BASILE, EL ÚLTIMO CAMPEÓN CON LA SELECCIÓN MAYOR

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El 15 de enero de 1991, Alfio Basile fue presentado como entrenador de la Selección Argentina. Comenzaba así el ciclo del último entrenador que logró un titulo con la Albiceleste.

El ciclo de Carlos Salvador Bilardo llegó a su fin en Roma, cuando la Selección Argentina cayó en la Final del Mundial de Italia 1990, 1-0 ante Alemania Federal. Aquél gol de penal convertido por Andreas Brehme significó un gran golpe por terminar con la ilusión del bicampeonato, pero lo cierto es que el rendimiento de la Albiceleste había estado lejos de conformar. El fuego sagrado de Diego Armando Maradona, la sociedad de éste con Claudio Paul Caniggia y lo heroico de Sergio Goycochea en las definiciones por penales, maquillaron aquello hasta aquel 8 de julio de 1990 que significó el cierre de un ciclo que tocó su techo en México 1986.

Argentina entró en un receso: recién en los primeros días de 1991 se oficializó a Alfio Basile como nuevo entrenador de la Selección. El «Coco» había pasado por numerosos clubes con buenos resultados, pero su salto al éxito llegó en Racing, club del que era ídolo por lo hecho como futbolista. Fue el entrenador que devolvió a la Academia a la máxima categoría, y luego conquistó la Supercopa 1988. Al momento recibir el ofrecimiento de Julio Humberto Grondona, se encontraba en Uruguay dirigiendo a Nacional de Montevideo.

Resultado de imagen para basile 1991

Su debut fue un mes después, en Rosario, con un 2-0 a Hungría, en lo que significaba el comienzo de la preparación para el primer gran desafío en el banco: la Copa América 1991. Para aquel torneo, su misión era lograr un recambio generacional que le permita a Argentina seguir en los primeros lugares. Aparecieron nombres como Fernando Gamboa, Leonardo Astrada, Darío Franco, Diego Simeone, Gabriel Batistuta, Diego Latorre, Antonio Mohamed; continuaron otras piezas claves como Sergio Goycochea, Oscar Ruggeri, Carlos Enrique y Claudio Caniggia. Ya no estaban históricos como Nery Pumpido, Julio Olarticoechea, Jorge Burruchaga, Ricardo Giusti, Sergio Batista. Tampoco Diego Armando Maradona, alejado por decisión propia tras el Mundial de Italia, por grandes diferencias con la conducción de Grondona.

El desafío en la Copa América 1991 fue superado con creces: Argentina obtuvo el título tras ganar todos los partidos de la primera ronda y terminar con más puntos en el cuadrangular final al que también llegaron Brasil, Perú y Chile. Sólo ante esta última, la anfitriona, Argentina no pudo ganar: seis victorias y un empate, con Gabriel Batistuta como goleador intratable, le permitieron a la Albiceleste gritar campeón en un trofeo que no levantaba desde 1959, en tiempos de Orestes Corbatta, Juan José Pizutti, Ruben Sosa y Vladislao Cap.

Tras un año de copas amistosas, llegó la Copa América de 1993, en la que Basile debía llevar más allá la transición. Era el año previo al Mundial de Estados Unidos. El entrenador optó por jugadores de experiencia en el fútbol local: Jorge Borelli, Ricardo Altamirano, José Basualdo, Néstor Gorosito, Alberto Acosta; pero el mediocampo se basó en la entereza física de dos jóvenes que ya demostraban su calidad en Europa: Simeone y Fernando Redondo. En esta oportunidad, la Selección no brilló como en el anterior certamen: llegó a la final con sólo una victoria en la fase de grupos y el resto, todos empates; a Brasil y Colombia las eliminó por penales. En la final ante México, un doblete de Batistuta le dio el bicampeonato.

Resultado de imagen para copa america 1991

Ese mismo año, comenzaron las Eliminatorias para el Mundial de 1994, y el recorrido no fue nada fácil. Argentina llegó al Mundial por intermedio de un repechaje, y para la historia quedará la recordada goleada por 0-5 ante Colombia en El Monumental. Diego Armando Maradona volvió para el repechaje ante Australia y finalmente el ciclo de Basile pudo esperanzarse con competir en la Copa del Mundo.

FOTO PRINCIPAL: Clarín
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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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