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Manuel Manzo y su añeja lucha contra el alcoholismo

Manuel Manzo estaba destinado a ser de los mejores en la historia

Ningún jugador tan fino como Manuel Manzo, exquisito y delineado con la pelota, constante en el campo como derrocado por una batalla contra el alcohol que supo ganar con los años. Un hombre que hacía cosas sencillas para un deporte que se ha vuelto complicado y falto de espectacularidad. Insistió siempre en una idea futbolística muy clara y definida.

-Dicen que usted era un genio del futbol pero le faltó disciplina.

Porque tuve un problema de alcohol y aún así me alcanzaba para ganarle a todos en la semana. Los días de partido me pedían los entrenadores que hiciera los goles y eso me servía después para irme a tomar tranquilo. No entrenaba pero les sacaba los partidos adelante.

-¿Ha sido el jugador más técnico en la historia de éste país?

No sé, eso lo tienen que decidir los periodistas, por algo me entrevistas ¿no? A mí Dios me dotó de técnica y fuerza, le pegaba con la derecha, con la izquierda, remataba con la cabeza. Me tocó una época distinta del futbol, muy difícil, donde había muchos dieces.

-Sin embargo, Manuel Manzo nunca fue a un Mundial…

Me tocaba el del 1986 y quedé fuera por situaciones extra futbolísticas. Una vez entró el presidente de Pumas, Guillermo Aguilar Álvarez al vestidor y comenzó a insultar medio mundo y yo fui el único que lo paré en seco. Eso me costó, porque después al frente de la selección quedó su bloque con Bora Milutinovic, Mario Velarde y Miguel Mejía Barón. Se les olvidó totalmente que le dí el segundo campeonato a los Pumas en 1981, porque en la liguilla metí seis goles, Hugo Sánchez hizo dos.

-¿Se llevaba mal con Hugo Sánchez?

No, él era cuatro años más joven que yo. Fui a los Juegos Olímpicos de Munich y él a Montreal. Se comercializó mucho su imagen. Recuerdo que siempre se echaba sus piruetas y me decía que iba a hacer tal movimiento, que estuviera atento y sólo le contestaba: sí, tu vete por allá, te estoy viendo aunque no parezca. Donde quería se la ponía. No creo que haya sido el jugador más importante de todos los tiempos, sí el que destacó más. Futbolísticamente no era nada fuera de la común.

-Alguna vez Tomás Boy me dijo que él fue el jugador más grande que ha dado México.

Tomás no remataba de cabeza, le daba miedo. No le gustaba que le pegaran los rivales, se intimidaba. En Tigres le decía que no iba a robarle protagonismo, que me dijera dónde quería jugar si en la media o en la delantera. Decía que en el medio campo y cuando ya le pegaban mucho me pedía cambiar de posición o yo se lo pedía para que no sufriera.

-¿Cómo descubrieron a Manuel Manzo?

En el torneo de barrios, a los 16 años, salí campeón de goleo y me tentaron América, Cruz Azul y León, me fui con estos últimos y a la semana debuté en Primera División. Nunca pasé por reservas. Mi problema de alcohol fue porque de la nada, alcancé el éxito y no supe controlarlo, no paraba. Iba con sicólogos, brujas, esoteristas y nadie me ayudo, sólo alcohólicos anónimos. Tengo 33 años sin tomar y por eso trabajo ahora con jóvenes adictos.

CRUYFF, EL PROTOTIPO DE FUTBOLISTA IDEAL

El futbol de antaño que practicó, es muy del gusto de Manzo, quien ahora padece la inercia monótona del balompié actual. Trata de desmenuzar los problemas a los que se enfrentan los jugadores en un ambiente tan cambiante que les ha terminado por afectar en la sensibilidad.

-¿El jugador actual de futbol, ya no piensa en la cancha?

Lo que pasa es que ahora los técnicos quieren futbolistas que corran en lugar de aquellos que dominan el espacio y tiempo, no les importa la técnica. Es más fácil que al jugador talentoso lo obligues al esfuerzo que viceversa, por eso vemos lo que vemos.

-¿Cuál es el prototipo de futbolista ideal?

Mira, te diría que los que pausan y pisan la pelota pero eso tampoco es suficiente, necesitas fuerza y velocidad y al único en la historia que le vi reunir todo eso, fue Johan Cruyff por los cambios de ritmo que tenía, arrancaba de cero a cien y al revés, de pronto paraba todo en el campo y parecía como si nadie supiera moverse. Tenía gol y dominio de área, controlaba todo el panorama. Ni Maradona ni Pelé.

-¿Qué tan complicado es manejar el entorno, le hablo de mujeres, dinero, alcohol, drogas?

Eso lo encuentras aunque no juegues futbol, quizá es más problemático lo de los promotores y la corrupción que hay desde fuerzas básicas en donde ya llegan los chamacos con la tarjetita porque los enviaron de parte de tal directivo y luego ya nada más es ver al papá aparecer para ponerse de acuerdo con el entrenador.

-¿Hoy en día, puede sentarse a ver un partido completo?

Soy intolerante porque son muy repetitivos. Ya es cosa de la nostalgia el ver un túnel, un sombrerito, un taconazo, una pared bien hecha que es la antesala del gol, rompe esquemas pero todo eso pertenece al pasado. Ya sabes, ahora abren la cancha, pasaran al jugador que va por el costado a toda la velocidad y si no choca con el defensa, tratará de sacar un centro si Dios quiere, más o menos bueno.

-¿Han matado la imaginación?

Sí, por lo físico. A mí me tocó la evolución del futbol y la llegada de preparadores físicos que nos llevaban a circuitos y veías a todos correr, rebasarse y sentirse mucho pero cuando tocaba hacer algo con la pelota no sabían. En mi último año con el Atlante, los martes no tocábamos el balón, todo era correr entre conos y estacas, ver el cronómetro, por eso ni iba.

-¿El futbol es tan complicado como parece?

No, el futbol es sencillo. Pasa que ya no tienen habilidad mental porque antes jugábamos en la calle, en las coladeritas, tenías que driblar al panadero en la bici, al perro, a la banqueta, a los agujeros, hacer la pausa cuando viniera un carro y eso te daba una agilidad mental. Lo difícil del futbol es hacerlo fácil, ahora todo es robotizado, los técnicos hablan de lo mismo y el futbolista ha perdido la iniciativa que algún día tuvo. Le han quitado el futbol al jugador. Además ya fabrican al futbolista en sus dizque escuelitas, ya no lo buscan en el llano.

-¿Que hace cuando un chico no tiene la naturaleza para tratar bien el balón pero quiere ser futbolista?

Decirle la verdad y que sepa que lo que tiene es un sueño de niño pero la realidad es otra. Cuando dirigía me llegaban papás a hablarme de sus hijos maravillados pero no tenían las condiciones. Los futbolistas tienen que ser rápidos y vivos en el campo. El problema es que ahora todo mundo juega futbol porque es alto o porque le pega duro a la pelota, con eso creen que les basta, o porque corren mucho aunque no tengan las condiciones, creen que por ser profesionales son futbolistas y viven equivocados. Son como esas niñas que dicen ser cantantes y actrices al mismo tiempo, ¿quién les cree?

-¿Que tanta culpa tienen los entrenadores?

Ellos ven la dirección técnica como una chamba que hay cuidar como un tesoro. Decía Carlos Miloc que el táctico es el gol pero creo que el táctico es balón. Todos los equipos necesitan forzosamente girar en torno de la pelota, armarse alrededor de la pelota y lo único que da el orden dentro de la cancha. En los entrenamientos les dividen la cancha y si brincan su cuadro regañan a los jugadores. Los técnicos cuando pierden dicen que fue porque los futbolistas no hicieron lo que él dijo, todo es muy mecánico. Los técnicos quieren protagonismo y eso es porque el futbolista lo ha permitido, porque ha dejado de ser lo más importante y no disfruta jugar. Cuando salen al campo ya les mira la cara de angustia, preocupados porque si cometen un error desde la banca los van a reprender.

Foto: Tomada de YouTube

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