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Scorers were those of now – Jorge Barraza column – Columnists – Opinion

Football is witnessing an extraordinary boom in the great scorers around the world: Haaland, Lewandowski, Cristiano, Messi, Lukaku, Suárez, Falcao, Mbappé, Benzema … Ibrahimovic and Agüero separated for a while due to injury … Even Neymar, to who usually does not consider himself a scorer, but already reaches 400 goals (there are 399) and he will surely make a hundred or two hundred more, given the years and quality. Cavani (422)… There is no game in which he does not score. All their lives there were lethal strikers: Puskas, Di Stéfano, Pelé, Eusebio, Spencer, Gerd Müller, Cruyff, Romario, Zico, Kempes, Hugo Sánchez… But only some were contemporaneous with each other. Now we are seeing thirteen or fourteen gunners who share an era and they all look fired up.

“There were others: the ‘Gordo’ Ronaldo, Zamorano, Salas, Vieri, Adriano, Raúl and I can continue,” says Karib Gómez, a follower on Twitter. “Batistuta, Kluivert, Del Piero, Crespo, Trezeguet, Henry, Van Nistelrooy …”, adds Miguel Tolmos in the same social network.

Good contribution. But most of those named by those readers are hundreds of goals away from current ones. Example 1: Adriano retired with 197 goals, Haaland, who is just starting, already has 175 hits. Example 2: Ronaldo Nazario, whom everyone believes to be a deadly bomber, is ranked 36th on the all-time chart with 429 points.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 790; Messi, 752; Ibrahimovic, 564; Lewandowski, 544; Suárez, 508… The others were good, but with much lower numbers. And the statements at the beginning are still active, they can increase their numbers. In fact, they do it almost every week.

Friends of the goal there were a lifetime; However, the current phenomenon did not happen in another era of football. Which is still remarkable because today defensive devices are far superior to those of yesteryear. In the times of Puskas, Di Stéfano, Pelé, Eusebio, four attacked and three defended, there were huge spaces, and plenty of time to solve and execute. If a rival was eluded, the next one was four or five meters away, now he is on top. There was no pressure either. Today it is all the other way around. Few attackers, many defenses, the pressure prevents you from maneuvering freely, there are fewer gaps to pass through. And even the most offensive team puts its eleven men to defend in the area in every corner or free kick against. Before, the forwards did not even remotely go down to score, they stayed up waiting. Alfredo Di Stéfano tells in his autobiography, ‘Thank you, old woman’, that, due to his characteristics and desire for cooperation, in his beginnings in River he used to go down to midfield, but the elders of the team took him out running: “What are you doing here? Go up! ”. Now, an attacker who does not come down to collaborate in the recovery does not play.

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Likewise, until the 1980s the teams were led by a coach and a physical trainer, only two professionals. In our days, the technical teams have up to 25 trainers and assistants, the rival is analyzed in detail, there is a sea of ​​information and it is even known how an executor finished the last twenty penalties, data that is made available to the goalkeeper to facilitate his possibility of stopping the shot. The degree of opposition is infinitely greater, and even so, the matadors in the area reach astonishing numbers of goals.

In the past, when a gunner reached 30 or 35 goals in the championship, this was a scandal figure, today that number is still attractive, but not moving at all. Messi scored 91 goals in one season. There is no rational explanation for why these phenomena mark so much.

“The ball is lighter,” it is argued. Error. The ball weighs and measures the same as a lifetime, including atmospheric pressure, the regulation never changed: between 410 and 450 grams at the time of starting the game. And between 68 and 70 centimeters in circumference. It is true that, if it rained before, being made of leather and absorbing water, it would get heavier. But in dry fields it weighed the same as now. And it measured the same. However, the most extraordinary of the present time are the archers. All, all are of high level, many exceptional. Unknown goalkeepers that you see in the Champions League and who perform feats. Before, innocent goals were scored against goalkeepers. It is the position that evolved the most and they do true miracles in the arc. A good example is Diego Alves, Flamengo goalkeeper, a 36-year-old man, already back from European football, who is covered in astonishment, as we have seen in the semifinals of Libertadores against Barcelona. But you can name Neuer, Oblak, Handanovic, Ospina, Emiliano Martínez, Lloris, Sommer, Alisson, Donnarumma, Ter Stegen, Keylor Navas, Claudio Bravo and dozens more. Despite them, the network breakers put it the same way. And in very high numbers.

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In this context that should be adverse to them, each one stands out for something in particular. Cristiano Ronaldo is opportunism, he does not participate in the game, but he is on the prowl and is on the verge of 800 goals with almost 37 years. And in the Premier League; that is, there is no higher level. Messi is a miracle: the only one of the super scorers in history who is not a striker, a midfielder. Lewandowski shows a regularity of astonishment in a very tough league, he always plays and, although he is already 34 long years old, he paints to reach 700 conversions, especially if in the next few years he moves to a less demanding football than the German one. The Suárez thing is fabulous because he showed his nose with the net in Holland, England and Spain, being a gunner in all of them. A difficult demon to mark for defenders.

Haaland is a human waterspout, a force of nature that converts in the most diverse ways: attacking, counterattacking, headlong, rebounding, left-handed, right-handed, middle distance. Benzema is an artist, an exquisite man who can both specify and serve it to a colleague. Lukaku, a bear in booties and a T-shirt, a giant with a voracious appetite for netting. Mbappé is pure speed and power. We have to celebrate, the scorers of 300 and 400 goals were far behind, now we are looking at those of 500, 600 and 700. And they continue. Congratulations.

JORGE BARRAZA

(Read all the columns of Jorge Barraza in EL TIEMPO here).

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