SINÓNIMO DE GOL

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La imagen de Corea y Japón sigue vigente en todos los futboleros argentinos. El llanto de muchos jugadores tras la eliminación en primera ronda. Uno de ellos era Batistuta, quien terminó el choque vs Suecia en el banco de suplentes, y tras el silbatazo final, sabía que no tendría más minutos en una Copa del Mundo. No era una buena despedida para el máximo goleador de Argentina en Mundiales.

Su debut en Primera División se dio con la camiseta de Newell’s en 1987. Con «La Lepra» marcó 9 goles y coincidió con el gran paso de Marcelo Bielsa como entrenador. «Cuando Bielsa llegó yo no era nada», declaró ‘Bati’ además de confesar que debió adelgazar para poder tener opciones en el primer equipo. En sus inicios, el goleador ya mostraba su instinto, buena ubicación en el área, pero sobre todo, una potencia espectacular que le permitía caer a los costados y seguir siendo útil al equipo. Eran sus primeras armas en un plantel que tenía entre sus principales figuras a Gerardo Martino.

Para la Temporada 1989-90, Batistuta pasó a River Plate, pero el entrenador Daniel Passarella no le dio las oportunidades que se esperaban. En su estadía en Nuñez, se colgó una medalla de campeón pero sólo convirtió 4 goles, antes de cruzarse de vereda para jugar en Boca Juniors. En el club de la Ribera, el entrenador Carlos Aimar lo situaba por la banda derecha del ataque. Con la llegada de Oscar Tabárez a la conducción técnica, ‘Bati’ volvió a su hábitat natural: el área. Formó una gran sociedad con Diego Latorre, y marcó 19 goles en 37 partidos. Fue el goleador (11 tantos) del Clausura 1990 que Boca se adjudicó, pero el Xeneize cayó por penales en la Final ante Newell’s. Uno de sus partidos recordados fue ante River en El Monumental, por la Copa Libertadores: marcó un doblete que le dio el 2-0 al Xeneize.

Al cierre de aquella temporada, Alfio Basile lo convocó para jugar la Copa América 1991, disputada en Chile. Cumplió con creces: fue el máximo goleador del certamen con 6 tantos, y la Albiceleste se consagró campeón. Tras aquel logro, fue vendido a Fiorentina, que jugaba en Serie B. Tenía sólo 21 años, ya había jugado en los dos grandes del país y obtenido un título con la Selección. Su paso por la Fiore comenzó de la mejor manera: 14 goles en la Temporada 1991/92, 19 en la 92/93 y 21 en la 93/94. Esta última significó por el ascenso a la Serie A. En el medio, en 1993 había viajado a Ecuador para disputar otra vez la Copa América: Argentina volvió a ser campeón y Batistuta marcó dos goles en la Final ante México (2-1).

Su primera temporada en la Serie A significó la antesala al Mundial de Estados Unidos 1994. En su primer partido, marcó un hat-trick a Grecia. Luego, volvió a marcar en Octavos de Final, en la eliminación ante Rumania, ya sin Maradona en el equipo. En su regreso a Italia siguió rompiendo redes. El fútbol de aquel país le quedaba perfecto. Su potencia daba a Fiorentina un plus que le permitió conquistar dos titulos locales en 1996: Coppa Italia y Supercopa.

La revancha mundialista llegaría en Francia 1998. Argentina, conducida por Passarella, tenía un plantel repleto de figuras, pero chocó contra Holanda y la mala suerte en cuartos de final. El rosarino, en 5 partidos, marcó 5 goles. Tras otra decepción, jugó dos temporadas más en Fiorentina. Sus números finales en aquel club explican el mote de ídolo que mantendrá por siempre: 207 goles en 332 partidos. Su nivel era superlativo y Batigol anhelaba conquistar la Serie A. Por eso emigró a Roma. En su primera temporada en el gigante romano, cumplió su objetivo y gritó campeón tras aportar 20 goles en 28 partidos para el Scudetto. Jerarquía pura. Al mismo tiempo, deslumbraba con la Selección en las Eliminatorias rumbo al Mundial 2002. Una aventura de la que ya mencionamos el final. En Marzo de 2005, tras un breve paso por Inter de Milán y dos temporadas en el fútbol de Qatar, Batistuta anunció su retiro. Tenía 35 años, y llevaba cuatro temporadas conviviendo con lesiones. Aún a día de hoy, los dolores le aquejan; Mientras tanto, el pueblo argentino esboza una alegría cada vez que oye su nombre.

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1994. Si no rueda una pelota me siento incompleto. Cuando sea grande diré que vi jugar a Messi. Disfruto de leer y escribir.

70 comentarios

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  3. Pingback: Stábile, el filtrador de Parque Patricios

  4. Pingback: Basile, el último campeón con la Selección Mayor

  5. Pingback: La Copa esquiva

  6. Pingback: Aarón Wergifker, el brasilero que jugó para la Selección Argentina

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