Mario Yepes

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This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Yepes and the second or maternal family name is Díaz.
Mario Yepes
Mario Yepes 02.JPG
Yepes in 2013.
Personal information
Full name Mario Alberto Yepes Díaz
Date of birth (1976-01-13) 13 January 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth Cali, Colombia
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Atalanta
Number 33
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1997 Cortuluá 76 (7)
1997–1999 Deportivo Cali 93 (11)
1999–2002 River Plate 76 (6)
2002–2004 Nantes 73 (2)
2004–2008 Paris Saint-Germain 115 (8)
2008–2010 Chievo 63 (1)
2010–2013 Milan 38 (1)
2013–2014 Atalanta 24 (0)
Total 558 (36)
National team
1999–2014 Colombia 102 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:38, 1 June 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19 June 2014

Mario Alberto Yepes Díaz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmaɾjo ˈʝepes]; born 13 January 1976) is a Colombian professional footballer who currently plays as a defender for Serie A club Atalanta.[1] Yepes was well-known for his time in Paris Saint-Germain where he was considered to be one of the best defenders at the time dubbing him as 'Super Mario' before moving to Chievo.[2][3] He has also been the captain of the Colombian national team since 2008. Yepes is one of the last active players of the original members of the Colombian golden generation during their dying years where they won the 2001 Copa América. Thus, with the current golden generation, he's played in both the '90s golden generation (that ended in 2002) to the present golden team, along with Faryd Mondragón.[4][5][2]

Club career[edit]

Cortuluá[edit]

When Mario Yepes started his playing career in 1994 with Cortuluá, he was playing as a forward before Cortulua's coach converted him to a libero (sweeper).

Deportivo Cali[edit]

Yepes career really took off after he signed for his home town club Deportivo Cali in 1998. He won a Colombian championship with Deportivo Cali. He was part of the squad of Copa Libertadores 1999.

River Plate[edit]

In 1999, Yepes joined River Plate in Argentina, where he became a star and won two Argentine Primera championships.

Nantes[edit]

In spite of the fact that several Italian and English clubs wanted to recruit Yepes, he signed for FC Nantes Atlantique in January 2002 where his nickname was El Rey (the king). After a difficult adaptation to the European style of playing marked by a very aggressive play uncommon for Nantes (numerous red cards), he slowly adapted to the league. He became arguably one of the best defenders in the league when his team adopted an unconventional three-defender formation.

Paris Saint-Germain[edit]

Yepes became one the best central defenders of the French first division and joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2004, where his nickname was "Super Mario" as a reference to his defensive abilities and fitness levels.

Chievo Verona[edit]

In 2008, Yepes joined Chievo Verona of Italy. He signed a new contract in summer 2009.[6]

Milan[edit]

In March 2010, Chievo team-mate, Sergio Pellissier, confirmed that Yepes would join Milan in the summer, when his contract ran out.[7]

Yepes in action for A.C. Milan in 2012

On 1 July 2010, Milan CEO Adriano Galliani declared that Yepes is a big player to replace Giuseppe Favalli who became a free agent on the same day.[8]

Yepes got to Milan in the 2010–11 season but was quickly deployed as a substitute due to the starting centre-back being Thiago Silva. Yepes played few games in the Italian Serie A, but participated in the UEFA Champions League. Yepes was close to scoring with Milan in the UEFA Champions League match against Tottenham Hotspur, in which he had two clear chances of scoring with a header, but was denied twice by Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes.

Yepes scored his first goal for Milan on the 23 October 2011, where he finished off a remarkable comeback against U.S. Lecce, scoring the fourth and winning goal for Milan in the 83rd minute to drive the Rossoneri to a 4–3 victory, with Kevin-Prince Boateng scoring a hat-trick to level the scores after a 3–0 losing position.

On 12 May 2012, Yepes signed a one-year extension contract with Milan, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2013.[9] With barely any appearances, Yepes stated that he would not sign a new contract with the club despite being offered the chance, expressing that he needed more 'guaranteed' playing time in order to better prepare himself for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He later confirmed that Milan would not offer him as such and his reason for departure.[10][11][12]

Atalanta[edit]

Yepes signed a one-year contact with fellow Serie A club Atalanta to finish his club career before the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as his retirement.

International career[edit]

Yepes has played 102 matches for the Colombian national team since his debut in 1999, making him the second most capped Colombian player of all time, after Carlos Valderrama.[13] He was part of the Colombia squad that won the Copa América in 2001.[14] and was also in the squads for three other editions of the tournament in 1999,[15] 2007[16] and 2011.

During the team's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Yepes made 12 appearances as Colombia qualified for its first finals since 1998. In the final qualifying match, Yepes scored both goals in a 2–1 victory against Paraguay.[13]

Due to his age during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Yepes expressed his passion for the national team and wanting to retire either after the World Cup qualifiers or during the 2014 World Cup. José Pékerman promised to meet with his retirement request. On 17 December 2013, Yepes announced that he would retire after the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[17]

On 14 June 2014, Yepes made his first appearance in a FIFA World Cup finals at the age of 38, captaining Colombia to a 3–0 win over Greece in Belo Horizonte.[18] Yepes is the oldest outfield player at the 2014 World Cup, and the second-oldest overall, after compatriot Faryd Mondragón.[19]

On 19 June 2014, Yepes earned his 100th cap for the Cafeteros in the second group stage match against Côte d'Ivoire, becoming the third Colombian player to reach the milestone after Valderrama and Leonel Álvarez.[20] He led Colombia to its best ever World Cup performance as they reached the quarter-finals for the first time in history, where they lost 2–1 to tournament hosts Brazil.[21]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 19 June 2014 (UTC)[22]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Cortuluá 1994 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
1995 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 0
1995–96 40 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 40 4
1996–97 17 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 3
Total 76 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 76 6
Deportivo Cali 1997–98 32 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 32 4
1998–99 48 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 48 6
1999–00 13 1 12 0 0 0 0 0 25 1
Total 93 11 12 0 0 0 0 0 105 11
River Plate 1999–00 29 2 0 0 0 0 29 2
2000–01 33 2 1 0 0 0 0 33 3
2001–02 14 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 2
Total 76 6 1 0 0 0 0 77 7
Nantes 2001–02 11 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 14 0
2002–03 33 2 0 0 0 0 33 2
2003–04 29 0 4 2 0 0 2 1 35 3
Total 73 2 5 2 0 0 4 1 82 5
Paris Saint-Germain 2004–05 32 3 3 1 0 0 4 0 39 4
2005–06 32 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 36 4
2006–07 24 1 4 0 0 0 3 0 31 1
2007–08 27 0 4 0 0 0 3 0 31 0
Total 115 8 15 1 0 0 10 0 140 9
Chievo 2008–09 32 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 32 0
2009–10 31 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 32 1
Total 63 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 64 1
Milan 2010–11 13 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 17 0
2011–12 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 1
2012–13 14 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 18 1
Total 38 1 3 1 0 0 5 0 46 2
Atalanta 2013–14 24 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 26 0
Total 24 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 26 0
Career total 558 36 38 5 0 0 19 1 615 42

International statistic[edit]

As of 19 June 2014[23]
Colombia national team
Year Apps Goals
1999 3 0
2000 9 0
2001 13 0
2003 12 1
2004 7 1
2005 7 1
2007 5 1
2008 3 0
2009 9 0
2010 6 0
2011 9 0
2012 5 0
2013 7 2
2014 7 0
Total 102 6

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Colombia's goal tally first.[24]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Final Competition
1. 20 June 2003 Stade de Gerland, Lyon, France  New Zealand 2-1 3-1 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup
2. 17 November 2004 Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia  Bolivia 1-0 1-0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
3. 30 May 2005 Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, United States  England 1-2 2-3 Friendly
4. 23 June 2007 Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia  Ecuador 2-1 3-1 Friendly
5. 15 October 2013 Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay  Paraguay 1–1 2–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. 2–1

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

International[edit]

Individual[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Mario Yepes is married to a Colombian woman, Carolina Villegas.[26] Yepes and his wife have three children, his son Luciano Yepes was born in May 2002,[27] his second son Valentino Yepes was born on 23 September 2012, and his daughter Miranda Yepes was born in April 2005.[27]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ atalanta.it, ed. (17 July 2013). "Mario Yepes ha raggiunto l'Atalanta in ritiro (italian)". Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Mario Yepes offered - Chronicle". newcastle-online.org. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Passato glorioso di Super Mario Yepes". Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Yepes: We’ll be raring to go". fifa.com. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Mario Yepes será el capitán de Colombia". terra.com (in Spanish) (Terra Networks, S.A.). 8 October 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "MARIO YEPES ANCORA IN GIALLOBLU'" (in Italian). chievoverona.it. 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-07-18. [dead link]
  7. ^ Vince Masiello (2010-03-30). "Chievo Captain Sergio Pellissier Confirms That Mario Yepes Will Join Milan'". goal.com. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  8. ^ "ONE GOES, ANOTHER COMES". AC Milan. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Yepes signs one-year extension with AC Milan". Goal.com. 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  10. ^ http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/mario-yepes-announces-ac-milan-split-3966131#.Uc-zRvm0KSo
  11. ^ http://www.football-italia.net/35892/yepes-confirms-milan-exit
  12. ^ http://www.ligapostobon.com.co/noticias/mario-alberto-yepes-dejara-al-milan-143823
  13. ^ a b "Mario YEPES". FIFA. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  14. ^ rsssf: Copa América 2001
  15. ^ rsssf: Copa América 1999
  16. ^ rsssf: Copa América 2007
  17. ^ http://comutricolor.com/mario-yepes-se-retiraria-despues-mundial/
  18. ^ "Colombia 3-0 Greece". BBC. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "World Cup stats: The tallest, youngest and most prolific players in Brazil". 360°. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  20. ^ "World Cup: Colombia beat Ivory Coast 2-1 in Brasilia to close on last 16". FIFA. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Colombia Taps World Cup Fever to Urge Guerrilla Defections". Bloomberg. 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Colombia – M. Yepes". soccerway.com. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  23. ^ "Yepes, Mario". National Football Teams. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  24. ^ "Mario Yepes International Statistics"., Int.soccerway.com Retrieved on 16 July 2014
  25. ^ HISTORIAL COPA LIBERTADORES DE AMÉRICA
  26. ^ "Mario Yepes "La muralla"". latinoaldia.com (in Spanish). 10 March 2005. Retrieved 18 February 2013. , "Querido, te sigo donde vayas". old.ole.com.ar (in Spanish). Olé. 10 July 2000. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "[Milan] Noticias". taringa.net (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 February 2013. 

External links[edit]