ISCO ANTE LA ESTEPA

62

«El tiki-taka es una mierda, un sucedáneo.
Es pasarse el balón por pasárselo, sin intención ni agresividad».

Pep Guardiola en un extracto de “La Metamorfosis”, de Martí Perarnau

Apenas han pasado 24 horas desde la eliminación de España en los octavos de final del Mundial de Rusia, y todavía resulta difícil creer que quienes vayan a enfrentarse a Croacia por un puesto en la semifinal el próximo sábado vayan a ser los hombres de Stanislav Cherchesov. Sin embargo, analizar la pobre trayectoria de los hombres de Fernando Hierro en el torneo ruso invita a pensar que, tarde o temprano, estaban abocados a estrellarse contra una pared que en esta ocasión llevó el nombre de Akinfeev. Pero bien podía haber sido cualquier otro.

A pesar de que fue ayer cuando España confirmó su salida del Mundial por la puerta de atrás, pocos podrán negar que el equipo que ocho años atrás levantara el trofeo en Sudáfrica empezó a naufragar en el momento en que el Presidente de la Federación, Luis Rubiales, decidió despedir a Julen Lopetegui dos días antes del debut contra Portugal, despechado por que el seleccionador anunciara su incorporación al Real Madrid cuando acabara su participación en la Copa del Mundo. Así, el aleteo de la dimisión de Zidane desencadenó un efecto mariposa que desató un huracán en la concentración española en Krasnodar. Airado por el hecho de que, días antes, Lopetegui hubiera renovado su contrato con la Federación, Rubiales decidió anteponer su propio orgullo a los intereses de un prometedor grupo que con el técnico guipuzcoano en el banquillo se había mantenido invicta durante los dos últimos años. Acto seguido, hizo que Hierro se despojara del traje y se sentara en el banquillo para dirigir a un aturdido grupo de jugadores que veía en Lopetegui a un líder, el hombre que con sus ideas y su renovada energía les había llevado hasta allí.

Y es que en la derrota contra Rusia quedaron al descubierto todos los pecados que han condenado al equipo que, casi con total seguridad, presentaba el mejor y más versátil mediocampo del campeonato. Pero también el más previsible. Al igual que en los tres partidos anteriores, desde el primer momento Isco –que con cuatro Champions League en su currículum jugaba el primer torneo internacional de su carrera– dejó claro que cualquier posibilidad de España iba a pasar por sus botas. Con Asensio –que entró por Iniesta– en la izquierda y Silva a la derecha en la línea de tres mediapuntas del 4-2-3-1 que planteó el técnico andaluz, la falta de fluidez hacía que el centrocampista del Real Madrid tuviera que retrasar su posición para intentar darle continuidad al juego que desde la base iniciaban Piqué y Ramos, ya que ni Busquets -especialmente lento-, ni Koke imprimían dinamismo en un equipo que comenzó a mover el balón en horizontal imitando el movimiento de un péndulo. El problema es que en el partido contra Marruecos Thiago, más efectista que efectivo, tampoco había hecho méritos para ganarse un puesto en la medular española. Sólo las internadas de Jordi Alba buscando la línea de fondo rompían el monótono vaivén de una escuadra sin nervio ni profundidad.

Durante su estadía en Rusia, España tuvo problemas para profundizar e impedir contraataques.

Rusia no tuvo reparos en ceder la iniciativa a su rival. Atento y ordenado, el anfitrión se dedicaba a esperar atrás, con las líneas muy juntas, con el claro objetivo de robar un balón y salir a la contra con el abnegado Samedov o buscando la corpulencia del gigante Dzyuba. En cambio, una falta lateral propició el gol de Ignashevich en propia puerta cuando intentaba impedir el remate de Sergio Ramos, que sabedor de las dificultades que España estaba encontrando para poner en apuros a la zaga rusa, celebró el gol con rabia. A partir de ese momento, los jugadores españoles parecieron darse por satisfechos y se dedicaron a contemporizar el juego a través de una serie de pases que únicamente servían para engordar las estadísticas, pero que rara vez tenían intención de descoser la tala de araña rusa. En este contexto, justo antes del descanso, volvió a florecer otro de los problemas que han lastrado a los muchachos de Hierro: la defensa aérea de las jugadas a balón parado. Dzyuba (194 centímetros) ganó en un salto a Piqué quien, con el brazo extendido, cometió penalti. En su fuero interno, Cherchesov sonreía. Le valía el empate.

Con Costa maniatado, Asensio desaparecido y un Silva errático y apagado, Isco no encontró ningún socio hasta la entrada de Iniesta. Mientras tanto, el ‘22’ español se topaba una y otra vez con una Rusia pertrechada como si de una legión pretoriana se tratara. Por mucho que el malagueño diera otra exhibición plagada de regates, controles y cambios de dirección, los cándidos ataques españoles siempre morían en la pierna de algún defensa ruso. De hecho, al término del partido España paró su contador de pases en más de mil, pero no fue capaz de generar más de tres ocasiones en los 120 minutos que duró el partido. Para entonces, llegar hasta Akinfeev era tan difícil como hacer pasar a un elefante por el hueco de una aguja. Pasaban los minutos y ni Iniesta conseguía agitar su varita ni Iago Aspas sacudió al equipo como se esperaba con su constante movilidad. Únicamente Rodrigo, que ingresó cuando el reloj ya marcaba el tiempo extra, pudo desequilibrar el choque con una magnífica jugada que el meta ruso desvió a córner en lo que fue el preludio de la tanda de penaltis. La España de Hierro enfilaba su particular camino hacia el cadalso.

El talento de Isco no alcanzó para tirar abajo la muralla rusa.

De Gea, inseguro y titubeante desde su error en el gol de Cristiano Ronaldo en el primer partido, tampoco iba a ser el salvador de una generación que, tras haber hecho historia gracias a una identidad y un estilo de juego muy definidos, ayer dio síntomas de agotamiento y de no haber sido capaz de adaptarse a la realidad cambiante de un Mundial que está priorizando la cohesión y la verticalidad. El reto ahora es titánico: renacer de sus cenizas y reinventar el modelo.

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Periodista amante del fútbol vintage y devoto del único emperador romano: Totti. 'Yo creía en Dios porque pensaba que Dios era del Madrid'.

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