Jorge Valdano, the last football poet
Footballers retire when they no longer feel like sacrificing themselves because their strength, often mental rather than physical, has been exhausted; Sometimes they retire because a ligament injury or a series of injuries makes it impossible for them to keep up with the professional pace. Valdano retires due to a bout with hepatitis, and his difference begins from there. The same Valdano said he fell in love with literature during those months where he secretly treated himself to something in front of the press after the games. On the other hand, he had already discovered reading during long training camps in which PlayStations did not yet dominate and the huge and kitschy headphones, essential accessories of the contemporary footballer, were not to be seen; During these months of suffering, however, he finally finds refuge in books and becomes a passionate reader: not out of the desire for education, but out of the pure joy of escape and enrichment.
This joy is reflected in every word that Valdano has dedicated to his sport for years, in the articles he has written for El Paisin opinions as a commentator on television or in radio interventions.
There are many ex-football commentators, each with their own qualities and flaws: they range from tactical fanatics to those who focus heavily, if not too much, on clichés derived from their pedantic experience. As a good pragmatist, Valdano combines both aspects: He never separates tactical reflection from technical analysis, he has a deep knowledge of the psychology of the footballer and knows how to explore the almost mythical aspects of the game. One of his favorite expressions is “miedoscenico”, the almost hypnotic fear that stages like the Bernabeu, the Meazza or Old Trafford inspire. He appreciates Zidane and Guardiola equally and although he is definitely a “real man” professionally, he appreciates the Barcelona style. His balance and authority also dispel any suspicion of partiality.
The article Jorge Valdano, the last football poet comes from Rivista Contrasti.