, the students fans are accustomed to mock those of Gymnastics, they are primed; now they must step on the brake, Maradona is in front. And he already sent a warning message. Cool them too.

Impact on own and others. Fontanarrosa's genius described in his style what it is to be placed in Diego's adversary trench. Centralist to the core, summed up in his style: “Only twice did my wife wake me up before ten in the morning. One was when he told me: ‘they invaded the Falklands.’ And the other: ‘Diego signed for Newell’s’. Two catastrophes. "

In 1993, Newell’s Old Boys hired the ‘Pibe de Oro’, who was returning from Europe. It was sensation. We were the afternoon when he debuted on the court of Independiente. It was the return to Argentine soccer, eleven years later, of a top figure; 60,000 people paid him a reception rarely seen. All standing clapping for long minutes. And 90 percent were red fans. He was forced to go around the rectangle waving before starting the game. "They passed, it's too much," he let out in tears.

We also attended the Bombonera, on October 7, 1995, when he returned to Boca, in front of Columbus. We never saw such a degree of delirium in a stadium. Not in a world final. The roar was deafening; To talk to the one in the next seat, you had to shout, and loudly. Hundreds of Boquenses fans arrived in Spain, Italy, the United States and other countries. There were bakers, vendors, masons, but also professionals, businessmen, artists, politicians. There was the whole social arc. It is what awakens the inexplicable charisma of 10.
Maradona is what everyone wants to see in him; some admire the genius of shorts even doing feats with the long ones, like busting people a stadium because yes, by mere presence. Others deplore the man physically demolished by the excesses, which has a hard time talking and walking. It depends on the glass with which we look at it, whether with the objectivity of the eyes or with the candor of the heart. But we are facing a unique character, with an overwhelming personality and cunning in each response, like that time he was asked if he had made the goal with England with his hand and replied: "It was the hand of God." Or as when he conducted his own television program for a year – "The Night of 10" – and did so with amazing brilliance and ease, as if he had spent his life in a studio.

The appointment, unmissable, is this Sunday at 9 am. Gymnastics and Racing play in the platense forest; It is the day "M", that of Maradona's debut in this unexpected new chapter of his legend. Without playing, sitting on a bench next to the field, you will catch more looks than the players themselves. Thousands of people line up to get a ticket, another row is to become a member. They did not hire him to surprise tactically, they took him to harangue the troop and spread the madness to half a million gymnasts. He already did that.

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