He rides like Cid Campeador and, as legend has it, he appears like a human hero, with a speech that all of us who were imbued with pride heard the afternoon and night that we attended the stadium en masse on Tuesday and also those who followed the incidents by other means. end of the qualifying process. It was as if everything had been prepared: Enner’s dramatic goal, the Olympic lap, the celebration and the speech with tones and gestures surely rehearsed in front of a mirror. Gustavo Alfaro’s intervention was opportune, because no one knew more than him that it was time for the resurrection of epic phrases, trying to explain to us: “The players were hunters of impossible utopias, because no one believed in Ecuador, and today it is standing up and saying present to the world”.
I must confess that when the new numbers already classified him, Alfaro dedicated himself to being more fluid in his statements. For example, when he recognized Célico’s effort and the collaboration he received from him after recently arriving in the country, when he was unaware of the state of our football, above with the inconvenience of not having found the famous bible of Antonio Cordón. In his journey, Alfaro had to endure strong criticism and only when he realized that the numbers classified him only then did he recognize that he had many mistakes, but more successes, in addition to stating that even for him it was unthinkable to qualify directly for the World Cup. That is why I think that criticism was also useful to achieve the objective. Whether he took them into account or not does not matter at this point, because Ecuador qualified by accumulating more points on the field than those who were left without a World Cup. And, beware, selections of ancient ancestry got off on the road, which today look at our National Team with respect and worthy of imitation.
When Alfaro arrived in our country, he talked about having found the philosopher’s stone of football. Illustrating characters like Bilardo, Menotti, Sabella and also Basile, he declared himself a professional thief of his ideas. He learned a lot from having read Sabato. The truth is that everything he said made us understand that a cultured man came to manage the National Team, although in football many Argentine journalists fervently repeated that Boca Juniors had been a fiasco, because his defensive style did not fit in a team with so much history
When we consulted with Colombian journalist friends, they were able to answer that they were delighted with what Alfaro proclaimed as a commentator, analyzing the matches of the coffee team in 2006 to Snail Television.
The hiring of Alfaro was one more uncertainty due to all the antecedents. Let us remember that the FEF hesitated several times when announcing the new technician. We must not forget that Jürgen Klinsmann was almost a fact, but it was not, and then Jordi Cruyff, who came, got paid and said goodbye to the Federation, leaving him with a considerable liability and an important lost time. With this background, Alfaro was an improvised man, at the last minute, for our National Team; his link was a few days after starting the elimination process.
The uncertainty was perceived in the environment, because of his background, because of his thoughts and because several insisted on Alfaro’s lack of experience in managing selections. In this sea of criteria, it was important to read the Argentine journalist Jorge Barraza, who said about the DT: “Considering that the tie begins ‘tomorrow’, it is a very good choice, perhaps excellent, although a necessary caveat is also left. Of course it is a previous conclusion, but the previous ones are usually papers in the wind.
Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar confirmed that it was a good choice and if you have to admit it, you have to do it. Francisco Egas, Michell Deller, Carlos Manzur and other directors bet and supported Alfaro even in the lean days. And boy, were there many, like in the Copa América Brazil 2021. His failure was diluted, because the permanent location in the qualifying zone in the qualifiers allowed the crisis to be controlled by compensation.
With Ecuador classified, the grandiloquent phrases that abound in football have reason to be. If you are in the World Cup, where only 32 world teams attend, and if you have had to play 18 games for it, surely it is not the work of chance. In the statistics, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Ecuador are in the main event directly, because mathematics does not fail. To get the ticket, Alfaro’s team got five local victories (Bolivia, Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela), three draws (Brazil, Chile and Argentina) and one defeat (Peru): 18 of 27 points, 66.7 % effectiveness. And as a visitor he obtained two victories (Bolivia and Chile), two draws (Colombia and Peru) and five defeats (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela): 8 of 27 points, 29.6% effectiveness.
By his works you will know him. And I must say that the Santa Fe pass the test. In addition, he has forged a selection full of youngsters, as if to think that, if things are handled well, we will have a competitive team for more than ten years. But to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Jorge Célico left that false modesty and expressed: “Sure, I have something to do with all this. Of course, I am not directly responsible for the classification, but I have been a link in a chain of a lot of people who generated success”.
The important thing is that Alfaro had the courage for many. For me, on the other hand, the audacity to trust players without experience or experience in the Senior National Teamwithout such fearlessness. Probably today we would be regretting such a mistake, as Chile suffers, which continued to trust in Bravo, Islas, Sánchez, Vidal, Vargas, Medel, among others, players who were vital for the Chilean team to win the Copa América twice, but today They had to step aside on their own initiative. They will surely say a committed and respected goodbye. His passage through the Red surely postponed several young figures, who will only have an opportunity.
Something similar was suffered by the almighty Brazil, which after the failure in the 2014 World Cup hired Tite. Regardless of those names that were decorative in the Brazilian team, he also had the fortitude to summon young people who existed, but had been neglected. Today they are number one on the FIFA ranking and great favorites for the Cup.
Ecuador will face Qatar in the first match of the 2022 World Cup; Netherlands and Senegal complete bracket A: all groups
Today Alfaro knows well that the papers have been turned around and that the wind is in his favor and he will be available to the FEF for his renewal. For the moment, the coach has offered to make the best World Cup in the country’s history, hopefully he will achieve it. I imagine you know that in Germany 2006 the group stage was passed and Ecuador played in the round of 16, losing 1-0 to England.
I was reflecting the night he took the microphone and, addressing his pupils, he told them: “The challenge was a black wall, on which they had to hang the picture of history”. With all due respect, Mr. Alfaro, that wall you are referring to is not black, because, although it does not shine like the AFA’s, ours does have a glow that makes us proud. On the same wall, today you will be with your team and with all merit, of course, because they are already history in our football. (OR)