BOCA BICAMPEÓN: UN PREMIO A LA REGULARIDAD

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Boca sufrió hasta el final pero empató 2-2 ante Gimnasia en La Plata y se consagró bicampeón del fútbol argentino. La regularidad, el buen juego que mostró en el primer semestre y el plantel de jerarquía fueron los puntos claves de la conquista, mientras que Cristian Pavón destacó como la gran figura.

Boca fue un justo campeón. No hubo otro equipo que tuviera su regularidad ni que haya amagado a disputarle la punta en algún momento. Estuvo primero durante todo el torneo gracias a una gran actuación en la primera parte, en la que desplegó un gran juego con Darío Benedetto (9 goles en 9 partidos) y Fernando Gago como figuras, pero también con buenos partidos en lo colectivo. Ya sin la presión de lograr un título, luego de consagrarse en el campeonato 2016/2017, el equipo se liberó y demostró que tenía más jerarquía que la mayoría de sus rivales. Los refuerzos (Paolo Goltz, Edwin Cardona y Nahitán Nández) se acoplaron rápidamente. Cristian Pavón, Wilmar Barrios, Pablo Pérez, Frank Fabra, Leonardo Jara y Lisandro Magallán mantuvieron su buen nivel y en ese semestre se vio lo mejor en cuanto a funcionamiento en lo que lleva el ciclo de Guillermo Barros Schelotto. La defensa había mejorado, el juego en el medio era muy fluido y los delanteros hacían lo suyo. Además, otra virtud era que en los días en los que no se jugaba bien, también se lograba la victoria. Así, ganó los primeros ocho partidos del torneo, incluyendo el Superclásico en el Monumental, y parecía encaminarse a una segura consagración, ya que no se vislumbraban otros equipos capaces de pelearle mano a mano. Algunos de los candidatos estaban disputando torneos internacionales y el Xeneize lo aprovechó a la perfección. Pero esa tranquilidad duró poco. Boca, que ya venía dando muestras de una merma en el rendimiento, sufrió dos bajas fundamentales: Gago se lesionó contra Perú jugando para la Selección y Benedetto ante Racing. La recuperación de ambos demandaría más de seis meses. Era hora de que apareciera el resto del plantel para demostrar que el equipo era más que una suma de buenas individualidades. Luego de dos derrotas consecutivas -antes había quedado eliminado de la Copa Argentina, se recuperó sobre el final y logró terminar el año puntero, con tres puntos de ventaja sobre el San Lorenzo que ya dirigía Claudio Baggio.

El mercado de pases era fundamental, no solo para mantener la ventaja en la Superliga sino también para los dos principales objetivos del equipo en el año: la Copa Libertadores y la Supercopa Argentina. Volvió Carlos Tevez, lo que parecía ser ideal para suplir la jerarquía perdida. Se sumó Ramón Ábila como reemplazo de Benedetto. Emanuel Reynoso llegó para mejorar esa circulación de pelota que se había perdido; además, Julio Buffarini y Emmanuel Mas en busca de variantes en los laterales. La contracara fue que se perdió mucho tiempo negociando por Gustavo Gómez, quien no terminó llegando, lo que produjo que no se incorporara ningún central ante la falta de un plan B por parte del cuerpo técnico. Agustín Rossi había tenido un buen nivel, por lo que no llegó un arquero aunque muchos pedían a un hombre de más experiencia para la Copa Libertadores.

El primer semestre del 2018 fue discreto para Boca. Aún así, la gran ventaja ya mencionada, algunos partidos que ganó por la jerarquía de sus figuras o con goles sobre la hora, el gran nivel de Pavón y la ineficacia de sus rivales le permitieron mantenerse en la punta hasta el final. El inicio fue bueno, con 10 puntos sobre 12, aunque sin mantener el nivel del año anterior. Hubo algunos cambios de esquema, ya que en algunas ocasiones siguió el 4-3-3 con Tevez de nueve -metió un par de goles importantes- y en otras se pasó a un 4-2-3-1 con el ex Juventus de mediapunta, detrás de Walter Bou o de Wanchope. Ninguna opción convenció demasiado.

Ya con doble competencia, lo que se sumó al durísimo golpe por perder la Supercopa ante River, el nivel empezó a bajar más. Hubo muchos problemas físicos -se apeló poco a la rotación-, el equipo perdió el funcionamiento y la mayoría de los rendimientos individuales bajaron considerablemente. La defensa empezó a ser permeable y también los rivales neutralizaron con facilidad al mediocampo, a excepción de algunos buenos pero poco frecuentes pasajes de Reynoso. Pavón fue el gran sostén de Boca en toda la recta final: el siete fue clave en prácticamente todos los puntos que sacó el equipo, y pareció no haber otros recursos en ataque. Barrios también fue fundamental -cuando faltó, se notó mucho-, y Ábila terminó siendo muy importante con algunos goles y asistencias. Talleres de Córdoba tuvo una buena racha y se ilusionó con pelearle el torneo a Boca, pero el 2-1 en La Bombonera lo dejó prácticamente sin chances. Las dos derrotas seguidas, ante Defensa y Justicia e Independiente, le dieron la chance de arrimarse al sorprendente Godoy Cruz, pero las victorias ante Newell’s y Unión sentenciaron la historia, permitiendo que con el empate ante Gimnasia alcanzara para sumar la estrella número 67.

Sin dudas este Boca no será recordado como el mejor ganador de un torneo o por el buen juego. Además, el semestre quedará marcado por la derrota ante River en la Supercopa y por los problemas que tuvo (tiene) en la fase de grupos de la Libertadores. El hincha siente una deuda en los partidos importantes, pero de lo que no hay dudas es que a pesar de todo esto, Boca fue el mejor de la Superliga; por eso logró estar puntero todo el campeonato y consagrarse con una fecha de anticipación. Hubo otros buenos equipos, pero a pesar de tener rachas positivas, no fueron consistentes en el tiempo, por no tener la jerarquía que tiene el equipo de Guillermo o porque los cambios de técnicos llegaron tarde. Nadie podrá discutir los merecimientos del campeón, cuya gran virtud, además del gran plantel, fue la regularidad.

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