|Full name||Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga|
|Date of birth||13 March 1967|
|Place of birth||Medellín, Colombia|
|Date of death||2 July 1994(aged 27)|
|Place of death||Medellín, Colombia|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 1⁄2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga (13 March 1967 – 2 July 1994), nicknamed "The Gentleman of Football", was a Colombian footballer who was shot and killed in Medellín. It is widely believed that he was murdered due to his own goal in the 1994 FIFA World Cup against the United States, which supposedly would have caused gambling losses to several powerful drug lords.
Andrés Escobar is still held in the highest regard by Colombian fans, and is especially mourned and remembered by Atlético Nacional's fans. His brother, Santiago, has managed many Colombian teams. Andrés is known for his famous line "Life doesn't end here".
Escobar was born in Medellin, Colombia on 13 March 1967. He grew up in a middle-class family. His father is Dario Escobar, a banker who founded an organisation that gives young people the opportunity to play football instead of being on the streets. After Escobar's death, his family founded the Andrés Escobar Project to help disadvantaged kids learn to play football. His brother, Santiago, won the Copa Mustang with Atlético Nacional.
He attended Colegio Calasanz and graduated from Instituto Conrado Gonzalez. He participated in school football teams before becoming a professional football player. Prior to his death, Escobar was engaged to his girlfriend of five years, Pamela Cascardo, a dentist. Escobar was killed one month before their wedding was to take place.
Escobar was a defender for Colombia in the World Cup in 1990 and 1994. His jersey number was 2, and was known by the nicknames "El Caballero del Futbol" ("The Gentleman of Football" or "Football's Knight") and "The Immortal Number 2". In his club career, he played for Medellín side Atlético Nacional and Swiss side Young Boys Bern. He was noted for scoring with headers and became a professional football player in 1988 at the age of 21. He helped Nacional win the Copa Libertadores in 1989.
He made his debut for the Colombia national team in 1988.
Escobar's infamous own goal occurred in a match against the United States on 22 June during the 1994 World Cup. Stretching to cut out a pass from U.S. midfielder John Harkes, he deflected the ball into his own net in the second match of Group A. The USA won the game 2–1, and as a result, the heavily favored Colombian side was eliminated from the tournament in the first round.
- Scores and results list Colombia's goal tally first.
|1||24 May 1988||Wembley Stadium, England||England||1–1||1–1||1988 Rous Cup|
After the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Escobar decided to return to Colombia instead of visiting relatives in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the evening of 2 July 1994, Escobar called his friends, and they went to a bar in the El Poblado, Medellín neighbourhood. Then they went to a liquor store. Shortly afterwards, they arrived at the "El Indio" nightclub. His friends split up. At approximately 3 a.m., Escobar was alone in the parking lot of "El Indio" bar, located in a Medellín suburb. Escobar was in his car, when three men appeared. They began arguing with him. Two of the men took out handguns. Escobar was shot 6 times. It was reported that the killer shouted ¡Gol!" (imitating South American football commentators) The killer shot Escobar with a .38 caliber pistol. The group then took off in a Toyota pickup truck. Escobar was escorted to the hospital and was pronounced dead 45 minutes later.
The murder was widely believed to be a "punishment" for the goal that spiraled off his leg and went into his own goal. It is not clear whether the murderer was connected to one of the gambling syndicates who had bet large amounts of money on Colombia to qualify for the second round. In the UK, the BBC issued a public apology the following day after its football pundit Alan Hansen commented during another match that "the Argentine defender warrants shooting for a mistake like that".
Escobar's funeral was attended by over 120,000 people. Every year people honor Escobar by bringing photographs of him to matches. In July 2002, the city of Medellín unveiled a statue in honor of his memory.
Humberto Castro Muñoz, a bodyguard for members of a powerful Colombian cartel, was arrested on the night of 2 July 1994, confessing on 3 July 1994 to the killing of Escobar. Muñoz also worked as a driver for Peter David and Juan Santiago Gallon Henao, who allegedly bet heavily on the Colombian team and was upset at having lost. He was found guilty of Escobar's murder in June 1995. He was sentenced to 43 years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to 26 years because of his submitting to the ruling penal code in 2001. Humberto was released on good behavior due to further reductions from prison work and study in 2005 after serving approximately 11 years. His three accomplices were not charged.
- Atlético Nacional
30 for 30
In 2009 and 2010 ESPN broadcast 30 for 30, a series of sports-themed documentaries timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the network. The Two Escobars, by directors Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, looked back at Colombia's World Cup run and the relationship of association football and the country's criminal gangs – notably the Medellín Cartel run by Pablo Escobar.
It is suggested in the program that, had Pablo Escobar (no relation to Andrés) still been alive, the Gallon Brothers would not have targeted Andrés Escobar, as it was widely known that Pablo Escobar was a fervent supporter of the Colombian national football team and was a friend of all the players on the national team. Escobar had personally funded the construction of many of the football fields that exist in the poorer regions of Medellín and had indirectly funded many of the costs associated with training the Colombian players and preparing the national team for international play. The players visited him in prison prior to beginning their 1994 World Cup qualifying run.
There are also allegations that the Gallon Brothers bribed the Prosecutor's Office to redirect the investigation towards Muñoz as the triggerman – and the Prosecutor's Office contends that Muñoz was simply following orders from the Gallon Brothers, but prosecutors lacked credible evidence to convict them. Cascardo believes that the accusation of the Gallon Brothers' bribery of government officials is supported by the fact that Muñoz killed a national celebrity and only received 11 years in prison as punishment. Many of the Colombian national team players quit playing football after the murder.
- Davison, Phil (1994-07-04). "Medellin mourns its murdered sports star". The Independent (London).
- Almond, Elliott (1994-07-03). "World Cup USA '94: Unforgivable". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- Darling, Juanita (1998-07-17). "In Memory of Slain Soccer Player, Boys Set Their Goals". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- "The Tragedy of Andres Escobar (1967–1994)". Knol.google.com. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- "Andres Escobar". LoPaisa.com. Retrieved 2010-06-28.(Spanish)
- "The Martyr's Own Goal". Semana. 2009-07-02. Retrieved 2010-06-28.(Spanish)
- Bonk, Thomas (1994-07-03). "Fallen Star Happiest at Home in Medellin". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- Hughes, Rob (1994-07-04). "Colombian Tragedy Leaves Football At A Loss". London: The Times (U.K.). Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- Fensom, Michael, J. "Own goal at 1994 World Cup still connects slain Colombian Andres Escobar, former U.S. midfielder John Harkes". nj.com. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "Andrés Escobar". Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "Hero, Scapegoat, Martyr". Daily Mail. 1998-04-19. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- "The Case of the Fatal Goal". Time magazine. 1994-07-11. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- "CNNSI.com World Cup Hall of Fame – Andrés Escobar". CNN. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- "Gunmen Killed Player Who Erred". Orlando Sentinel. 1994-07-03. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Drezner, Daniel (2006-06-04). "The Soccer Wars". Washington Post. p. B01.
- Weaver, Paul (2001-04-01). "World Cup can wait – Sven has an election to win". London: Guardian.
- "Colombian goalie's killer released early". MSNBC. 2005-08-06. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- "The Own Goal that Meant a Death Sentence". Marca.com. 1994-07-06. Retrieved 2010-06-28.(Spanish)
- Ambrus, Steven (1994-07-04). "Mourning Fills Colombia : Shooting: Alleged gunman arrested in slaying of Escobar as nation tries to come to terms with latest violence". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
- "3 Who Argued With Escobar Face Weapons, Drug Charges". Los Angeles Times. 1994-07-06. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- "Own goal at 1994 World Cup still connects slain Colombian Andres Escobar, former U.S. midfielder John Harkes". NJ.com. 2010-06-22. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- Hinckley, David (21 June 2010). "'Two Escobars' draws parallel between football star Andres Escobar's murder, drug lord Pablo Escobar". New York Daily News. p. 2. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
- Riley, Daniel (21 June 2010). "Remember The Colombian Soccer Player Who Got Killed After Scoring An Own Goal? Well, They Made An Incredible Documentary About Him and Pablo Escobar". GQ. Retrieved 2 July 2010.