EL DRAMA DE ROBERT ENKE

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La depresión fue una constante en la vida de Robert Enke, arquero alemán que sin embargo, superó duros obstáculos. En el año en que decidió quitarse la vida, su trayectoria se encontraba en el mejor momento: querido, respetado y considerado uno de los mejores del fútbol alemán, representaba al Hannover 96 y era el máximo candidato a ocupar el arco en el Mundial de Sudáfrica 2010.

Desde su adolescencia sufrió depresiones pero aún así logró debutar como futbolista profesional. Lo hizo en la segunda división del fútbol alemán, jugando para el FC Carl Zeiss Jena. Su carrera fue en alza: primero lo contrató el Borussia Monchengladbach y luego emigró a Portugal para custodiar el arco del Benfica. Allí permaneció tres años hasta que le llegó la posibilidad de su vida. Y los miedos reaparecieron.

La ilusión que terminó en sufrimiento

Enke llegó al FC Barcelona por recomendación del emblemático José Mourinho, quien había sido empleado de la institución unos años antes. Louis van Gaal era el entrenador, y le comunicó al arquero que si bien su llegada no era un pedido suyo, competiría en igualdad de condiciones con los demás candidatos al puesto: el argentino Roberto Bonano y el canterano Víctor Valdés.

Pero al encontrarse ante un club de primera línea, con repercusión mundial y una cobertura periodística gigantesca, la situación para Robert Enke no fue la que esperaba. Para peor, coincidió con una época en la que el Real Madrid de “Los Galácticos” conquistaba todos los títulos y el aire que se respiraba en el vestuario catalán era muy tenso.

La rudeza del cuerpo técnico holandés tampoco ayudaba: exigencia muy alta y todo el tiempo le pedían que sea Edwin Van der Sar, el histórico arquero de la Selección de Holanda. También Bonano y Valdés sufrieron aquellos tratos, aunque fue el canterano el más “duro”, el que más soportó y se afianzó como titular a pesar de ser el más joven de los tres. Aún así, Valdés ha declarado muchas veces que la responsabilidad de su puesto le generó problemas: “Entre los 8 y los 18 años mi vida era pura presión. Sólo pensar en el encuentro del domingo me provocaba terror. Colocarme bajo palos fue, por decirlo suavemente, un sufrimiento”. Enke, por su parte, empatizó con Bonano, quien fue lo más cercano a un amigo que tuvo en su paso por la institución. Otros argentinos que integraban aquel plantel eran Juan Román Riquelme y Javier Saviola.

El 11 de septiembre de 2002, la crisis de Enke se agudizó. Barcelona enfrentaba al humilde Novelda, por aquel entonces último en Segunda División, y camino al Estadio el arquero sufría el pánico: una buena actuación sería lo común; una mala, lo catapultaría al fracaso. Los catalanes quedaron eliminados con una floja actuación de Enke. La prensa lo criticó con dureza y hasta el capitán del equipo blaugrana, Frank de Boer dijo que “podría haber hecho algo más en los goles”. Aún así, estoico, el arquero se plantó ante los medios sereno, respetuoso para con su compañero y con miras al futuro. Aunque por dentro se deshacía.

Tras aquel episodio, Enke comenzó a considerar que había desperdiciado la oportunidad de su carrera, que había fracasado y ya no habría vuelta atrás. Perdió terreno y quedaba fuera de la lista de concentrados. Para la siguiente temporada debió emigrar casi obligado al Fenerbahce de Turquía, donde continuó con la inseguridad y el temor, hasta el punto de que decidió interrumpir el contrato para regresar a España y probar suerte en la Segunda División, con el Tenerife. Con menos ojos sobre su espalda, volvió a sentirse importante, querido y respetado por sus compañeros. El equipo realizó una buena campaña y Enke fue contratado por el equipo alemán Hannover 96.

“¿Por qué ahora?”

En su país se reencontró con su mejor versión. Sus actuaciones lo volvieron un referente del Hannover y llegó a ser considerado el mejor arquero de la Bundesliga. La vida lo golpeó con el fallecimiento de su hija de dos años a causa de un fallo cardíaco, pero lo afrontó con valor y se sobrepuso: a los siete días del suceso volvió al arco de su equipo, donde compañeros e hinchas lo cuidaban y respetaban.

Al año siguiente se ganó el derecho de hacer sus primeras apariciones con la Selección Alemana, y más tarde, en 2008, fue el arquero suplente en la Eurocopa. Tras el retiro de Oliver Kahn y la pérdida de terreno de Jens Lehmann, Enke era considerado por el entrenador Joachim Low como el favorito para ocupar el arco en el Mundial de Sudáfrica. Incluso en casa las cosas volvían a mejorar: junto a su esposa Teresa adoptó una niña. Pero la depresión volvió a aparecer, esta vez, en el momento más inesperado. Nunca se animó a hacerlo público por miedo a perjudicar su carrera, o incluso por el temor de que le quitaran la tenencia de su hija. En su diario íntimo, y en la carta que dejó previo a quitarse la vida, se mostró indignado por el momento en que reaparecían aquellos traumas.

A pesar del tratamiento psicológico, la historia terminaría de la peor manera. Las semanas previas al suicidio se mostró mejorado y sin indicios de recaída. El hecho conmocionó al fútbol mundial. El público colmó las calles para decirle adiós mientras el manager de la Selección, Oliver Bierhoff, se quebraba en conferencia al anunciar que el partido amistoso a disputar ante Chile quedaba suspendido por las lógicas razones.

Enke simpatizaba por el periodismo y la literatura, y desde su paso por Portugal forjó una amistad con el escritor Ronald Reng, quien definió al arquero como “el ejemplo de que puedes llegar a lo alto siendo sensible y comprensivo con los demás”. Además, entre la Federación Alemana de fútbol (DFB), la Bundesliga (DFL) y el Hannover 96 crearon la Fundación Robert Enke, dispuesta a brindar ayuda profesional a la salud mental de los futbolistas profesionales.

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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.

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