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Henry Vaca and football forward for Bolivia

Jorge Luna Ortuno We lost by a landslide against Tité's Brazil, but we won something: the consecration of Henry Vaca in the Bolivian team. His p


Jorge Luna Ortuno

We lost by a landslide against Tité’s Brazil, but we won something: the consecration of Henry Vaca in the Bolivian team. His performance was commendable, because doing what he did in such a bad team is much more difficult. Great players make good football appear out of nowhere, even if they find themselves as lonely as a train station at three in the morning.

We will remember that last Wednesday night none of those in green accompanied him, neither in terms of desire to impose their game, nor in terms of speed of mental reasoning, nor in terms of mischief. But he beat them alone, a characteristic sign of being Bolivian, we refer to that somewhat warlike attitude of the best Bolivians – inside and outside the country – who do not appease before anything or anyone when they are the underdogs, imbued by a kind of self-esteem, which connects them with the ancestors who populated these lands in the beginning.

Henry Vaca was the closest thing to a cartoon character in a team of statues. The values ​​that highlight his game are the same ones that should oxygenate the veins of a Bolivian team in the future: guts, speed of reasoning, careful handling of the ball, irreverence against the giant, and constant search for the verticalization of the play towards the goal. .

It has been said that Messi has the great quality of improving all the plays when the ball reaches his feet, no matter what sector of the field he is in, and it is totally true; when Messi takes the leather, the play is clarified, he immediately adds a sense of danger.

And keeping us from any successful comparison, this virtue in Henry Vaca should be praised, because he turned on the electricity on the right wing in the first half, mainly during bursts in which that corridor was illuminated as a certain possibility of risk; he had a face-to-face chance with goalkeeper Allison that he generated himself based on the high pressure on Marquinhos, then a perfect cut to the middle settling for his left leg, even though the shot came out faster than expected, and was blocked by the goalie

It was anyway the best in Bolivia at that point.

Go forward

In the second half, Henry continued to torment Alex Telles, the Brazilian left-back, the only one to break out in a cold sweat on a quiet day for the five-time world champions.

The newspapers will report that Brazil walked around La Paz, but there is one who did not have time to savor the victory and that was Telles, a Manchester United player. Henry showed him the ball, measured it and then quickly overflowed it outside with remarkable ease, as if the play belonged to another game, because we saw a Bolivian imposing himself with such authority and confidence on a Brazilian. It was what we needed to replicate in other sectors of the field.

In the last stretches of the second half, the Brazilian coach decided to replace Telles, who, probably because of this match, will no longer be taken into account in future calls for the World Cup, since he was playing on trial against Bolivia. Let us remember that in that position Brazil already has full-backs who are ahead: Lodi (Atlético de Madrid), Alexandro (Juventus) and even Arana (Atlético Mineiro).

Thus, although everyone celebrated in Brazil, the big loser was winger Telles, for having found an unexpected executioner.

Tired of his teammates wasting what his overflows generated on the right, he went to the other end where nothing happened. But it was a night where we needed Henry to put in the cross and come in himself to head the ball.

This was verified in multiple incisive passes that he delivered to his teammates; especially when he left Ramiro Vaca alone in front of the goal, but he placed the ball perfectly outside, centimeters from the goalkeeper’s left post. It counted as another attempt, stat; Bolivia, the statistical machine towards the minus side.

Well, to start being a positive statistic, you need a leadership and a coach who make the decision to take the team forward. But this motto must be translated into a management mode and a style of play. The new premise must be to score goals.

Johan Cruyff’s spirit installed in Bolivia: always play forward, don’t throw the ball away when you’re pressured, or run backwards when you lose it. Bolivia needs to uninstall its soccer software and reload versions that are much more current and closer to its futsal DNA. Play taking care of the ball, playing short and with intelligent positioning of the players.

Because, in addition, we already know that closing in the area to resist the white in the marker does not work. Bolivia wasted another tie in the same way, with a coach who turned out to be a total cold chest. Farías ate eight goals in this tie. Now it is time to try the other way: play forward. It is better that the team loses a landslide playing forward and providing at least a different show in terms of handling the ball and technical deployment.

And Bolivia has, by nature, players with great skill, fast, mischievous, ballers, sharp. You can have more.

If we have this clear idea of ​​associative football with touch of the ball, it will also be possible to better orient player training processes from youth to this style of game. Remember the team from Azkargorta, who treated the ball with care, technique and lucidity. There was a Tahuichi and also some players for that style. Henry Vaca was in charge of reminding us of those precursors of a contemporary idea for Bolivian soccer.

Jorge Luna Ortuno Philosopher and researcher