Nacionalismo futbolístico

AMSTERDAM – El difunto Arthur Koestler, nacido en Budapest, residente en muchos países y escritor en varias lenguas, dijo en cierta ocasión que existe el nacionalismo y también el nacionalismo futbolístico. Los sentimientos inspirados por este último son, con mucha diferencia, más intensos. El propio Koestler, orgulloso y leal ciudadano británico, siguió siendo un nacionalista futbolístico húngaro.

A los americanos, cuyo campeonato anual de béisbol, pese a su nombre en inglés (“World Series”), es esencialmente un asunto interno, les resulta difícil entender las emociones engendradas en los ciudadanos europeos cuando sus naciones compiten en el Campeonato Europeo de Fútbol cada cuatro años. Durante varias semanas de este verano, los estadios de Austria y Suiza, por no citar las calles de las capitales europeas de Madrid a Moscú, se entregaron a una orgía de patriotismo en forma de ondear de banderas, cantar de himnos y batir de tambores. La victoria de España fue una de las escasas ocasiones en que catalanes, castellanos, vascos y andaluces vivieron juntos una explosión de disfrute patriótico.

El fútbol, más que la mayoría de los deportes, se presta a los sentimientos tribales: el esfuerzo colectivo, los colores del equipo, la velocidad, la agresión física. Como dijo en cierta ocasión un famoso entrenador holandés de fútbol en serio: “El fútbol es la guerra”.

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