Was Hernán Crespo good or bad at São Paulo? Everyone has obvious and complete freedom to make their own assessment. For column, alternative “A”. And your career sequel? It’s very well underway, thanks, he would say.
Treated as a promise when he arrived at São Paulo, Crespo now deserves to be seen as a reality in the coaching market. Leaving São Paulo at this moment even has a positive bias. He never fought relegation as a coach. Neither at Banfield nor at Defensa y Justicia, largely because of the often indecipherable system of rise and fall of Argentine football (which calculates the average of previous championships). This blemish goes without staining your resume.
What his trajectory will tell from now is that he won two historic titles in two different clubs (and countries) in a space of just four months. On January 23, he lifted the Sudamericana by Defensa y Justicia, giving the modest green and yellow team’s first international championship. On another day, May 23, São Paulo won its first title in São Paulo in 16 years, the first overall achievement of the Morumbi team after nine seasons.
Another point in its favor, São Paulo stopped only in the quarterfinals of the Libertadores, a campaign that it hadn’t had since 2016. And it was eliminated by only one of the finalists (Palmeiras, which can even improve this argument in case of a title).
This will certainly count when looking for a job. The Argentine coaches of recent (and brief) spells in Brazilian football went on with their lives without the slightest drama. Ricardo Gareca went out the back door of Palmeiras and took over the Peru team. He took the Andean country to the first World Cup since 1982 and was runner-up in a Copa America. Ariel Holan hit Santos, went to León, from Mexico, and has even won the championship. Jorge Sampaoli, fighting with everyone at Atlético-MG, is now the commander of Olympique de Marseille and great rival of Lionel Messi’s PSG. Daniel Passarella, a defender from Corinthians, returned to his River Plate, where he would later become president.
(Speaking of River, Crespo’s name doesn’t appear today as a possible replacement for Marcelo Gallardo, but let no one be surprised by a turnaround.)
Crespo is an intelligent professional and advised by businessman Christian Bragarnik, perhaps the most influential in South America today, whose tentacles advance every day over Europe. Not coincidentally, Hernán two weeks ago received a new international license — it’s pretty clear that his next attempt will be on the Old Continent.
In case it doesn’t work out, Racing already has its doors open, largely due to the influence of Bragarnik, and its shadow already looms over San Lorenzo, a club for which he supported in his childhood. Uruguayan Paolo Montero is at serious risk of falling into the Cyclonic.
Finally, it’s impossible not to remember your premonition and your mantra “from where at llegan las piernas go to llegar el corazón“. Where the legs don’t reach, the heart will reach. So much lacked a leg in this São Paulo that the colleague Menon here at UOL even asked for a CPI in tricolor physical preparation. But now without the presence of “Valdanito” who is certainly already separating the suit for Italy, Spain or, why not, Buenos Aires, which has always been close, like in that famous Fito Páez song about Rosario.