EL CAPO DE LA SEXTA

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El 4 de octubre de 1899, en el seno de una humilde familia, nació Gabino Sosa. Con nombre de payador, este gran futbolista del tradicional barrio rosarino “República de la Sexta”, fue el creador de un genial estilo futbolístico. Tan enorme legado fue asumido por cientos de jugadores, que en sucesivas generaciones se encargaron de perfeccionar y enriquecer, hasta convertir el fútbol rosarino en una fuente inagotable de talento, que hoy brilla en el mundo entero.

  • LOS INICIOS

En el potrero del barrio, mezclado con el grupo de niños que le dan a la pelota, había uno que llamó la atención. Era moreno, flacucho, de grandes ojos negros. Impresionaba por su habilidad y picardía. Se llamaba Gabino Sosa. Era un barrio pobre, con calles de tierra y veredas que debían intuirse. Corría el año del centenario de la patria, 1910, y con sólo 11 años, Gabino llevó sus gambetas a la quinta división de Central Córdoba, los Charrúas, el equipo de la zona. Tan sólo 4 años después, con 16 recién cumplidos, le llegó el debut en primera división.

Eran los tiempos del fútbol amateur, aguerrido a la hora del roce y lírico en la concepción del juego. Mientras el mundo se embarcaba en la Primera Guerra Mundial, el joven Gabino crecía en técnica y personalidad. Sus primeros pasos en la primera división Charrúa, los dio jugando como wing izquierdo. En ese primer campeonato, Central Córdoba terminó tercero, detrás de Newell’s y Talleres (luego se pasó a llamar Rosario Central. Poco después, Sosa cambió su posición en la cancha y el ya apodado “payador de la redonda” empezó a moverse en el centro del ataque, o como centroforward, así se lo denominaba entonces.

  • LOS AÑOS DEL HONOR Y LA CAMISETA

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Los registros de época hablaron de un Gabino muy vivo para el juego, con gran capacidad para la gambeta y un encomiable espíritu de sacrificio cuando su equipo lo requería. Rápidamente, se convirtió en un referente insoslayable de Central Córdoba. Capitán y dueño del vestuario, pese a que prácticamente no hablaba. Una entrevista de 1923 para dos revistas santafesinas, nos acercan un poco más, a uno de los primeros ídolos futbolísticos de Rosario:

– ¿En qué team debutó usted?

– En el año 1914 empecé a jugar en la primera división del Club A. Central Córdoba, en cuya temporada nos clasificamos terceros, escoltando a Newell’s Old Boys y a Talleres…

– ¿Recuerda usted algunos de sus compañeros de esa época?

– Algunos, entre ellos a Zárate, el centre forward, Miguel, Márquez, Paz y Dagnino. Yo jugaba de wing izquierdo. Ese mismo año, es decir, 1914, por la Copa Villa le ganamos a Rosario Central por 2 a 1. Jugamos la Copa Caridad, donde fuimos derrotados por 4 a 0. En la Copa Competencia triunfamos nosotros, derrotando a Rosario Central por 1 a 0.

– ¿Alguna vez tuvo retribuciones económicas por jugar?»

– Nunca. Por aquellos tiempos no jugábamos por plata. No conocíamos contratos ni primas. Me trataban tan bien, me querían tanto y yo quería tanto a Central Córdoba que para mí no había otra cosa en el mundo que jugar ahí.

En años de amateurismo, Gabino fue siempre jugador de Central Córdoba, salvo cuando le tocó cumplir con el servicio militar: transcurría el año 1920 y debió trasladarse a Córdoba para incorporarse. Allí se sumó a las filas de Instituto, de esa provincia, club en que dejó muy gratos recuerdos. Las otras ocasiones en las que el payador no lució el azul y rojo, fueron porque vistió las camisetas del seleccionado rosarino o de la Selección Argentina.

copabeccarvarelaCon Central Córdoba se alzó con cuatro títulos de la Asociación Rosarina, época en la que la disputa con los gigantes de Rosario (Central y Newell’s) era palmo a palmo. Y en lo que fue una de las mayores conquistas del club, en 1934 obtuvo la Copa Internacional Adrián Beccar Varela, organizada por la Liga Argentina de Football. Esta fue una asociación disidente de la oficial, que luego se unió con la Asociación Argentina de Football para formar la actual AFA. La edición ganada por los charrúas correspondió al año 1933, y participaron los equipos de las ligas rosarina, santafesina y cordobesa, cuatro clubes uruguayos y los equipos de Primera División de Buenos Aires.

En su paso por la albiceleste, Gabino disputó 14 encuentros, logrando seis goles. Su gran partido fue en octubre de 1926, en el campeonato sudamericano de Chile. En esa inolvidable tarde, le marcó cuatro goles a Paraguay, hecho inédito hasta aquel momento. Después, intervino en la conquista de los sudamericanos de 1927 y 1929.

  • EL PROFESIONALISMO

En los albores de la década del 30 del siglo pasado, Central Córdoba realizó un viaje a Buenos Aires. El motivo del viaje era mostrar jugadores a los equipos porteños. Finalizaba la era amateur y el club podía hacerse de algunos dineros, provenientes del incipiente fútbol rentado. En un partido en el cual perdían por goleada al término del primer tiempo, el único que maravilló con la pelota fue Gabino. Cuando fueron al vestuario, y según los comentarios de la época, el técnico retó a sus jugadores, diciéndoles que así nadie se iba a interesar en ellos. A lo que Sosa, rompiendo su habitual silencio, le respondió: “No les hable de plata. Hábleles de fútbol. Esto es un juego, no un negocio. Y nosotros sólo venimos a jugar, no a negociar». Era evidente que la nueva realidad de este deporte no atraía al histórico Charrúa.

3En 1931 le llegó la hora de firmar su primer contrato, cuando ya llevaba 17 temporadas en la primera división de la institución. Previo a este acontecimiento el payador ya había rechazado varias ofertas, de clubes de Buenos Aires y de Uruguay. Prefirió seguir en el barrio y en su club de toda la vida. En el encuentro con los directivos no quiso hablar de dinero. Firmó su contrato en blanco, y antes de abandonar el lugar, les realizó un pedido: un par de muñecas para sus nenas. Años después, su hija Laruncha, contó que el día que su padre llegó con los juguetes, fue uno de los más felices de su vida. Nunca hasta ese momento habían tenido algo así en el humilde hogar de los Sosa. Luego, el club le entregó un cheque por 400 pesos; era la suma a la que ascendía su sueldo, pero su felicidad no fue el dinero y sí la alegría de sus niñas.

Gabino se retiró en 1938, siendo un ídolo absoluto, por su enorme calidad pero sobre todo por su don de gente. Volvió a la humildad del hogar, que nada más y nada menos, le había sido obsequiada por los hinchas de Central Córdoba.

  • LOS HOMENAJES

El payador de la redonda falleció a los 72 años, un 4 de octubre de 1971. Años antes, vio como el estadio de su amado club fue bautizado con su nombre y apellido. Un más que justo homenaje, que sin embargo, él evaluó como desmedido.

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About Author

56 años, escritor. El fútbol y el rugby, mis pasiones. San Lorenzo de Almagro un sentimiento. Escribir sobre fútbol y sus protagonistas, un oficio que intento aprender día a día.

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