LA TRÁGICA HISTORIA DE ESCOBAR

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La historia de la participación de la Selección de Colombia en el Mundial del ’94 es un hecho trágico, no solo por el pobre resultado deportivo sino por la muerte de uno de los emblemas del equipo: Andrés Escobar. La historia de un equipo que daba para mas y una afición que no soportó la derrota, con un triste final.

El equipo colombiano dirigido por Francisco «Pacho» Maturana, fue la sensación en el continente durante las Eliminatorias para el Mundial, ganando muchos partidos y desplegando un hermoso fútbol. Una selección que se hizo desde abajo, con mucho sacrificio y humildad. «El que la tiraba afuera no jugaba» recordaban muchas veces los jugadores. Entre los integrantes del plantel estaban Mauricio «Chicho» Serna, Óscar Córdoba, Faryd Mondragón, y el más importante por su juego y su carisma: Carlos «el pibe» Valderrama.

Los partidos pasaron y el público colombiano se enamoró de su selección, comenzaron a colmar los estadios de euforia y felicidad, y a creer en el equipo: creer que no era imposible clasificar y hacer un buen papel. La frutilla del postre fue el último partido del grupo A, cuando en el histórico Estadio Monumental, vencieron a la Argentina por 5 a 0, sellando su pasaje a Estados Unidos, y obligando al local a disputar un repechaje contra Australia. Tras ese partido, en Colombia solo se pensaba en el Mundial.

Luego de varios meses, finalmente la cita mundialista llegó: el equipo «Cafetero» integró el grupo A junto al local Estados Unidos, Rumania y Suiza. El primer partido fue contra los rumanos, y a pesar de haber hecho un excelente partido y llegar en varias ocasiones al área rival, sus contrincantes fueron más efectivos y se quedaron con el encuentro con un sólido 3-1. Todos esperaban ganar ese partido y reinaba un clima de desolación, pero sabían que tenían que jugar todo al segundo partido para seguir con chances. Antes del siguiente encuentro ocurrió un hecho nefasto. Amenazaron al técnico con que si ponía en el equipo a Gabriel Gómez, estallaría una bomba. Maturana discutió esto largo rato con sus ayudantes y el plantel y decidieron que se vaya de la concentración a una playa con su familia y vigilancia policial. «No iban a poner una bomba.  El que lo hace no amenaza, el que amenaza no hace. Pero no podíamos saber» recordó «Pacho» en un documental.

El segundo partido contra Estados Unidos se disputó con gran nerviosismo y antes de los 10 minutos Colombia se vio abajo en el marcador por una jugada desafortunada en la que el arquero y el defensor central Andrés Escobar no se hablaron y el zaguero la terminó metiendo en su propio arco. Luego hubo otros dos goles pero finalizó 2 a 1 a favor de los locales, finalizando así también la participación colombiana en el torneo, a pesar de la victoria en el tercer partido.

Cuando llegó el momento de retornar a Colombia, le advirtieron a Escobar que le sería conveniente esperar un tiempo más para volver, pero de todas maneras el defensor decidió hacerlo con el resto del plantel. El 2 de julio acudió a una discoteca, un grupo de hombres lo reconoció y lo culpó por la eliminación. 6 tiros le quitaron la vida. Su funeral tuvo tratamiento de jefe de estado y acudieron 120 mil personas. Andrés Escobar (1967-1994) fue un jugador de fútbol colombiano que jugaba de marcador central.

Apodado «el caballero del fútbol», supo defender las camisetas de Atlético Nacional, BSC Young Boys de Suiza y la Selección de Colombia, habiendo ganado 1 Liga en 1991, la Copa Libertadores en 1989 y la Copa Interamericana en 1990, todo con su querido Atlético Nacional. Con Colombia disputó dos mundiales: Italia 1990 y Estados Unidos 1994. Marcó un gol histórico en un amistoso jugado en Wembley. Actualmente, es muy recordado por el pueblo colombiano y especialmente por los hinchas del Atlético Nacional, especialmente con su frase célebre «la vida no termina aquí».

Si bien nunca se pudo corroborar el nexo entre el asesinato de Andres y el narcotráfico, siempre se creyó que fue parte del contexto en que la venta de drogas, las apuestas y la violencia marcaron una época oscura en el ámbito deportivo y social de Colombia.

«YO CREO QUE AL POBRE ANDRÉS ESCOBAR LO MATÓ EL FANATISMO, DIRÍA EL FUNDAMENTALISMO DE LAS BESTIAS ALIMENTADOS POR AQUELLOS QUE CREEN SER LOS DUEÑO DE LAS GENTES«Eduardo Galeano. «ÉL DESEABA DAR PAZ Y AMOR A LOS NIÑOS. SE NOS FUE ENTRE LLANTOS DE LA GENTE QUE DÍAS ANTES LO MALDECÍA POR UN AUTOGOL QUE LE ROBÓ SU VIDA. FILOSOFÍA ENVUELTA EN BRUMA.

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Estudiante de Historia en la UBA. A veces oficio de periodista. Hincha y socio de Argentinos Juniors.

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