Millonarios Fútbol Club

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Millonarios
Los Millonarios F.C. logo.svg
Full name Millonarios Fútbol Club S.A.
Nickname(s) Millos,
Embajadores (The Ambassadors),
El Azul (The Blue),
Albiazules (The White Blues),
El Ballet Azul (The Blue Ballet),
El más veces Campeón (The most times Champion).
Founded 18 June 1946; 68 years ago (1946-06-18)
Ground Estadio El Campín
Bogotá, Colombia
Ground Capacity 36,343[1]
Owner Azul & Blanco S.A.
Chairman Juan Carlos Saldarriaga
Manager Ricardo Lunari
League Categoría Primera A
2014-I 3rd
Website Club home page

Millonarios Fútbol Club is a professional Colombian football team based in Bogotá, that currently plays in the Categoría Primera A. They play their home games at the El Campín stadium.

The team was initially created in 1937 by students from two schools in the city of Bogotá: "Colegio San Bartolomé" and "Instituto La Salle".[citation needed] Millonarios was formally founded on June 18, 1946, thanks to the efforts of Alfonso Senior Quevedo, Millonarios' first chairman.

Millonarios has won the Colombian league 14 times. They are also the third Colombian team to achieve a major international title, the Copa Merconorte in 2001. From the beginning of the Colombian Soccer Tournament, Millonarios has won many domestic tournaments, the last one in 2012 after a 24 year wait.

Millonarios is also one of only three teams that have played every first division tournament in the country, along with their traditional rivals Independiente Santa Fe and Atlético Nacional.

History[edit]

Millonarios is domestically and historically the most successful team from Colombia and a major soccer representative of the Americas in the 20th Century. Having their peak during the 1950s. Millonarios has won 14 first division titles, the most in Colombia. It has a great fan representation in the country.

Throughout its history, Millonarios has had noticeable players, including: Alfredo di Stéfano, Adolfo Pedernera, Juan Gilberto Funes, "El Búfalo", Willington Ortiz, Arnoldo Iguarán, Daniel Onega, Fernando Areán, Carlos Valderrama, Carlos Ángel López, Alfredo Castillo, Sergio Goycochea, Delio "Maravilla" Gamboa, Miguel Angel Converti, Jaime Morón, Amadeo Carrizo, Alejandro Brand, René Higuita, Mario Vanemerak, John Mario Ramírez, Pedro Alberto Vivalda and Pedro Camilo Franco.

The Ballet Azul[edit]

Millonarios greatly benefited from a major players' strike in the Argentinian league in 1948, which caused a great diaspora of players towards Colombia. The most successful period for the club was during the early 1950s due the notable Argentinean presence. During this period with the squad that was known as The Blue Ballet, that featured great players such as Alfredo Di Stefano, Adolfo Pedernera, Nestor Raul Rossi, Julio Cozzi, Anthony Baez, Hugo Reyes, Reinaldo Mourin and other figures in Argentina, mainly from River Plate. Thanks to the great football that showed these players on the field, Millonarios was named by several media outlets in South America and Europe, as the best team in the world in the early 1950s.

In 1951, Colombia was suspended by FIFA due to the recruitment of international players without a pass; the teams were forced to return all expatriate players that had participated in the tournament through irregular means. This edict signed the departure of Alfredo Di Stefano in February 1953, receiving bids from FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, who came to win the bid for the player.[2]

Small Club World Cup[edit]

In 1952, a group of Venezuelan sports entrepreneurs created the Small Club World Cup, a friendly competition that brought together leading European and South American teams. Millonarios was invited to participate in the 1952 and 1953 editions. In its first appearance, the team finished with seven points, behind Real Madrid (double tie 1-1) and Brazilian Botafogo (4-4 tie and defeat 0-2); the tournament was played in a two-round scheme, and involved host La Salle de Venezuela (double win 4-1 and 5-1).

In its participation in 1953, the team was crowned undefeated champion with 11 points, above River Plate of Argentina (5-1 win and 1-1 tie), Rapid Wien of Austria (double win 2-1 and 4-0) and Spanish RCD Espanyol of Barcelona (double win 6-0 and 4-0). This friendly tournament is considered by some to be a predecessor of the Intercontinental Cup, now known as FIFA Club World Cup, though not its equivalent.

2000s[edit]

Millos had further improvement when former Manchester City F.C. assistant manager Juan Carlos Osorio was appointed as the new Millonarios' Manager, which led the club to 3rd position in the League Stage of the Mustang Cup, and 5th in the addition of all the year's performance, taking the club once again into the Copa Sudamericana, while the financial situation of the team also had a notable recovery. In July 2007, Osorio left Millonarios to manage Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire, and he was replaced with Martín Lasarte; after a brief, but very unsuccessful period with Lasarte, Millonarios then hired Argentinian Mario Vanemerak as their new manager. Under Vanemerak, Millonarios began to shine again, most notably in the Copa Sudamericana 2007, where they eliminated several powerful teams, most notably Brazilian champions São Paulo FC in the quarter-finals, thanks to two goals from Ricardo Ciciliano. As of October, 2007, Millonarios qualified for the Copa Sudamericana semi-finals, although they had a less impressive performance in the local tournament.

2010s[edit]

Plagued by financial problems, and with no major titles in the last decade, the club finally initiated a bankruptcy process that led to its being bought by a society composed of about 4,000 fans, Azul & Blanco, S. A. This movement also meant a change in playing style which started with the hiring of Venezuelan coach Richard Páez. The change has proved successful, both financially and as related to championships. With Páez as coach, the team was able to win the Copa Colombia 2011 tournament, after winning both games against Boyacá Chicó F.C., thus classifying to 2012 Copa Sudamericana. In June 24, 2012, it was confirmed that Hernán Torres would be the new coach.

In Copa Sudamericana, the team was highly successful, reaching semifinals after eliminating Inti Gas, Guaraní, and the Brazilians Palmeiras, and Gremio, being eliminated by runner-up, Tigre. This came as a relief after an embarrassing defeat to Real Madrid C.F. in a friendly match to honor Alfredo Di Stéfano.

Despite the defeat, the team played a great first phase in the Colombian tournament, classifying to the play-offs as the best team of the semester. After a very difficult series of matches, the team reached the Finals which were to be played against Independiente Medellín. The first match was played in Medellín, and ended in a 0-0 tie. The final game was played December 16, 2012 in Bogotá, and ended up 1-1, thus the result had to be determined by a penalty shootout. Goalkeeper Delgado managed to stop a final shoot, and Millonarios won its 14th Championship, the first Fútbol Profesional Colombiano title in about 24 years.

As the 2012 Finalización champion, Millonarios qualified to 2013 Copa Libertadores, where it will play the second stage against Bolivian San José, Mexican Tijuana, and Brazilian Corinthians.

Honours[edit]

National honours[edit]

1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1972, 1978, 1987, 1988, 2012 II
Runners-up (9): 1950, 1956, 1958, 1967, 1973, 1975, 1984, 1994, 1995-96.
1952-1953, 1962-1963, 2011
Runners-up (2): 1951-52, 2013

International honours[edit]

1953
Runners-up (1): 1952
2001
Runners-up (1): 2000
1972

Performance in CONMEBOL competitions[edit]

Best: Semi-Finals in 1960, 1973, 1974 - Quarter-Finals in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1989, 1995
2004: Preliminary Round
2007: Semi-Finals
2012: Semi-Finals
1998: Semi-Finals
1999: Group Stage
2000: Finalist
2001: Champion

Current squad[edit]

As of 2 July 2014

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Colombia GK Nelson Fernando Ramos
2 Panama DF Román Torres (on loan from La Equidad)
3 Colombia DF Oswaldo Henríquez
5 Colombia DF Andrés Cadavid
6 Colombia DF Luis Hernán Mosquera
8 Colombia MF Rafael Robayo (on loan from Chicago Fire)
9 Peru FW Andy Polo (on loan from Inter Milan)
10 Colombia MF Mayer Candelo (Captain)
11 Colombia MF Dahwling Leudo
14 Colombia DF Leonard Vásquez
16 Colombia MF Carlos Padilla
18 Colombia MF Javier Reina
19 Colombia MF Mario González
20 Colombia FW Fernando Uribe (on loan from Atlético Nacional)
21 Colombia MF Juan Esteban Ortiz
No. Position Player
22 Colombia FW Fabián Vargas
23 Colombia DF Lewis Ochoa
26 Colombia MF Jefferson Herrera
27 Colombia DF Daniel Mauricio Torres
28 Colombia DF Alex Díaz
29 Colombia DF Sergio Guerrero
30 Colombia MF Omar Vásquez
31 Colombia GK Luis Enrique Delgado
32 Colombia FW Jonathan Agudelo
33 Colombia MF Cristhian Alarcón
Colombia GK Mateo Mendoza
Uruguay GK Nicolás Vikonis
Argentina MF Federico Insúa
Colombia MF David Silva
Colombia DF Carlos Ramírez
Colombia DF Déiver Machado
Colombia MF Kevin Rendón

Out of loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Equatorial Guinea DF Yoiver Gonzalez (on loan at América de Cali)

Managers[edit]

Notable foreign players[edit]

Rivalries[edit]

Millonarios has forged many rivalries with several teams from the Mustang Cup (Now Called Postobón Cup), most notably with local rivals Santa Fe. As with many cities in the world. Bogotá has two (Now three, counting La Equidad) local teams, and Santa Fe and Millonarios that have always been rivals. This derby is popularly called El Clásico Capitalino (The Capital Classic). There are also strong rivalries with other teams like América de Cali, El Clásico con más estrellas, Atlético Nacional, El Clásico de la rivalidad regional, and Deportivo Cali, El Clásico con historia.

References[edit]

External links[edit]