Eran tiempos donde Torneos y Competencias aún tenía la posibilidad de transmitir los partidos del torneo local. En un contexto así, ese 2009 fue atípico para los años venideros, no sólo por los cambios estructurales que sufrió el fútbol argentino sino también por el nacimiento de una camada de jugadores que daría que hablar.

Uno de ellos venía de lejos. San José de Cúcuta fue el sitio que vio nacer un 12 de julio de 1991 a James Rodríguez. Su padre, Wilson James, fue un futbolista profesional que tuvo el gusto de integrar el club de su ciudad, Cúcuta Deportivo, y también equipos como Independiente de Medellín y Deportes Tolima, dos grandes del torneo colombiano. Sin embargo, no fue él quien lo impulsó a practicar el deporte, ya que cuando apenas tenía 3 años no hizo otra cosa que abandonar al joven, dejándolo a cargo de su madre y de Juan Carlos Restrepo, padrastro del niño. Este, según reportes futuros, fue quien le enseñó la pasión con la que hoy siente el fútbol.


Destacó desde sus primeros pelotazos, por lo que no sorprendió su debut. Lo que sí generó asombro –y mucho- fue que este no se dio en cualquier momento: su primer partido oficial se dio a los 14 años de edad, poco después de que lo contratara el Envigado Fútbol Club de Colombia.

Ahí empezó a ganarse las miradas: el Sub-17 de su país empezaba a fijarse en él para el evento que se avecinaba. Y claro, sus rendimientos eran superlativos: jugaba, hacía jugar, se destacaba en el gol, en la asistencia, por las bandas y también por el centro. Empezaba a destilar buen fútbol y el Mundial juvenil de Corea 2007 fue su próximo paso hacia el prestigio futbolístico.

James descendió, pero al año siguiente fue campeón con su equipo, logrando así la vuelta a la Primera División de Colombia. Es así que, en 2009, el Club Atlético Banfield lo trajo a préstamo para desarrollarse en un fútbol mucho más competitivo: en la Argentina, los clubes “menores” empezaban a disputarle el trono de campeón a los históricos de siempre.

Así, en el primer torneo de ese año, el Clausura, debutó un joven que venía con una trascendencia sólo comparable a aquellos extranjeros que recaen en Argentina con la simple fama de apuesta a futuro. No obstante, fue más de lo esperado. Porque James Rodríguez llegó para triunfar, para dejar su huella y dar el salto. Debutó oficialmente en Banfield y su primer zurdazo desde afuera del área significó un gol para que su equipo gane frente a un aguerrido Rosario Central.

James_Rodriguez-Real_Madrid_MDSIMA20140723_0002_35La televisión lo enfocó durante casi un minuto luego del gol. Usaba la camiseta 13, cosa que seguro no agradaría a los fanáticos más supersticiosos. Venía de Colombia, cosa que desde hace ya bastantes años no es una rareza en nuestro fútbol. Pero este pibe no era uno más en esa alineación que culminaría campeón a fines de 2009. Era mediapunta, era enganche, podía jugar por la banda izquierda pero también se abría paso como delantero. El disparo de media distancia, el mano a mano, el pase corto o el más largo, nada se le complicaba. Claro, como destacamos, llegaba para triunfar.

James Rodríguez hoy deleita a todos en un Real Madrid campeón de Europa. Llegar allí no estuvo exento de dificultades, de sacrificio y de trabajo, pero sí tuvo la fortuna de estar plagado de récords en sus inicios, casi todos relacionados a su destacado nivel en la juventud. ¿Cuáles? Fue el extranjero más joven en debutar en un club argentino y convertir un gol en ese mismo encuentro, pero también el colombiano de menor edad en salir campeón en nuestro país.

De esta manera, el destacado mediocampista inició sus pasos hacia la fama mundial. Todos quieren su camiseta, todos sus compatriotas sueñan con ser él. James Rodríguez es ese eterno joven que se abrió paso entre los grandes, entre los gigantes. Y hoy, más que nadie, disfruta del pasado, sabiéndose merecedor de todo lo que consiguió.


About Author

Periodista en proceso. Bielsista. Fútbol y series. Escritura y lectura de todo tipo. Fundador de @deporteinterno.

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