Who was Magico Gonzalez, the 10 strong most of Maradona that he ended up a taxi driver

Published on Jun 24, 2016

The sports journalism, when done well, has the extraordinary ability to drag the reader into the field, between players, to tell a story that is not only that of the ball, the racket or the basket; but a story with many implications and many meanings. Marco Marsullo, this thing here, it's great. Neapolitan, journalist of The Journal, the writer – for his age – prolificissimo. In his latest novel, The taxi driver, " published by Rizzoli, is able to combine effectively fiction and anecdotal, to unite the story of the protagonist – under the guise of a taxi driver – with that of a hero of other times, matador soccer field, the sample (for real), Spain.

The smoothness of the style and musicality of the construction of the periods are the foundation to de The driver of Maradona. Then there are the anecdotes: the time in California, that El Mago was caught with two blondes (more, actually) while he was in retreat with Barcelona (who then drove him); or of his fine friendship with José Monge Cruz, art Camaron de la Isla, a performer with an expert and legend of flamenco. Everything seems a film, a beautiful film, beyond Sorrentino: and, in fact, more than once, especially when at the end of his career, burdened and slowed down by age, interview, El Mago, it seems to relive the scene of Tony Pisapia, a talented Toni Servillo, is The man. “You do not even know what the fuck it means. I love the freedom. I'm a free man”.

Jorge Gonzalez, first name of El Mago, was a soccer player, a lover, passionate and an absent father; at his retirement, in your free time, it was the taxi driver. He was named best player in el salvador (under him, and El Salvador qualified twice to the world cup), and Maradona, once, he said it was even better than him. In the story of Marsullo, the reality combines a narrative fiction perfect: love, friendship, pain. The usual mix. And then there are the different why: why, for example, El Mago was so rebellious and undisciplined, because he liked – and he liked it, yes, sir – to sleep late and skip workouts; why he had not gone to France, England and Italy when everyone called him; and because he had always preferred to wear the jersey number 11 to number 10 (“it is as if there were one more”, he said).

At the end of his career, Magico Gonzalez had nothing, not a prize, not a trophy. Only the recognition of his people, the veneration of the fans (and if you don't do for them, for those who do it?) and the chance – to say the least – to be able to say satisfied. In spite of everything.

It remains, then, of the ball, football and a sport; that remains the goal. Behold, to regard, it is interesting to see a dialog box that Marsullo does to keep the Magic in the car, with a young customer, who speaks to Messi. Have you seen this, asks, how many goals did he? But football, answers El Mago, is not in this. Football, he says, is “remedy to the moments in which everything seems lost. The matches last the whole life, not only in ninety minutes, it's like no one ever leave the field.” And “sometimes, one confuses the greatness of a player with the number of goals that he has in his career. When you forget that to get to those goals has wrong many, many times – insists El Mago – even is reached sbagliarli because late in the action, why it had slipped, because sometimes it simply will not happen.” And because in the end it is not only football. There is also the life, that other, the one outside of the field: and you have to live with both of these things, until the end. Sometimes, even beyond. What a beautiful book. The driver of Maradona is in the library from 19 June, 15 euro, 181 pages.

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