UNA FINAL SIN FINAL

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En el año 1978, Boca se consagró bicampeón de la Libertadores, pero no pudo jugar la Copa Intercontinental ya que Liverpool, ganador de la Copa de Europa, desestimó su participación. Años después, los rumores sobre jugar aquella final vuelven a aparecer.

La decimonovena edición de la Copa Libertadores, la de 1978, fue obtenida por uno de los clubes más grandes de aquellos años: el, a partir de ese entonces, bicampeón continental, Boca Juniors. En ese torneo se habían clasificado no solo tres campeones argentinos (Independiente y River fueron los ganadores del Nacional y el Metropolitano del ’77, respectivamente) sino también otros 18 conjuntos latinoamericanos, entre los que se destacaban Sao Paulo, Cerro Porteño, Peñarol y Deportivo Cali.

Al ser campeón vigente, el Xeneize comenzó su nuevo año de Libertadores sin jugar las primeras rondas, avanzando directamente a semifinales. Un guiño del destino quiso que su Grupo A estuviera compuesto por un brasileño, el Atlético Mineiro, y un argentino, un rival, un clásico, un desafío: River Plate. Con la facilidad con la que estas líneas lo retratan, el Xeneize venció al primero por 2 a 1 en la ida (y de visitante) y 3 a 1 en la vuelta (en Argentina). Sin embargo, los partidos con el millonario merecen un apartado destacado: como tantas otras veces, Boca superó sus capacidades.

La épica historia contempla variantes que son dignas de destacar. En décadas donde el clásico favorecía a River, Boca triunfó. En meses donde los futuros campeones del mundo (Ubaldo Fillol, Daniel Passarella y Leopoldo Luque) destilaban buen fútbol, el Xeneize se hizo fuerte de la mano de Hugo Gatti, Roberto Mouzo, Vicente Pernía, Rubén Suñé y Ernesto Mastrángelo. En una Copa donde todo dependía de una victoria de visitante, el equipo de un grande como fue Toto Lorenzo, se hizo gigante y venció al de Ángel Labruna por 2 a 0.

La final con Deportivo Cali se presentaba con orgullo e incertidumbre. Los colombianos se batieron a duelo con Alianza Lima, un conjunto que hacía del gol su obra más frecuente. Por lo que, aunque la victoria no era fácil, la motivación si lo era: la oportunidad de vencer a un gran equipo y pasar a la historia estaba, por segunda vez, en manos de un plantel de muchachos entrenados en cualidades pulidas y manera detallista, tanto en la táctica como en la técnica. En la garra como en el talento.

La ida en el Olímpico Pascual no tuvo nada que ver con la vuelta del 28 de noviembre en La Bombonera. El 0 a 0 con el que se despedían en Cali mutó de manera considerable aquella tarde-noche en La Boca. Fue un 4 a 0 y el bicampeonato ya era un hecho. ¿Los goles? Hugo Perotti (x2), Ernesto Mastrángelo y Carlos Salinas.

Así, con Boca campeón, uno de los máximos exponentes de la política en el club, el señor Alberto J. Armando, se desesperó. Usted dirá, qué raro, ser campeón y vivir en la intranquilidad. Pero sucede que pese al bicampeonato, Boca viviría una situación muy parecida al año anterior: otra vez, Liverpool no podría jugar la Copa Intercontinental. Antes, en 1977, el subcampeón, Borussia Mönchengladbach, accedió a jugar la Copa. Pero en 1978, el subcampeón Brujas desistió de jugar el encuentro.

  • ¿POR QUÉ SE NEGABAN LOS EUROPEOS?

Contextualizando la época se desprenden muchas razones por las que el gigante europeo no habría querido asistir a la cita mundial. La falta de fechas en el calendario, sería la versión oficial. Las disputas entre barras bravas sudamericanos, sería otra. Quizás por eso la Intercontinental se empezó a jugar en Japón a partir de 1980. La intención de evitar reacciones populares a partir de conflictos políticos como el de Malvinas, se perfiló como una de las versiones más rumoreadas de los años posteriores.

Lo cierto es que la final no se jugó y hoy, como aquella vez, la incertidumbre se hace carne con la idea de que se juegue, por fin, en 2015. Es más, el tiempo pasó y una revista magistral como es Un Caño, publicó una nota llamada “La deuda”, donde, en la utopía de que la final sea jugado por aquellos finalistas, se analizaba un factor tan inevitablemente natural como es la edad de la plantilla de aquel equipo en el año corriente. Gatti roza los 70 años y es el mayor, pero luego de más a menos, se destacan Francisco Sá (69), Carlos Veglio (68), Mastrángelo (66), Pernía y Mario Zanabria (65), Jorge Benítez (64), José María Suárez (63), Mouzo y Jorge Ribolzi (61) y Diego Perotti (55). Un promedio de unos 63 años enfrentado al de 61 conseguido por la suma de las edades de Ray Clemence (66), Phil Neal (63), Alan Hansen (59), Peter Thompson (60), Joey Jones (59), Ray Kennedy (63), Kenny Dalglish (63), Jimmy Case (60), David Fairclough (57), Terry McDermott (62) y Graeme Souness (61), todos jugadores de ese gran equipo de Liverpool.

La FIFA aprobó el reciente pedido de AFA y las sedes y fechas no tardaron en aparecer. Sudáfrica y Miami se perfilan como los escenarios más probables en lo que significaría un hecho sin precedentes en la historia del fútbol internacional. Mayo o Junio, como el momento clave de estos encuentros. La disputa se abre un camino con la presencia de jugadores que jamás vivieron una experiencia como esta y con otros que difícilmente la podrían cumplir. Después de 36 años la final sin final podría, al fin, tener su conclusión. Mientras tanto, Boca espera por la confirmación y Armando, desde el cielo, no desespera más.

Por Julián Giacobbe

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About Author

Periodista en proceso. Bielsista. Fútbol y series. Escritura y lectura de todo tipo. Fundador de @deporteinterno.

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