The storm of an American

Pulisic avoids Courtois before scoring the first goal of the game against Real Madrid this Tuesday in Valdebebas.

Before another storm unloaded on Valdebebas, Real Madrid fell another in the form of football. As soon as the game started, literally, Chelsea began a sequence of attacks that shook the whites. Among its managers, Christian Pulisic. Suddenly, an American punishing Zidane’s boys in Europe with speed and skill.

First he despaired, like all blue, when Werner wasted an assist with his head. The German made a classic of his season: missing an occasion that everyone at Di Stéfano was already singing (or crying). Courtois took his handball foot out to deny him the goal. The rain of the game of the Londoners was a fact at that point, just minute ten. Werner had it again, who did not get a nail to a center. But at the third time, Pulisic, 22, put on his morning coat and took a lexatin to undress the white defense.

First he executed a manual unchecking between Nacho and Varane in the face of the passivity of the local defensive system, and then, alone before the Belgian goalkeeper, he relaxed, analyzed the landscape, dodged the goal and waited to find the hole to hole between a cloud of defenders. A display of tranquility in such a claustrophobic moment. He thus became the first American to celebrate in a semi-finals of the European Cup. Tuchel, pure frenzy in the band, chewing gum and screaming at the same time, found joy after despairing with Werner.

Until Benzema appeared half an hour later with Madrid in the corner of the ring bailing water, also literally, Chelsea relied on Pulisic to boost itself. Starting from the center, his starts in the first half penalized some white parties and without answers. They were the best visiting minutes and there was Pulisic. After the break, with the duel closer and without so many spaces, the American lost weight until he was replaced by Ziyech.

The American, signed for 64 million in the winter of 2019, belongs to the Dortmund finds factory, which recruited him at the age of 16 from the United States. Pulisic was born in Hershey, a town of just over 10,000 Pennsylvania residents, and his father Mark’s Croatian ancestry led him to something as European as soccer. He played for the PA Classics and the Harrisburg City Islanders until the German team’s scouting network caught him in his teens.

In the Rhur basin he raced up the pyramid of the lower ranks. It took him a year to debut at the Westfalenstadion. In his four years in the Bundesliga he added 19 goals and 26 assists in 127 games, enough so that in 2019 Chelsea, who came from a penalty of not being able to sign for violating the rule on international transfers of minors under 18 years, put on the table 64 million to make it at that time the third largest contract in its history, after the Spaniards Kepa (80) and Morata (66). That campaign ended in Germany and in the summer of 2019 he traveled to London, where this Tuesday he added his target number 17 and the sixth of this course. None more important than his display of calm and technique in Valdebebas.

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