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Estadio Azteca: La historia oculta desde sus cimientos

La majestuosidad del Estadio Azteca.

Por las pasiones que desata, el Estadio Azteca se construyó cerca del Instituto de Cardiología, como una antesala del infarto; cerca también del Instituto de Rehabilitación en donde Rafael Castellanos Jiménez trabajaba.

Esa mañana tan repleta de calor, pasó por donde estaba el letrero que auguraba el estadio más cómodo del mundo y el mejor, para 105 mil espectadores que tendrían su lugar asegurado para sentarse, a diferencia del ostentoso Maracaná en Brasil, donde la mitad de la gente pasaba de pie los partidos.

“Levanté las cuerdas y me metí en la obra, poco a poco, cuando menos me di cuenta, ya estaba cercano a Guillermo Cañedo y Emilio Azcárraga, éste último fue el de la idea y me dejaba a veces tomarle fotos en algunas reuniones. Era un gran hombre, idealista, mujeriego, simpático, impresionante”, afirma Castellanos, curioso como todo fotógrafo aún hoy a los 82 años.

Santa Úrsula era el enorme pedregal donde se construiría el estadio. Los chicos de la localidad solían jugar en el sitio donde inesperadamente llegaron cientos de trabajadores a dinamitar la zona, “taladraban para dejar unos enormes hoyos en la tierra, luego ponían unos toneles de dinamita y hacían un movimiento con la mano para asegurar que todos despejaran el área. Retumbaba un ¡pum! y todo salía volando, incluso víboras, cuyos y toda clase de animalillos que ahí vivían”, dice Castellanos.

Había hombres trabajando día y noche, unos 800 para limpiar el área que eran incapaces de detener a los niños cuando llovía y en la oquedad que presidió al Estadio Azteca, ocupaban el boquete como una gran laguna, “estaban los niños ahí sin que pudieran sacarlos porque el calor era bastante fuerte en el verano de 1962”, dice Castellanos Jiménez.

El Estadio crecía entre las pequeñas casas y la arbolada como un dinosaurio que se salía de control. Bordeado por calzada de Tlalpan, era el inicio también para un mítico hombre del concreto como el arquitecto Pedro Ramírez Vázquez que, junto a Rafael Mijares, diseñó el ambicioso proyecto.

“Conservo una fotografía autografiada por Ramírez Vázquez, un hombre muy educado y de mundo. Recuerdo esa vez que visitaron la zona del estadio, sólo estaban los pilares pero vino Sir Stanley Rous, que llevaba poco tiempo como presidente de la FIFA y el presidente Adolfo López Mateos que fue quien vendió como gobierno federal los terrenos al señor Azcárraga. No alcanzó a estar en la inauguración porque terminó su mandato en 1964 y le tocó a Gustavo Díaz Ordaz que el día de la inauguración se llevó muchas mentadas de madre”, menciona jocoso Rafael Castellanos Jiménez, quien trabajara en Excélsior durante cuatro años, antes de ir cada semana a fotografiar los avances del Estadio Azteca.

El coloso tenía algo de inframundo prehispánico, no sólo el nombre que fue otorgado vía concurso que ganó Antonio Vázquez Torres, al mandar una carta desde León, Guanajuato y hacerse acreedor a dos asientos de platea por 99 años.

Diariamente, las personas que pasaban por Calzada de Tlalpan se sorprendían, “era algo que escapaba a todas las dimensiones de aquellos tiempos. La ciudad crecía, es cierto, pero no al ritmo del Azteca”, señala Castellanos, indignado porque al finalizar Tlalpan, habían quitado una estatua de Emiliano Zapata que servía como redondel para que el tranvía agarrara de nuevo ruta para el norte, “quien sabe a donde pasaron esa estatua, me parece que es la que está en la entrada de Cuernavaca, no lo sé”.

Osado y aventurado como era de joven, Rafael Castellanos hizo amistades con todos los trabajadores del estadio, con la mayoría de los supervisores y arquitectos, “me dejaban subir a la pluma, ¡usted no tiene idea de lo que era eso! más de 50 metros, me trepaba por una escalera en la que apenas cabían los dos pies”.

Así, relata también que nunca se supo de la muerte de alguno de los trabajadores del estadio, “pero yo vi una. Aquel día, un hombre que se llamaba Juan, llegó tarde, no tenía derecho a trabajar, pero por la pena o la forma de ser, decidió quedarse, bien pudo irse a su casa. Cerca de la hora de la comida, estaba subido en un andamio. Los pilares los amarraban unos chicos que sin protección se subían para juntar las varillas y les decíamos los changos porque eso parecían, bueno, este hombre estaba parado en los andamios que cruzaban los pilares y cuando elevaban un gran bloque de concreto, una de las cuerdas se rompió, empezó a girar sin control y le dio en las piernas tirándolo al piso. Murió al instante”, se lamenta Castellanos y con el paso de los años, también se echa en cara no haber tenido la cámara lista para capturarlo, “así es la vida del fotógrafo, es sincronizar el hecho con el ojo, ya sea para capturar lo bello o la muerte”.

Se colocaron las butacas que fueron quitadas para darle paso a una especie de ovni encallado en las gradas, algo inusual y que ha roto la simetría al interior del estadio. El Azteca no es el mismo y parece que le están quitando su esencia.

Pero la gente estaba emocionada en 1966. Aún cuando el techo no estuvo listo sino un año después, en 1967, todo fue fiesta y caos, “los tranvías iban llenos, con la gente colgada, el estacionamiento fue insuficiente. Los boletos costaron 15 pesos y se llenó a la hora en que comenzó el juego del América-Torino”, espetó Castellanos que aquel día llegó en helicóptero al inmueble mientras el presidente Gustavo Díaz Ordaz se quedó atorado en su carro casi una hora, “faltaba poco para la inauguración y el presidente que venía de San Ángel donde creo estaba su casa, no llegaba, estaban algo alterados los organizadores. Yo bajé del helicóptero y comencé a rodear todo el estadio, a ver a la gente que aunque no tenía boleto estaba frente al Azteca con la boca abierta. El presidente apareció dentro de un carro negro y avanzaba como tortuga, conforme se corrió el rumor de que iba ahí todos le chiflaron e insultaron”, rememoró Castellanos, con algo de humor, sabiendo de la antipatía de Díaz Ordaz por su dureza ante los movimientos sociales, algo que ni la belleza del Estadio Azteca pudo mermar.

Foto: Instagram Estadio Azteca

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