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Jorge Campos, Cuauhtemoc Blanco: Mexico and clouds

Between surf and Aztecs, Jorge Campos and Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

Just move a few longitudinal degrees further. It will be the sultry heat of the summer, it will be that the passion for football - the real one of the times of Jorge Campos and Blanco - remains on us like the saltiness of the Tyrrhenian or the Adriatic. But the head starts by itself. When lying on the sunbed on the beach, armed only with swimsuit and Gazzetta under your arm, we are at the mercy of the loneliness of the finished championship and yet another replica of Copa America on television with all its South American players.

And then it happens that, marked dark circles, a decidedly tired face and a thoughtful head, we hang the linen shirt on the umbrella. Some children, a few meters away, are playing football, but there is an experienced footballer who particularly attracts our attention. He has the ball between his feet, it would seem the one with the most imagination in his team, the two defenders go to cover him, the range of action is practically closed. There, at that exact moment, there can be two types of endings: either the action ends definitively or the fantasy takes over. And with the typical light-hearted attitude that can only be had at that age, that child decides to follow instinct and imagination. He squeezes the ball between his feet and jumps up, climbing over the shinbones of the pressing defenders and getting out of that dead end.

It is in that moment that you can no longer understand where you are, whether in your usual beach in Castiglione della Pescaia or on some beach of the Yucatàn. You may have seen too much Copa America, but that gesture reminds you of a player who comes from that country: Cuauhtémoc Blanco from Mexico City.

Blanco, a fixed appointment with the World Cup

Cuauhtémoc Blanco will have tried that game thousands of times on some Mexican beach, since he was a child. But he is the only and unforgettable Mexican footballer to have preserved that shiny and genuine fantasy of a child, faithfully transposing it on the professional football fields. In fact, Chicago Fire fans called him "The King". But another nickname accompanied him throughout his career: "El Tiburòn", the shark.

Blanco, born in Tlatilco, an old pre-Columbian village of Mexico City 46 years ago, is one of the strongest players in Mexican history. He was already born with epic premises, thanks to the name chosen by his mother: Cuauhtémoc, as the eleventh and last Aztec emperor. And he is in fact the last great ruler of Mexican football, capable of scoring in three different world championships:

  • 1998 in France;
  • 2002 in Korea;
  • 2010 in South Africa

The cuauhtemina

Blanco has the humility of someone who grew up on dirt fields, in an incredibly complicated and large country like Mexico. One that fame has not changed him, who "is the same as a waiter or anyone who works in a club". With that modesty he managed to enter the hearts of millions of fans, thanks to the naturalness with which he performed out of the ordinary gestures on a football field. Especially after June 13, 1998.

Stade de Gerland, Lyon, during the World Cup in France the inaugural match of group E is played between Mexico and South Korea. After Korea's advantage with Seok-Ju Ha, Mexico overturns the game with three goals (Pelaez and two goals from Luis Hernandez). But it is not the game that has caught the eyes of the whole world, but what happened after Mexico's equalizer in the second half. Cuauhtémoc Blanco receives the ball on the left, Min-Sung Lee and Sang-Yoon Lee close him, covering his range.
The result is pure magic: "El Tiburòn" squeezes the ball with his feet, finds a crack in between the knees of the two Korean players and jumps on them, coming out of that cul-de-sac. Thus was born the famous "cuauhtemiña", an immortal, legendary dribbling, at times irregular for what the regulation says, but which made football lovers, Mexican and otherwise, dream.

El Club América

Blanco is recognized as a legend in Mexico not only for his time with the national team, but also for his many seasons with Club América, his true second skin. And to think that in Europe the possibilities to test his football skills were very few: his only experience outside South American and American borders was at Real Valladolid, in 2002, for a fleeting season.

He could also have played in Italy, had it not been for the bureaucratic problems that blocked his passage to Catania in 2008. After the football experience, which ended in 2015 at the age of 42, he decided to enter politics, winning immediately in 2018 the elections to become governor of Morelos.

A sign that talent, if you have it, is valid for any field.

The Cup Winners' Cup reflected meritocracy and the desire to be there.

Jorge Campos, el Surfer

One that the "cuauhtemiña" saw her from a privileged position that day is a former teammate of Blanco, another architect of Mexican football history. A man who has shown how South American football is passion, talent, but also extravagance and madness, the healthy one. Jorge Campos rewrote, in his own way, the rules of modern football, he was in his own way a watershed between the lucid excess of South American fútbol and the schematic and harnessed one of the modern era.
One sentence would suffice to describe him: a goalkeeper , who if necessary played as a forward. A number 1 with the number 9 shirt. Campos was the goalkeeper who defended the goal posts for the national team for over ten years, from 1991 to 2004, and was able to score around 38 goals in his career.

It was the flying goalkeeper who, on the beaches of Acapulco, where he was born, left with the ball to score the decisive goal in the sand at the end of the day.

When Harlequin challenged the


“El brody” on the pitch you noticed him immediately, whether he was standing between the posts or if you found him cheering for a goal. The unmistakable peculiarity of him was the uniform, two sizes larger, designed by him, with those bright colors that made it unique in the world. A feature that together with that of the role of "flying goalkeeper" par excellence, will make him hostile to Sepp Blatter. If in the 1994 World Cup the then FIFA president banned the Mexican national team from using "Jorgito" in the double role of goalkeeper-striker, in 1998 it was the famous custom uniforms that were banned. An authentic veto aimed at limiting the popularity that Campos managed to obtain in those years, thanks to those unique features. Which, among other things, earned him the appearance in one of Nike's most famous commercials in 1994. This target shooting, however, did nothing but increase the mythical aura of "el surfer". A footballer almost by chance, that 168 cm tall man after trying any sport, dragged his origins as a surfer on a football field. Riding any ideological wave. Showing a new, flamboyant image. How much his phosphorescent uniforms.

Jorge Campos, the Harlequin who challenged the system.

Thanks to the pen of CasaBaggio .

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