EL REGRESO DE HOLANDA A LOS PRIMEROS PLANOS

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Holanda lo consiguió: estará en el Final Four de la UEFA Nations League, a pesar de ser emparejada en su grupo con Alemania y Francia, las últimas dos selecciones en levantar la Copa del Mundo.

Después de lo que fue el gran Mundial de Brasil 2014, Holanda estuvo ausente de la Eurocopa 2016 y de Rusia 2018, en una muestra de que fueron cuatro años difíciles para el país que vio brillar a Johan Cruyff. No obstante, de todo se aprende y el fútbol siempre trae revanchas, nuevas competiciones para los que prepararse. La incipiente UEFA Nations League sirvió a Holanda para buscar una nueva forma de competir ante selecciones de primer nivel.

Ya sin figuras de peso como Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie, Holanda debió iniciar la renovación, y el elegido para llevarla a cabo fue Ronald Koeman. Con la tarea de dar paso a nuevas figuras y hallarle sitio al buen momento de otras piezas, el ex entrenador de Everton comenzó con un intento por darle seguridad a su bloque defensivo. Mientras los países se enfocaban en Rusia 2018, Holanda le propinaba un 3-0 a Portugal de visita, igualaba ante Italia o superaba a Perú. En estos encuentros, se priorizó el orden sin pelota, desde la firmeza de su nuevo capitán Virgil van Dijk junto al joven prometedor Matthijs de Ligt. Una vez dados los primeros pasos hacia esa seguridad, el objetivo fue detectar un escenario favorable para atacar. Allí, Memphis Depay y el histórico Ryan Babel marcaron el camino a pura velocidad, movimientos interiores y también con cercanía al resto del equipo.

De hecho, así comenzó Holanda su camino en la UEFA Nations League. Ante Francia, los de Koeman priorizaron no dar lugar a los contraataques mortales del último campeón Mundial. No obstante, aquel día también se alineó entre los titulares Frenkie de Jong, quien sea quizás el talento holandés que más ilusión genera en estos últimos años. A su alrededor, futbolistas más acostumbrados a la tenencia, como Daley Blind o Davy Propper; o al ritmo y la velocidad, como Tete, Wijnaldum, Promes y los ya mencionados Depay y Babel. Aunque Holanda pudo dañar y la jerarquía del rival ameritaba un fútbol sin tanta posesión, la naturaleza de sus futbolistas pedía otra cosa. Y Koeman tomó nota.

Holanda discutió la posesión de igual a igual ante Alemania, y tras conseguir la ventaja gracias a Van Dijk, sí pudo sacar a relucir toda su velocidad para atacar espacios abiertos. Fue un 3-0 que devolvió la certeza de competitividad, y aunque los de Joachim Low bien pudieron igualar el partido, la Naranja demostró que tenía formas para competir y futbolistas a los qué aferrarse. La demostración llegó en estas últimas jornadas de UEFA Nations League: como local, Holanda ganó con autoridad por 2-0 a Francia. Fue De Jong la figura del encuentro, pero en todas sus líneas del 4-3-3, los de Koeman mostraron concepto, seguridad y soltura.

La dupla que conforman De Ligt y Van Dijk es dificil de superar desde el físico; ambos están llenos de energía y fortaleza para disputar cada pelota, pero también están acostumbrados a cuidar la pelota como indica el manual de la vieja escuela holandesa. A esta premisa se suman el arquero Jasper Cillessen y el mencionado De Jong, quien está en carpeta del Barcelona y aún debe definir en qué posición del campo se siente más cómodo. Ha ocupado el puesto de marcador central, el de mediocentro y el de interior, pero las certezas están más en sus condiciones que en su demarcación: el joven del Ajax disfruta acercándose a la pelota para alargar la cadena de pases, acercar a sus compañeros, llevar al equipo al campo contrario; sabe encontrar el espacio para recibir libre y perfilado. Marten de Roon y Georginio Wijnaldum han sabido ser sus laderos, con el de Liverpool moviéndose más en vertical e incluso yendo a presionar unos metros más arriba, haciendo que el dibujo por momentos pase de 4-3-3 a 4-2-3-1.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6xk4mz

Y en ataque, Holanda ha buscado al tercer integrante del tridente. Con Babel y Depay asentados y llenos de confianza, Steven Bergwijn y Quincy Promes han intentado adueñarse del puesto de extremo. Justamente, el futbolista del Sevilla fue quien acercó a los suyos a la clasificación, con un gran gol que sirvió para descontar ante Alemania, en un partido donde los momentos de predominancia futbolística fueron casi siempre de los germanos. Aún así, la Orange sacó a relucir el carácter de una generación deseosa de volver al primer plano. El agónico gol de Van Dijk hizo el deseo realidad. Holanda está de nuevo. Y tiene material para dar que hablar.

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1994. Si no rueda una pelota me siento incompleto. Cuando sea grande diré que vi jugar a Messi. Disfruto de leer y escribir.

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  3. Pingback: Frenkie de Jong, el próximo mediocampista dominante

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