The semifinal against Italy invokes the aggression against the coach, in 1994. Account of the cohabitation of that counter-style selection, the press and celebrities in the World Cup, and the role of the Asturian.

Luis Enrique and Tassotti, in Boston.

Senn Cortegoso He is a close, affable guy, with that Galician spirit that has so much wisdom. Soccer took him out of public medicine, from Pontevedra to Tenerife, for a few months that were years. He spoke with us, journalists, at a time when journalists were not mistrusted like now. He spoke at breakfast or over drinks, because we all lived together in a resort on the outskirts of Chicago, not without the tensions that the leader of that counter-style selection so badly needed. The best definition was found in Morten Olsen, former Danish coach: “Spain makes their opponents worse”. Luis Enrique was part of the tension ceremony of Javier Clemente. Substitute in Real Madrid, he was a starter in a selection already without footballers of the autumn Quinta del Vulture.

As now, a part of Real Madrid was suspicious of that Espaa, by understanding the coach’s decisions as a usurpation. Luis Enrique, impulsive and obtuse, that has not changed, he felt misunderstood at the Bernabu, but he was beardless and innocent. Senn Cortegoso was the one who picked up his dreams broken by the elbow of Mauro Tassotti, at the Foxboro Stadium in Boston, on July 9, 1994. The cross between Spain and Italy in the semi-final of the Euro invokes the word ‘vendetta’, in Italian, but it is a word for journalism. There is no revenge in Luis Enrique’s spirit, only illusions recovered after knowing that life, fucking life, hits the most innocent much harder.

Luis Enrique is cared for by Senn Cortegoso, in Boston, in 1994.
Luis Enrique is cared for by Senn Cortegoso, in Boston, in 1994.EFE

“He wanted to kill the referee and Tassotti. He was decomposed,” Senn Cortegoso explained the following days, to whom he immortalized the image with his mustache a lo igo while drying Luis Enrique’s blood. “When manipulating the nose, I noticed the ‘cra, cra …’ The cartilage and bones were placed”. In an attempt to calm him down, the Asturian and the physio fell to the ground: “It’s just that I had a hard time controlling him, he was out of his mind. He was strong and brave.” “There is no doubt that it was a penalty and expulsion -aadi-, but they did not whistle anything. The dressing room was a funeral home.”

The accin of Tassotti It took place within the Italian area, when the result was 2-1 in favor of the ‘azzurri’. Hungarian Sandor Phul He did not attend to the protests of the Spaniards nor did he consult the linesman who had a direct view of the action. The Italy led by Arrigo Sacchi He went to the semifinals and the final, where he fell on penalties against Brazil. They failed Roberto Baggio, executioner of Spain in Boston, and Baresi. The 11 meters usually lead to the gallows of the aristocracy. Ask Mbapp.

“The elbow sank my career”

Despite the pain of that action, the consequences were much worse for Tassotti or Phul than for Luis Enrique, who awaited a long career. The old FIFA of João Havelange showed his double standards, acting ex officio against Tassotti, who sanctioned with eight games, but awarded Phul with a semi-final and the final. Power is always protected. However, three years later, the Hungarian stopped showing an attack on the minutes of a match between Feyenoord and Manchester United, and UEFA sanctioned him with one year of disqualification. Tassotti, a member of the great Milan of the 90s, lost the opportunity to play in the final of a World Cup at the age of 34 and did not wear the azzurra again: “I sank my career, I have always regretted it.”

The people of Milan, the club of his life, protected Tassotti in his ostracism. He was an assistant to Carlo Ancelotti and when Andrei Shevchenko began his career on the bench, he remembered his friend. He’s Ukraine’s second technician. That position led to the reunion with Luis Enrique, in the League of Nations. The Spaniard took the initiative and went to greet him, a gesture that, according to Tassotti, was repairing for his conscience.

The friendship of Mchel, the discarded, and Luis Enrique

The United States, in 1994, was my first World Cup, after having followed the construction of an irreverent but exceptionally competitive Spain. As is the case today, respond to the character of your leader. Not surprisingly, there is a tie between Luis Enrique and Clemente. “I stopped calling Mchel and I put Luis, and they gave me hostiles for that, “says the Basque, who did not feel very well that TVE signed the Real Madrid player to comment on the matches with Angel of the House, to which a great friendship joins him. The same happened with Luis Enrique, who often stayed at Mchel’s house, the part of Madrid that he has never wanted to forget. Clemente placed the Asturian on the left, in front of Sergi. Before playing with champion Germany, in the first phase, Berti Vogts He said: “Spain has the best left wing in the World Cup.” They tied (1-1).

Key characters in the future of Spanish football coexisted in the selection in many ways. Pep Guardiola, who did not play against Italy, was part of the critical consciousness along with Little Begiristain. Fernando iron took refuge from his problems in Madrid, as Santi Caizares, key in the game that gave the ticket for that World Cup, against Denmark in Seville, and starter in the first match, against Korea, under the heat of justice from Dallas. Andoni Zubizarreta he had just been fired from Barcelona after the Athens debacle, just two months earlier. Julen Lopetegui, the third goalkeeper, was the only one who did not play for a minute, together with the Juanele.

“Julito, you are not Van Basten”

Clemente needed the press around, although his cafes weren’t cafes for everyone. The uninvited took notes hidden behind the columns. There was caustic soda not only for journalists, but also for his footballers. “Julito, leave that for Van Basten and do your thing, “he said to Julio Salinas when I tried Chilean in training. The radio war was real, not serial, with Jos Ramn de la Morena on the ground and Garca at the controls from Madrid. The young Luis Enrique vetoed both when a narrator said: “Luis Enrique is more useless than the first slice of Pan Bimbo.”

Garci, Alfredo Landa and Paco de Luca

Jos Luis Garci accompanied Mchel, Alfredo Landa was approaching the rally in sunglasses after jazz nights at Kingston Mines and Paco de Luca it congregated to part of the Spaniards in the Festival of Ravinia. The rooms arrived, Boston, and we all went there, a heterogeneous tribe and not well avenged, but with a tingling in the stomach. Sitting on the rostrum, they held out their hand to me: “I am Vicente Verd “. The late writer told me about the story he wanted to construct to El Pas, attracted by the contradictions of that selection. An elbow smashed it to pieces. I do not think that today I wrote about vendetta. When seeing this irregular but effervescent Spain play and this ambitious and fast-paced Italy, who trace their way without the servitude of the great stars or the big clubs, to think of revenge is to think negatively compared to those who do it positively.


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