A DIEGO LE CORTARON LAS PIERNAS: USA 1994

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Estados Unidos 1994 resultó inusual por tratarse de un país donde el fútbol no es el deporte más visto, popular ni mucho menos. Aquel Mundial, es recordado por ser el que le cortó las piernas a Diego Armando Maradona y también le quitó la vida a Andrés Escobar. 11 sedes. 6 grupos. 24 sueños. Pero la decimoquinta edición quedó en manos de la Selección de Brasil, ganándole la final por penales a Italia.

  • ¿Cómo estaban formados los grupos?

El Grupo A lo integraban Colombia (firme candidato en ese entonces), Rumania, Suiza y el equipo anfitrión, Estados Unidos. Camerún, Suecia, el Brasil campeón y Rusia eran parte del Grupo B. En el Grupo C se ubicaban Bolivia, Alemania, Corea del Sur y España. En el Grupo D estaba Argentina, integrando un modesto y  accesible grupo junto a Bulgaria, Grecia y Nigeria. En el Grupo Ese ubicaba el equipo que llegó a la final y no pudo apropiarse del trofeo que se pone en juego cada 4 años: Italia. Acompañado de México, Noruega e Irlanda, eran el anteúltimo grupo, ya que quedaba el Grupo F formado por Marruecos, Bélgica, Arabia Sauditay Holanda.

  •  Argentina cayó ante Rumania

Los cruces de Octavos de Final no tenía enfrentamientos atractivos, pero sí tuvo sorpresas: la Selección Argentina fue eliminada por Rumania en un ajustado 3-2. El anfitrión Estados Unidos quedó afuera en manos del fuerte equipo de Brasil, y Bulgaria eliminó a México. Suecia, Holanda, Alemania, España e Italia pasaron de ronda como era de prever, dejando en el camino a Arabia Saudita, Irlanda, Bélgica, Suiza y Nigeria respectivamente.

  • Holandeses y españoles, out

En los Cuartos, Suecia hizo historia y clasificó a la Semifinal eliminando a Rumania a través de la definición por penales. En un partido duro, Brasil supo dar otro paso hacia lo que más tarde sería el título, y le ganó a Holanda por un apretado 3-2. Por su parte, Bulgaria dio la sorpresa de los Cuartos, eliminando a los alemanes y clasificando a las Semis que más tarde perdería en manos de Italia, quien dejó afuera a España en Cuartos en otro partido entre potencias futbolísticamente hablando.

  • Semis sin sorpresas

En las Semifinalesse enfrentaban Suecia – Brasil y Bulgaria – Italia. En ambos partidos no ocurrieron sorpresas y, como era de esperarse, Brasil e Italia jugaron la Final ganada por los brasileños, siendo la primera en la historia que se definió a través de los 11 pasos.

  • La final

Pero más allá de lo netamente futbolístico, el Mundial de Estados Unidos 1994 se caracterizó por dos hechos puntuales: la posterior muerte del colombiano Andrés Escobar, y el doping de Diego Armando Maradona.

Andrés Escobar fue un defensor que jugaba en el seleccionado colombiano, equipo que fracasó rotundamente en la competición. En el partido frente a los locales, convirtió un gol en contra, siendo derrota para Colombia por 2-1. Tras la eliminación y el posterior arribo a su país, Escobar recibió 12 balazos a la salida de un restaurante. El homicida, Humberto Muñoz Castro, fue capturado pero liberado tiempo después. Además de este acontecimiento que llevó a la muerte de Andrés Escobar, hubo otro jugador que recibió amenazasdurante la competición: Gabriel Jaime “Barrabás” Gómez. Luego de la derrota en el partido inaugural, al volante le aseguraron que si volvía a pisar una cancha le pondrían una bomba en su casa en la ciudad de Medellín, donde se encontraba su familia. En consecuencia de estas amenazas, Gómez decidió retirarse del fútbol profesional dejando un triste mensaje: “Estoy muy triste, después de 17 años de carrera abandono el fútbol. Tengo miedo por mi familia. No puedo más”
Pero, a pesar de la muerte de un jugador, el hecho que caracterizó a este Mundial fue otro: Diego Armando Maradona fue expulsado de la competencia por la FIFA, ya que se le detectó un doping positivo de efedrina en su análisis de orina. Luego de esto, el “10” puso fin a su carrera con la Selección. “No me drogué, me cortaron las piernas”, fueron las declaraciones de Maradona que hasta el día de hoy se recuerdan con emotividad en suelo argento.
Muchas hipótesis y versiones se escucharon acerca de qué había consumido: desde gotas nasales hasta un bloqueador para la cocaína. Lo cierto es que después de este acontecimiento, Diego Armando Maradona no jugó más para la Selección Argentina. El conjunto dirigido por Alfio Basile sufrió aquel duro golpe y cayó eliminado en manos de Rumania.

Lo cierto, es que en Argentina pocos recuerdan al ganador de aquel mundial. En el imaginario colectivo, la máxima cita futbolística de aquel año es recordada con tristeza y melancolía. No es para menos. A nuestro Dios le cortaron las piernas.

Agus Miguez
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El fútbol de otra manera.

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