Juan Camilo Zúñiga

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This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Zúñiga and the second or maternal family name is Mosquera.
Juan Zúñiga
Juan Camilo Zúñiga - SSC Neapel (4).jpg
Zúñiga playing for Napoli in 2009
Personal information
Full name Juan Camilo Zúñiga Mosquera
Date of birth (1985-12-14) 14 December 1985 (age 28)
Place of birth Chigorodó, Colombia
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Full back
Club information
Current team
Number 18
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2008 Atlético Nacional 129 (9)
2008–2009 Siena 28 (0)
2009– Napoli 118 (4)
National team
2005 Colombia U-20 4 (0)
2005– Colombia 57 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 May 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 4 July 2014

Juan Camilo Zúñiga Mosquera (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxwan kaˈmilo ˈsuɲiɣa mosˈkeɾa], born 14 December 1985) is a Colombian footballer who currently plays for Serie A club Napoli and the Colombian national team. [1]

Club career

Atlético Nacional

Born in Chigorodó, Antioquia, Zúñiga made his professional debut with Colombian giant Atlético Nacional. With Nacional, he gained three titles while being at the club for seven seasons. In total, he made 129 league appearances and scored 9 goals.


Zúñiga left Atlético Nacional in the summer of 2008 and was contracted by Italian side Siena. His transfer consisted of €3 million.[2] While at Siena, Zúñiga gave impressive performances, attracting the likes of several clubs. In total, he made 28 leagues appearances, failing to score a goal.


On 9 July 2009 Napoli signed the Colombian from Siena on a five-year deal for €8.5 million.[3][4] Zúñiga then usually featured in the left side of the 3–5–2 formation, as the left wingback, since Christian Maggio often occupies the right side.

After the arrival of Andrea Dossena in January 2010, he lost his starting place and became a backup wingback on both flanks in the 2010–11 Serie A season.

Zúñiga scored his first Serie A goal for Napoli against Catania on 20 February 2011. His second goal was on 15 May 2011 against Internazionale in the 46th minute. His third, spectacular goal occurred against Genoa on 21 December 2011.

In late August, 2013, Zuniga suffered an injury. Weeks later, it was confirmed that he would have knee surgery and be out for a month, likely causing him to miss the rest of the season for 2013.[5]

In April 2014, it was announced after 5 months, that Zuniga finally recovered from his knee injury and will continue regularly for Napoli.[6]

International career

Zúñiga played for Colombia in the 2005 World Youth Cup before progressing to the senior national team in 2005. He was regarded as being similar to other famous adventurous full-backs such as Cafu and Roberto Carlos by the Italian press during the under-20 World Youth Cup, because of his attacking nature.

Zúñiga started most of Colombia 2014 World Cup qualifiers, only missing two games: against Venezuela after being given permission to leave the team for the birth of his son,[7] and against Peru due to injury.

He was called up for the 2014 World Cup and appeared in four of the five matches that Colombia played in the tournament.[8] On 4 July 2014, while Colombia's quarter-final match against hosts Brazil was nearing its end, Zúñiga landed his right knee in Neymar's lower back while challenging for the ball. Neymar was stretchered off and further examinations showed that Neymar suffered a fractured third lumbar vertebra, ruling him out of the rest of the World Cup.[9][10] After the match, which Colombia lost 2-1, Zúñiga insisted that he had not meant to injure Neymar.[11][12] Neymar's teammate Thiago Silva defended Zuniga, stating that he is not the type of player who would purposely cause an injury to any player.[13] On 5 July, it was revealed that Zúñiga had sent a letter of apology to Neymar, saying that he was "deeply sorry and sad" for unintentionally causing the injury.[14]

International goals
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 7 September 2012 Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia  Uruguay 4 – 0 4–0 2014 WCQ



Atletico Nacional


  1. ^ "Arsenal Transfer News: Cavani, Zuniga, Gourcuff And Walcott Involved In Latest Speculation". Ibtimes.com. 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  2. ^ "Zuniga raggiunge il ritiro" (in Italian). AC Siena. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Napoli, ufficializzati Campagnaro e Zuniga" (in Italian). SSC Napoli. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "SSC Napoli 2009–10 Annual Report (page 21 to 40)". SSC Napoli (C.C.I.A.A. Archive) (in Italian). Re-Published by direttanapoli.it. ca. January 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Diego, Juan. "Camilo Zuñiga fue operado de la rodilla". Comutricolor.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  6. ^ http://www.fantagazzetta.com/calcio-italia/napoli-emergenza-terzini-finita-pronti-al-rientro-maggio-e-zuniga-184695
  7. ^ "Defensor Camilo Zuñiga de Colombia estaría ausente para juego con Venezuela" (in Spanish). Univision. 8 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Profile on the FIFA World Cup official website". FIFA.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  9. ^ "Neymar Jr Injury Video: Watch Foul on Brazil Super Star Today; Neymar Taken to Hospital, Will Miss Germany Semi Final Match (+Photos)". The Epoch Times. 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  10. ^ "Neymar: Injured Brazil forward ruled out of World Cup". BBC Sport. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Neymar: Injured Brazil forward ruled out of World Cup". BBC Sport. 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  12. ^ "Zúñiga diz que não tinha a intenção de machucar Neymar" (in Portuguese). Estadão. 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  13. ^ http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/2127522/thiago-silva-defendio-a-zuniga-y-quiere-ganar-la-copa-por-neymar
  14. ^ "Zuniga apologizes to Neymar for tackle". Associated Press. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 

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