The ’82 World Cup belonged to Gentile and other stories of rogue football | Television

An elderly Sandro Pertini jumping to his feet in the box, a Kuwaiti sheikh coming down to protest the referee and managing to annul a goal, El Molinón singing “let them kiss” during a rigged tie, the umpteenth disappointment of La Roja, Naranjito, the fascicles of Forges. Those of us who were teenagers when the 1982 World Cup was held in Spain will never feel the same again with the one that returns in 2030. Not because FIFA breaks the magic of the event with that distribution in six countries and three continents, with those more than one hundred games between 48 teams, which will necessarily lower the level. But, above all, because we are not the same, that problem is ours.

Football is part of the sentimental memory of a good part of humanity. The British series The moment of truth, on Movistar+, tries to refresh in our heads, or make us known, the most epic stories of all the World Cups, with the support of FIFA. In its 10 chapters there are not so many images of matches, some more would be appreciated, but there are interviews with the protagonists and with witnesses of those exploits. The focus is broad, from Yashin or Garrincha to Messi or Mbappé, passing through Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Zidane or Iniesta. With a look at the losers, like Zaire that lost 9-0 or El Salvador that won 10-1; also to the ugly moments, like the call battle of Santiago in a Chile-Italy in 1962. And with stories from the women’s World Cup that we would remember if we had followed them (no, the first one was not in Sydney): those of the amazing Marta, from Brazil, or the goalkeeper Christiane Endler, from Chile .

It is a bias of the series to give many minutes to England, whose duels with Argentina are presented as the greatest rivalry in the history of the tournament. It is a bit of an exaggeration to show as a redemption story that David Beckham scored a penalty against Argentina, taking revenge for a previous absurd expulsion for which he was beaten, without going much further this time either. Of course, the English have to surrender to Maradona, who in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, in just four minutes, scored two goals for them in history, one with his hand and another by dribbling past everyone who crossed him. We did remember that.

In 1982, the triumph against the odds of Italy, which was not among the favorites, is reviewed. It started with three draws, and its striker Paolo Rossi arrived in bad shape after two years of suspension (for match-fixing). In the second phase the Azzurra fell into the group of death, with the Argentina of a young Maradona and the fabulous Brazil of Sócrates, Falcao and Zico. The central defender Claudio Gentile dried Pelusa by kicking him, some of which hurt to see on television; Against Brazil, Gentile faced Zico, whose shirt he tore, and Rossi unleashed his goals, which he continued to score until the final that brought his president to his feet. Gentile thus boasts of his feat, highly celebrated in the country of bolt: “Being clever is making a foul without getting caught, because it is easy to make a flagrant foul. Let’s just say I was good at it.” He also says that Maradona told him everything to get him mad, which he did not achieve; Both received the yellow card, one for hitting hard and the other for protesting that they hit him hard.

Nostalgia sets traps for us. Should we miss that football? Today Gentile would have been sent off and the goal the hand of God The VAR that we complain about so much would have annulled it. But those misdeeds were recorded in our young memories, which were also lessons for life.

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