FÚTBOL Y REGGAE, ONE LOVE PARA BOB MARLEY

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El Fútbol llegó a convertirse en el deporte más popular del planeta porque genera y transmite una pasión de tal magnitud que es difícil encontrar en otros ámbitos de la vida. Una de las pocas disciplinas que despierta un sentimiento de amor y pertenencia equiparable es, desde tiempo inmemoriales, la Música. En esta nueva sección nos proponemos abordar y desglosar aquellos casos en que estos dos gloriosos fenómenos sociales encontraron un vértice en común dentro de los intrincados ejes del corazón de sus protagonistas y/o sus fanáticos. La primera entrega tendrá como objeto de estudio la vida de Bob Marley, el máximo exponente del Reggae y la cultura Rastafari; un rebelde que amenazó a los poderes establecidos diseminando a su paso un mensaje de paz y alegría. Y también un joven de los suburbios, de familia pobre, que profesó casi tanta pasión por el Fútbol como por la Música.

El 4 de febrero de 1945, la humilde ciudad de Nine Mile veía nacer al hombre que se alzó desde la miseria para convertirse en mito, y casi religión. Robert Nesta Marley dividió la inmensa mayoría de los días de su juventud entre las grescas callejeras, la música y el fútbol. El amor por el balompié lo acompañó durante toda su existencia, con la peculiaridad de que en su país los niños no anhelan jugar un Mundial, sino correr en los Juegos Olímpicos. Los escuetos antecedentes de la Selección Jamaiquina encuentran su cenit en la participación en Francia 98, en donde cayó por 3-1 ante Croacia y 5-0 ante Argentina, pero se despidió con un triunfo épico por 2-1 contra Japón. Aquel combinado semi milagroso, conducido por el brasileño René Simoes, encarnaba el espíritu guerrero e irreverente que predicó el Rey del Reggae en himnos de liberación como “Get up, stand up” o “Iron, Lion, Zion”. 17 años después, el seleccionado que viste de amarillo fue invitado a disputar su primera Copa América, gracias a su coronación en la Copa del Caribe, y los resultados y el rendimiento del equipo invitaron a sus fanáticos a soñar con unas eliminatorias como aquellas que los llevaron a su única Copa del Mundo, en las que se clasificaron invictos como locales, ganando 8 partidos, empatando 2, y no recibiendo goles en contra.

Bob Marley 1

La escuadra que perdió apenas por 1-0, tanto contra Argentina como contra Uruguay y Paraguay, disputó la Copa América con su corazón envuelto en la novedosa indumentaria diseñada por Cedella, hija mayor de Bob Marley. Evidencia fiel del amor que aún sostiene a flor de piel el pueblo jamaiquino por el líder místico que los dejó en 1981, merced de un melanoma que le fuera descubierto luego de, justamente, un partido de fútbol. Nefasta o precisa, según cómo se la mire, la ironía pinta de cuerpo entero al músico, que corría atrás de una N°5 cada vez que el ajetreado calendario artístico que llevaba adelante con “The Wailers” le concedía unos minutos de libertad. Porque eso representaba el fútbol para el morocho de rastas: libertad. El valor más preciado en su vida, aquel que intentó compartir e inculcar a través de sus canciones y su ideología.

EL RECITAL POR LA PAZ

Hace muchos años que las calles de Kingston no disfrutan de una Selección exitosa, pero aún más años hacen que la Capital caribeña no encuentra un factor de unificación como fue Bob Marley. Corría el año 1978, cuando una Jamaica sumergida en un enfrentamiento político que provocó numerosos conflictos armados, atestiguó boquiabierta el poder de comunión de Marley, quien persuadió al Primer Ministro Michael Manley, del Partido Nacional del Pueblo, y su principal opositor, Edward Seaga, del Partido Laborista de Jamaica, a estrechar sus manos en medio “Jammin”. De esta manera se conformó una escena surreal, sólo capaz de existir en el mundo paralelo del Recital por la Paz. Ese 22 de abril, el Estadio Nacional de Kingston asistió a una llama de esperanza para su país, pero la vida del cantante se extinguió poco tiempo después, y su tierra natal continuó encontrando obstáculos en el camino del progreso.

Centro delantero o volante creativo (según Alan Skill Cole, manager de Bob y crack del fútbol Jamaiquino), Marley profesó una consistente idolatría por Pelé. Fue la camiseta del astro brasileño la que más ansió conseguir, y fue Paulo César Cajú, integrante del Brasil campeón del ´70, quien se la regaló cumpliéndole el sueño, después de un picadito en Río de Janeiro. En la improvisada tumba que debió armarse en Miami -ya que un Bob Marley debilitado por el cáncer no consiguió arribar a Jamaica para morir allí- se atesoraron su guitarra Gibson Les Paul roja, una planta de Cannabis, una Biblia Rastafari, y una pelota de fútbol. Su amor por el fútbol quedó inmortalizado y, aunque su buen gusto sugiere que hubiera disfrutado de observar a varias de las estrellas que se perdió, como Diego Maradona o Lionel Messi, no quedan dudas de que, si aún estuviera entre nosotros, el genio del Reggae ya estaría comprando entradas para poder alentar bien de cerca a la Selección de Jamaica en las Eliminatorias para Rusia 2018.

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Comunicador social antisocial. Inconformista crónico. Profesor de Periodismo Deportivo. Fundamentalista de Messi.

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