GERVINHO, EL REBELDE

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Como les pasa a tantos chicos que sueñan con ser futbolistas, los padres de Gervais Yao Kouassi (27/05/1987) no querían saber nada con que su hijo se dedicara a patear la pelota de cuero. Nacido en Ányama, Costa de Marfil, para sus progenitores la prioridad era ir a una escuela y estudiar con el utópico pretexto de ‘ser alguien’. Hoy en día los fanáticos del fútbol marfileños agradecen que aquel niño desoyera las órdenes, porque sino nunca hubieran visto en acción a Gervinho.

El primer paso del veloz delantero africano fue anotarse en la academia del ex futbolista francés Jean-Marc Guillou, para luego pasar a la prestigiosa cantera del ASEC Abidjan, donde compartió equipo con figuras como Yaya Touré y Didier Zokorá. Según contó Gervinho, en esos tiempos fue que recibió el apodo con el que hoy en día se lo conoce: su entrenador, de nacionalidad brasileña, vio que tenía una gran facilidad para amagar y correr a gran velocidad, y por eso decidió llamarlo como a muchos jóvenes de Brasil. Lo que pocos saben es que durante ese tiempo ya tenía seudónimo, pero aún no ocupaba su puesto actual en el campo de juego, ya que se desempeñaba como volante.

Tras cinco años en el ASEC, comenzaría la escalada en su carrera gracias a los convenios de esta misma institución. El primer paso fue el Toumondi FC de la segunda división de su país, aunque su explosión se vería recién en el KSK Beveren de Bélgica, donde lograría convertir 15 tantos en 66 partidos, repartidos en dos temporadas entre 2006 y 2007. De esta forma, el mundo era testigo de un imparable joven de 20 años que si bien no tenía la mejor de las definiciones, lograba pasar a cualquier defensor que se le pusiera adelante con tan solo correr.

Por este motivo llamaría la atención de Rudi García, entrenador especial para su carrera. Así, llegaría el turno para ser dirigido por primera vez por el español, en esta ocasión en el Le Mans de Francia. Allí se daría el lujo de recibir las miradas de los importantes y de seguir marcando goles. En total, vistió la camiseta roja durante dos temporadas, en las que marcó 14 goles en 67 partidos. Sin embargo, cuando se pensaba que llegaba su oportunidad de saltar a un grande europeo, su pase se lo llevó el Lille del mismo país, dirigido por el mismo Rudi, por casi 8 millones de euros. Pero su estadía en Les Dogues solo acrecentaría su figura, ya que sería vital en el plantel que obtuvo la Ligue 1 en la temporada 2010/11 (luego de 57 años de sequía) y la Copa de Francia ese mismo año (56 años después) con 15 tantos en 35 encuentros (un promedio de un gol cada tres partidos). En el medio, logró también formar parte del combinado de Costa de Marfil que viajó al mundial de Sudáfrica 2010, aunque no tuvo buenas actuaciones y se volvió sin marcar.

Esa fue la gota que rebalsó el vaso y el 2011 sí fue el año en el que Gervinho llegó a las grandes ligas. Pedido por Arsène Wenger, tras la doble corona llegó al Arsenal de Inglaterra por 12 millones de euros. Agobiado por un sistema distinto al que acostumbraba en Francia, y sin poder lucir en demasía su velocidad, Gran Bretaña sería su infierno. Aun marcando algunos goles (10 en 59 partidos), su paso por el equipo londinense sería más recordado por haber sido expulsado en su debut liguero y por una sequía de 6 meses sin perforar la red contraria. Así, duraría apenas dos temporadas en este país antes de ser puesto en lista de transferencias.

Pero para salvarlo, aparecería de nuevo su director técnico favorito. Por el llamado de Rudi, en 2013 sería vendido a la Roma por 8 millones de euros. Ya en Italia, Gervinho recibió elogios del legendario Francesco Totti: «Con mejor definición estaría a la altura de Cristiano Ronaldo». El marfineño anotó 9 goles en 33 encuentros, demostrando que lentamente volvía a reencontrarte con si mismo. Además, tuvo un brillante Mundial de Brasil 2014 (2 tantos en 2 apariciones aun siendo suplente, lo que no pudo hacer que su selección pasara la primera ronda). En la actualidad, es titular indiscutido en el conjunto italiano, que a traves de su desparpajo y velocidad, intenta pelearle el Scudetto a la Juventus.

Hoy Gervinho es una figura global, ya que llevó aquella rebeldía frente a sus padres al campo de juego. ¿Qué hubiera pasado si seguía las órdenes y abandonaba el fútbol? Esa pregunta no tiene una respuesta clara, pero algo es seguro: los marfileños y la mayoría de los hinchas de los clubes por los que pasó, agradecen el amor por la pelota y la negativa inicial a los mandatos familiares de este rebelde con causa.

Lisandro Machado.
@Licha666
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About Author

Estudiante de periodismo en ETER. Bilardista hasta el cajón. Futuro DT antifútbol.

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