EL REGRESO DEL «LEÓN GUARANÍ»

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Haedo Valdez, el ídolo paraguayo que recorrió el mundo antes de debutar en la primera de su país, volvió a su tierra después de 16 años para jugar en Cerro Porteño, el club de sus amores.

“Salí con 15 años de mi casa y viví dos años debajo de las graderías de la cancha de Tembetary. De allí me fui a Alemania sin saber hablar bien en español, solamente hablaba en guaraní”.

El idioma guaraní, muchas veces reivindicado por la prensa internacional como “arma secreta” de los equipos paraguayos para despistar a sus rivales como sucedió con el tanto de tiro libre de José Luis Chilavert en 1996 contra Argentina, es el lenguaje materno de los futbolistas de ese país, en su mayor parte de origen humilde, como la mayoría de los jugadores sudamericanos. Razón por la que muchos de ellos en principio no cuentan con tanta familiaridad con el castellano, su segundo dialecto oficial, como es el caso de Nelson Haedo Valdez, uno de los últimos ídolos de la selección albirroja.

Resultado de imagen para FRANCIA 1 PARAGUAY 0 1998

Esta típica historia de vida y superación comenzó con el primer gol de oro de la historia de los mundiales, y la eliminación de Paraguay en Francia 1998 ante la selección anfitriona que contaba entre sus filas con un tal Zinedine Zidane. Por aquél entonces, una madre paraguaya lloró tras el agónico gol de Laurent Blanc, y su hijo le prometió que jugaría al fútbol de manera profesional. Una promesa que se tomaría muy en serio el “León guaraní”, hombre de firmes convicciones que no cedería ante los problemas que se le presentarían en el camino, como cuando tuvo que vivir debajo de las tribunas de madera del modesto estadio de Tembetary, club del ascenso de su país.

Resultado de imagen para HAEDO VALDEZ BREMENEn su primera experiencia en la capital, no solo tuvo que soportar la falta de recursos económicos, sino también con el mal carácter del presidente del club, Epifanio Rojas, un empresario millonario con fama de loco con el que solía discutir por sus reclamos cuando los resultados eran adversos. A pesar de las dificultades, Haedo Valdéz tuvo la oportunidad de probar suerte en el futbol alemán gracias a la recomendación de la esposa paraguaya del mandamás del Werder Bremen.

Viajó sólo y sin más equipaje que unas bolsas de supermercado para guardar sus cosas. Llegó al lugar gracias a la azafata del avión que lo guió a destino y una vez a prueba marcó cuatro goles en el primer partido amistoso. Su juego aguerrido tan identificado a la idiosincrasia del futbol guaraní que lo llevó a afirmar en más de una ocasión que “el paraguayo nunca se rinde”, les gustó a los alemanes del Bremen y logró quedarse, con todo el desafío que significaba eso para un chico de 17 años que vivió casi toda su vida en su humilde San Joaquín. A partir de entonces recorrió el mundo desde España hasta Rusia, Emiratos Árabes, Grecia y Estados Unidos, último lugar que conoció antes de regresar a su tierra para cumplir su sueño de jugar para Cerro Porteño en su nuevo estadio.La meta de lograr la Copa Sudamericana y la promesa de disputar clásicos calientes contra Roque Santa Cruz, su amigo y otra ex figura albirroja que también volvió el año pasado para jugar en Olimpia, el rival de siempre.

Imagen relacionada

Con 33 años y después de 16 temporadas en el exterior, Haedo Valdéz jugará por primera vez en la Primera División de su país, ya que se fue a Europa antes de debutar. Ahora ya no sólo habla guaraní, también domina el alemán, polaco e inglés, y está casado con una alemana que lo acompaña todos los fines de semana al Defensores del Chaco cada vez que juega en “el Ciclón” del Barrio Obrero de Asunción del que es hincha desde chico, cuando era pobre y no tenía dónde vivir después de cada entrenamiento. Será por eso que nunca perdió la humildad y no olvidó sus orígenes. A sabiendas de que se trata de una figura de renombre, siempre que puede Haedo Valdéz defiende su idioma ante los que critican su uso cotidiano. Además de su garra dentro del campo de juego y su espíritu de lucha, también posee un gran corazón que no olvida su pasado, por lo que es dueño junto a su esposa de una fundación que ayuda diariamente a chicos carenciados de su pueblo. Un ejemplo de vida para miles de fanáticos que lo vieron disputar dos mundiales y continúan su admiración en la que puede ser la última aventura del león guaraní que recorrió el mundo.

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Estudiante de periodismo en la UNLZ. Se juega como se vive. Un, dos, tres y a lo que salga. Que gane San Lorenzo.

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