EXPLOSIVIDAD AL SERVICIO DE SANTOS

57
«Marcelino me pidió que trabajara muy duro, que diera el máximo.
Me preguntó dónde me gustaba más jugar. Le dije que en las bandas»

Gonçalo Guedes

 

El día que jugó por primera vez en las categorías inferiores del Benfica, tenía ocho años e hizo nada menos que cinco goles frente a un equipo de chicos que le superaban en edad y físico. Con 17 se estrenó con la camiseta del primer equipo lisboeta y con 20 fichó por un Paris Saint-Germain que no dudó en desembolsar 30 millones de euros para tener en sus filas a una de las mayores promesas de la generación de mediados de los 90. Acostumbrado a romper registros de forma precoz, Gonçalo Guedes (Benavente, 1996) desembarca en el Mundial de Rusia con un papel a priori secundario pero que puede resultar fundamental en el viaje de la vigente campeona de Europa. Y su primer reto no será sencillo.

No es casualidad que el mejor arranque liguero del Valencia en los últimos 70 años coincidiera con la llegada al conjunto ché de Gonçalo Guedes. A pesar de que Marcelino García Toral no pudiera incluirle en el equipo hasta la jornada 3, desde el primer momento se vio que el portugués era el termómetro que iba a marcar la temperatura de un Valencia que llevaba demasiado tiempo a la sombra de Atlético, Sevilla o Villarreal. Moviéndose con libertad por cualquiera de las dos bandas encontró en Rodrigo Moreno –y en menor medida en Santi Mina– a su mejor socio a la hora de asociarse en vertiginosas transiciones que rara vez no desembocaban en una clara ocasión de gol en gol. Mientras Zaza brillaba en el papel boya a la hora de jugar de espaldas y proyectar los espacios, tanto Parejo como Kondogbia comenzaron a interpretar a la perfección los desmarques al espacio y las diagonales partiendo desde la izquierda, a pierna cambiada, del atacante luso. Su primera gran noche llegó en la jornada 9, cuando destrozó al Sevilla con una asistencia y dos goles, el primero de ellos una obra de arte en la que mostró lo mejor de su repertorio: cambio de ritmo, conducción, habilidad para el regate y precisión para poner el balón en la escuadra.

Pese a un comprensible bajón físico en el tramo final de la temporada, nueve asistencias y cinco goles coronan la primera campaña de Guedes en Mestalla, unas cifras que, unidas a su constante influencia en el juego de ataque valencianista, le han abierto un hueco en la lista de Fernando Santos para el Mundial de Rusia. Ahora bien, ¿tiene espacio Guedes en una escuadra como la portuguesa? Históricamente, la de Portugal ha sido una escuela que ha fabricado los mejores extremos de Europa. Desde Simões o Chalana hasta Quaresma o Simão sin olvidar al Cristiano Ronaldo de sus inicios. En un principio, ya sea en un 4-4-2 con un doble pivote, dos bandas abiertas y André Silva formando pareja atacante con Cristiano; o en un 4-3-3 con Adrien Silva reforzando el centro del campo y dejando al actual Balón de Oro como punta del tridente, Guedes debería partir desde el banquillo. Lo cual, dadas sus características físicas, puede no ser una mala opción. Con él, Fernando Santos cuenta con un joker, un recurso diferencial capaz de dinamitar un partido gracias a su explosividad encarando a defensas que ya lleven una hora de partido en sus piernas.

En función de cómo se desarrolle el partido –después de la tormenta desatada con el fichaje de Lopetegui por el Real Madrid y su posterior destitución como seleccionador, España es toda una incógnita–, Fernando Santos podría jugar mañana la carta de Guedes. Especialmente cuando recupere la posesión y tenga la opción de buscar las contras en sus botas y en las de Bernardo Silva. O encarando a un lateral tan ofensivo como Odriozola, que debería ser el sustituto natural del renqueante Carvajal, con tendencia a llegar a línea de fondo y dejar a su espalda unos espacios que deberán cubrir entre Busquets y su pareja en el centro del campo. Ahí es donde el valencianista puede convertirse en la variable que decante el partido a uno u otro lado. Lo que parece un hecho es que, a pesar de que Cristiano Ronaldo vaya a ser la referencia de los lusos, el peligro portugués nacerá en los costados.

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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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