Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. Neither of the three is applicable for Guti. He was born as a great, achieved greatness and had divinity thrust upon him.

However, he is one of those special cases that should be scrutinized under the anoraks of subjectivity. A flawed genius whose heel could sing the tune of romance, whose sublime caliber could diffuse all his profanity and who in his vainglorious best takes the throne of King Ozymandius.

One of those rare DNA that gives you faith that football is a beautiful game, Guti could sculpt miracles from grains of sand. He was Michelangelo reincarnated that graced the green blades of Santiago Bernabeu. A dual figure like Katherine Mansfieldai??i??s ai???Bossai??i?? ai??i?? at once, he is the victim of torment while the other a figure of almighty.

That night at Bernabeu, Real Madrid gasping for breath needed something spectacular from somewhere, someone to break past the Sevilla defence. Even the great Zidaneai??i??s artistry couldnai??i??t unlock the resilience of the visitors. Enter Guti Hernandez. When Cicinho crossed the ball to Zidane, who failed to control it, Enzo Maresca cleared the ball away from danger 25 yards out. Facing away from the goal surely every mortal on earth would have given a sideway pass.

But Guti is not a mere mortal.

He did a ai???taconazoai??i??, splitting the defence like an arrow from which Zidane slotted home. How did he do that? Thatai??i??s ridiculous, thatai??i??s sublime, and thatai??i??s godly. That pass alone defines Guti. What oft was thought ai???phenomenalai??i?? for others – for Guti, itai??i??s beyond phenomenon!

Guti produced another sublime piece of magic few years later, from his vast repertoire of the supposed feats of mesmerism. Accredited as the ai???heel of Godai??i??, Guti broke the shackle of Deportivo dominance over Madrid with such an Ai??lan that history of time stopped for a while before kneeling down to his feet. Kaka started the counter attack, threaded a finely crafted through pass leaving Guti one-on-one with the goalie. All he needed to do was to guide the ball past the Depor custodian.

But, thatai??i??s the difference between mere mortals and Almighty. Guti produced an outrageous back heel tearing asunder La Coruna defence in shreds. He didnai??i??t even look back at who was coming behind. His sixth sense was enough to formulate the moment in a flash. Mere mortals like Scholes, Gerrard et al can only think of it, while others would have dread to do it. For Guti, it was just a piece of cake.

The fans of English Premier League went gaga over Van Persieai??i??s ai???Spidermanai??i?? goal against Charlton few years back. Gutiai??i??s volley against Deportivo was far more mesmerizing, such aplomb, audacity, technique is unmatched. Yet, Guti is Guti. A frustrating tale of a genius who remained as an ai???eternal promiseai??i?? but never flourished like evergreen.

In his 25 years of Madrid life, he made over 500 appearances, has won 5 titles and 3 European Cups. But that is only one half of a story. A poet with a disruptive burst of art Guti flourished only in flashes. In 2000-01, he filled the shoes of Fernando Morientes as a striker and scored 14 goals in the league. After Zinedine Zidane hung his boot, Guti was deployed in the centre and he finished the season with 17 assists for the club.

A graduate from the Cantera-System of Madrid, Gutiai??i??s life is soaked in stardom and glory. The glamorous life-style off pitch aided with his artistic caliber on pitch resulted in a dangerous cock-tail- ai???Da Vinciai??i?? and ai???Draconian Devilai??i?? existed side by side.

In his 15 senior seasons at Madrid, he was regular for only three to four seasons. That sums up about his fable of inconsistency. It was hard for any manager to keep faith and trust in him. Those managers tried to tame instead of unleashing him.

Talk about managers, Real Madrid had 16 managers during Gutiai??i??s tenure as a player. It was hard for the Torrejon-born who became the victim of such radical shifts at Madrid. The Galacticos, Neo-Galacticos, Perez era, Calderon era, the arrivals of Figo, Owen, Beckham et al made life difficult for him.

Itai??i??s not like he was dumped in the garbage, but constant change without stability and preference of overseas player than home grown talents restricted the burgeoning growth and progress of Guti.

Thatai??i??s why he is a special case. He is special, perhaps ‘the’ special. In its smug glow of self-congratulation, Guti could do the impossible acts with empyrean ease. Had he been consistent, we would have seen one of the greatest ever midfielders to have graced this game but then again, we perhaps would have missed a flawed, temperamental genius who used to usher glimpses of talent only when he wished to.

We would have missed ai???thisai??i?? Guti – the self destructive Orpheus of football.

—-

Article written by Saikat Mandal

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5 Responses to “Guti – Madrid-born Michelangelo Of Football”

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  1. Pritish says:

    i knw guti is great.. sublime as well.. but gerrard is no mortal.. he gives birth to any kind of inspiration that u may dream to see on the field

  2. Yasaswi Kauschav says:

    Simply sensational….and u have summed up this genius in one article although i never expected any one could have done that

  3. Tanay says:

    Such articles really make the day for football fans, good to see an article that does not ramble about transfer gossip or pre/post match reportings… look forward to more of such writeups!

  4. Nilanjan says:

    Great article about one of football’s greatest. Yet I feel his talent was not totally recognised. And I do not get why some are comparing him with other midfielders, this article glorifies Guti Haz, does not compare or de-glorify others

  5. Conor says:

    The most pretentious and nonsensical (Draconian Devil?) article I’ve read since… well, since Chick Young’s last piece, but still, that was pretty cringewrothy