LA DÉCADA IMBORRABLE DEL PARMA

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Parma fue declarado en bancarrota, aunque siempre se recordarán sus éxitos en la década del ’90. Con futbolistas jóvenes, alcanzó varios títulos, entre ellos dos copas UEFA. La empresa Parmalat tuvo un rol más que importante en el antagonismo de sus resultados.

El Calcio vivió una realidad de ensueño en las últimas dos décadas del Siglo XX. La competitividad era extrema, muchos equipos contaban con figuras de renombre y la liga pudo configurarse como el certamen europeo de mayor importancia. Más acá en el tiempo, el fútbol italiano ha perdido una plaza europea, los talentos prematuros no tardan en dar el salto a otro país y el nivel no es el mismo. Pero en los ’80 y ’90, la mixtura de estrellas se hizo presente en la bota.

Muchos capitales externos al fútbol se hicieron presente y fueron la plataforma sobre la que se asentaron los equipos. Los casos de Silvio Berlusconi o Massimo Moratti, en Milan e Inter respectivamente, son los más paradigmáticos. Pero también existieron propietarios que provenían de diferentes rubros, como el cine o empresas alimenticias. Una de esas corporaciones que puso su sello en el fútbol fue Parmalat, la compañía de lácteos que llegó a ser líder mundial en la producción de leche.

En paralelo a la positividad de sus números gananciales en base a la elaboración, la empresa decidió colocar su dinero en el club de la ciudad, el Parma. Calisto Tanzi, fundador de Parmalat, condujo los destinos de la institución por varios años y lo hizo crecer exponencialmente. Eran obras de un proyecto, de una evolución promisoria aunque demasiado inmediata, que atraía buenos resultados pero no brindaba seguridades con respecto al futuro. Aún así, tras su primer ascenso a Serie A en 1990, los Gialloblu comenzaron a ser protagonistas en Italia y también de manera internacional.

La multinacional era el principal sustento económico de la ciudad (de menos de 200.000 habitantes), y su aportación de dinero al club hizo que, en su primera temporada en la élite, consiguiera un sexto puesto muy meritorio. Jugadores como Antonio Benarrivo, Tomas Brolin o Faustino Asprilla, recientemente llegado desde Colombia, destacaban en un conjunto que emergía y lograba la clasificación europea a la Copa UEFA.

Nevio Scala fue quién comenzó con la sucesión de éxitos y logró el salto a la primera categoría. Lo hizo al reemplazar a Arrigo Sacchi, que iniciaba un período histórico dirigiendo al Milan. Ya en 1991, Parma lograría alcanzar su primer título, la Coppa Italia, derrotando 1-0 en la final a la Juventus. Cayó ese mismo año en la Supercopa nacional, pero no abandonaría los puestos de vanguardia en la liga. Con el paso de las temporadas, se añadieron jóvenes figuras que se harían un nombre importante en el Ennio Tardini para luego jugar en los equipos más importantes del Viejo Continente.

Las consagraciones internacionales no tardarían en llegar ya que, al curso siguiente, obtuvo la extinta Recopa y la Supercopa de Europa. Alcanzó el tercer puesto en Serie A, ubicación que repetiría en el curso de la 1994/95, cuando además alcanzó el summum de su historia al coronarse en la UEFA. El adversario de aquel encuentro cumbre fue nuevamente la Juve. El Parma agrandaba su palmarés con Roberto Sensini, el portugués Fernando Couto o los italianos Gianfranco Zola y Dino Baggio entre sus filas.

Tiempo más tarde, los días de gloria en territorio de la Emilio-Romaña parecían olvidarse cuando Scala derivó en el Perugia y los grandes clubes compraron a los mejores hombres de la entidad parmesana. Pero Parmalat seguía comandando las riendas de la institución y lograba sacar un gran rédito con las transferencias. Igualmente, más allá del juego desplegado, el club no conseguiría imponerse en ninguna competencia por tres años.

Ex jugador del Parma, Carlo Ancelotti, tomó el cargo de entrenador en 1996, siendo su segunda experiencia en los banquillos tras dirigir un año al Reggina. Sus 24 meses en el club sirvieron como un paradigma de apoyo para Alberto Malesani, quién lo sucedió e hizo que el equipo aparezca otra vez en las primeras planas. Nuevos talentos de los que disponía el director técnico fueron vitales para los títulos que se sumaron luego en cuatro años.

Los jóvenes Gianluigi Buffon y Fabio Cannavaro, el francés Lilian Thuram, Asprilla (retornó luego de hacer escala en el Newcastle) y los argentinos Verón y Crespo conformaron la columna sobre la que el colectivo logró dos copas italianas más, otra supercopa y su segunda Copa UEFA, venciendo al Marsella por 3-0 en 1999. Eran tiempos dorados, la escuadra Crociati había sumado ocho trofeos en una década, luego de ascender por primera vez a Serie A.

De cualquier manera, esas burbujas relucientes comenzaron a desaparecer con la caída de Parmalat, que atravesó grandes agujeros contables. Tanzi, acusado de falsificar cuentas, acabó en la cárcel en 2004. Muchos otros directivos fueron juzgados. Al unísono, Parma, cuyo camino dependía de los destinos de la empresa láctea, empezó a ver derrumbarse sus sueños de continuidad. Con el objetivo de sanear la compañía, vendieron a los mejores futbolistas en cifras exorbitantes.

Enrico Bondi y Tommaso Ghirardi no pudieron asentar al club, que acabó descendiendo en 2008. Pudo subir a la campaña siguiente e incluso clasificar a certámenes de Europa, pero le negaron su plaza por deudas. Parma fue vendido por apenas un euro a empresarios eslovenos. Giampietro Manenti, nuevo presidente, tampoco fue capaz de encarrilar la situación. Los jugadores no cobraron por meses y hasta se suspendieron algunos juegos por no poder abarcar los gastos. El último 19 de marzo, el club fue declarado en bancarrota. Aquellas fotos de la década de 1990 quedan amarillentas, viejas, con el recuerdo de los días memorables que permanecerán inmortales en las retinas de los aficionados.


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Periodismo y fútbol. 24 años, de Roldán.

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