Atlético Junior

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Atlético Junior
Escudo de Atlético Junior.svg
Full nameClub Deportivo Popular
Junior Fútbol Club S.A.
  • Los Tiburones (The Sharks)
  • El Equipo Tiburón (The Shark Team)
  • Los Rojiblancos (The Red-and-Whites)
  • Los Quilleros (The Quilleros)
  • Tu Papá (Your Dad)
  • Los Reyes de la Costa (The Kings of the Coast)
  • Los Curramberos
Short nameJunior
Founded7 August 1924; 94 years ago (1924-08-07) as Juventud Infantil
GroundEstadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez
OwnerFuad Char
PresidentAntonio Char
CoachJulio Comesaña
LeagueCategoría Primera A
2018–I5th, Quarterfinals
WebsiteClub website

Club Deportivo Popular Junior F.C. S.A.,[1] (American Spanish: [ˈʝunjoɾ]), commonly known as Atlético Junior, or simply as Junior, is a Colombian professional football team based in Barranquilla, that currently plays in the Categoría Primera A. Junior is both the main Caribbean team and the northernmost team in the top flight of Colombian football.

The club was founded on August 7, 1924. Known as Los Tiburones (The Sharks), or El Equipo Tiburón (The Shark Team). Junior have won the Colombian professional football championship seven times (1977, 1980, 1993, 1995, 2004, 2010, and 2011). Some of the most notable players that have played for the club include Heleno de Freitas, Garrincha, Dida, Juan Ramón Verón, Efraín Sánchez, Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama, Iván Valenciano, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Carlos Bacca, Julio César Uribe, Giovanni Hernández and Sebastián Viera.


In the early 1920s a team named Juventus came into being at the Colegio Salesiano in the San Roque neighborhood of Barranquilla, unsurprisingly given the name made up primarily of Italian immigrants. Soon after its launch the name was changed to the Spanish Juventud, though both translate the same in English: youth. In August 1924 some of the younger members of Juventud along with other young men from San Roque created an offshoot of Juventud: Juventud Infantil.

Around the 1940s (and the club's name was shortened to simply Junior) they became known as one of the country's best clubs. In 1945 the players of Junior were selected to represent Colombia at the South American Championship (now known as the Copa América), finishing a respectable fifth (though losing 7–0 to Uruguay and 9–1 to Argentina along the way). In 1949 they were again selected to represent Colombia (finishing last place) but this time their decision to play would have its consequences.

In 1948 Junior were founder members of División Mayor del Fútbol Profesional Colombiano (commonly known as the Dimayor). Their debut match as a professional outfit came at home on August 15, 1948 against Deportivo Cali, which ended in a 2–0 victory for the home side. Early the following year they were again chosen to play as the de facto Colombia national team. Because of ongoing strife between Adefutbol (the original amateur Colombian football association) and the Dimayor, Junior were threatened with expulsion from the Dimayor if they participated. They went ahead and did so and were initially given a two-year suspension from the league. This was later reduced to one year and they returned to the Dimayor for the 1950 season.

This was the golden age of Colombian football commonly referred to as El Dorado, a time when the Dimayor was a "rebel league" unaffiliated with FIFA and many high-profile players from around the world broke their contracts and came to play. Junior were no exception, picking up players from Brazil, Argentina, Hungary and the Czech Republic in these years. But El Dorado eventually came to an end for Colombian football and for Junior and the club left the Dimayor because of financial problems after the 1953 season.

A way ahead surfaced in the mid-1960s when a rift had again developed in Colombian football, this time between Adefutbol and the newly created Federación Colombiana de Fútbol, an organization devoted to developing professional football in the country. Adefutbol was still the official body in the eyes of FIFA and organized the national team in this period and additionally Colombian clubs did not enter the Copa Libertadores. Peace was finally made and the bulk of the amateur team that had attempted to qualify for the England World Cup signed up for Junior, who returned to the Dimayor in 1966. Junior have remained in the top level ever since.

In 1977 Junior won their first Colombian championship, finishing first place in the Apertura. They won further championships in 1980, 1993, 1995, the 2004-II (Finalización), the 2010-I (Apertura), and the 2011-II (Finalizacion). Junior have appeared in the Copa Libertadores nine times (reaching the semi-finals in 1994), and the Copa Sudamericana and Copa CONMEBOL once each.

The red and white striped colours of Junior's shirt (and logo) are derived from the similarly colored flag of the Atlántico Department. The seven stars of the logo represent the number of national championships Junior have won.[citation needed] Junior, long considered one of the smaller teams, is currently the 5th most successful team in the league, having won 7 Colombian Championships and having a very strong fan base in Colombia's northern coast. During the championships in 2009, 2010, and 2011, Atletico Junior and Once Caldas have been the only two teams on the Colombian League to play in at least one final each year, as well as being so far the most successful team in the decade of 2010, with two titles.

Atlético Junior won the Colombian 2011 Fall Championship in penalty kicks (4–2) after losing the 2nd leg game 2–1 against Once Caldas in Manizales on December 21, 2011. Junior won the 1st leg match 3–2 in Barranquilla on December 18, 2011.



The team shield has a Swiss form with a size of 6 cm wide and 8 cm tall, divided in two horizontal stripes. The inferior stripe in divided in 9 vertical bars. The superior part is another horizontal blue stripe where the stars are placed. The stars have 5 ends, which represent all the winnings the team has achieved.


Junior's flag is composed of 9 horizontal stripes, 5 red and 4 white ones which alternate, the superior and the inferior ones are red. Overlaped on top of the strips there is a blue triangle. This triangle occupies all the wide of the flag on its vertical side. The white stars are superimposed on the triangle.

Flag of Atlético Junior


Domestic competitions[edit]

Winners (7): 1977, 1980, 1993, 1995, 2004–II, 2010–I, 2011–II
Runners-up (9): 1948, 1970, 1983, 2000, 2003–I, 2009–I, 2014–I, 2015–II, 2016–I
Winners (2): 2015, 2017
Runners-up (1): 2016
Runners-up (1): 2012

International honours[edit]

Winners (1): 1997

Performance in CONMEBOL competitions[edit]

Best: Semi-finals in 1994
2004: Quarter-finals
2015: Second stage
2016: Quarterfinals
2017: Semifinals
1992: Quarter-finals


Current squad[edit]

As of 2 July 2018[2]

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

No. Position Player
1 Uruguay GK Sebastián Viera (captain)
2 Colombia DF Germán Gutiérrez
3 Colombia DF Deivy Balanta
4 Colombia DF Jesús David Murillo
5 Colombia DF Rafael Pérez
6 Colombia MF James Sánchez
7 Colombia MF Sebastián Hernández
9 Uruguay FW Jonathan Álvez
10 Colombia MF Jarlan Barrera
11 Colombia DF Yonatan Murillo (on loan from Santa Fe)
12 Colombia GK José Luis Chunga (3rd captain)
13 Colombia DF Jonathan Ávila
14 Colombia MF Leonardo Pico
No. Position Player
15 Colombia MF Luis Narváez
17 Colombia DF Jorge Arias
18 Colombia MF Yony González
20 Colombia DF Marlon Piedrahita (on loan from Independiente Medellín)
21 Peru DF Alberto Rodríguez
23 Colombia MF Luis Díaz
24 Colombia MF Víctor Cantillo
26 Sweden FW Kevin Aladesanmi
27 Colombia FW Luis Carlos Ruiz (on loan from Atlético Nacional)
28 Colombia MF Enrique Serje
29 Colombia FW Teófilo Gutiérrez (vice-captain)
Colombia MF Iván Rivas

Reserve team[edit]

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

No. Position Player
19 Colombia MF Luis Sandoval
22 Colombia GK Reynaldo Fontalvo
30 Colombia MF Johan Bocanegra
No. Position Player
31 Colombia GK Sergio Pabón
33 Colombia DF Willer Ditta
34 Colombia MF Carlos Esparragoza

Out on 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
Colombia DF Juan Domínguez (at Millonarios until December 2018)
Colombia MF Jhonny Vásquez (at Rionegro until December 2018)
Colombia MF Juan Camilo Roa (at Jaguares until December 2018)
Colombia FW Jhon Vásquez (at Real Cartagena)
Colombia FW Yessy Mena (at Atlético Huila until June 2018)
No. Position Player
Colombia FW Robinson Aponzá (at Sport Rosario until June 2018)
Colombia FW Michael Rangel (at Atlético Bucaramanga until December 2018)
Colombia FW Léiner Escalante (at Jaguares until December 2018)
Colombia FW Juan Sebastián Herrera (at Jaguares)


Technical staff[edit]

Position Staff
Manager Uruguay Julio Comesaña[3]
Assistant manager Colombia Alfredo Araujo[4]
Assistant manager Colombia Luis Grau[5]
Fitness coach Uruguay Jorge Franco[6]
Club doctor Colombia Carlos Rolong

Source:[citation needed]

Notable players[edit]

Most appearances[edit]

Rank Player Appearances
1. Colombia Dulio Miranda 445
2. Colombia Hayder Palacio 432
3. Colombia Alexis Mendoza 417
4. Colombia José María Pazo 392
5. Colombia Gabriel Berdugo 379
6. Colombia Víctor Pacheco 367
7. Colombia Jesús Rubio 363
8. Uruguay Sebastián Viera 351
9. Colombia Luis Grau 341
10. Brazil Othon Dacunha 333

Most goals[edit]

Rank Player Goals
1. Colombia Iván Valenciano 158
2. Brazil Victor Ephanor 86
3. Uruguay Nelson Silva Pacheco 81
4. Colombia Víctor Pacheco 78
5. Colombia Carlos Bacca 73
6. Colombia Martín Arzuaga 70
7. Colombia Vladimir Hernández 61
8. Colombia Teófilo Gutiérrez 58
9. Colombia Orlando Ballesteros 56
10. Brazil Marcos Cardoso 55

Historic players[edit]


Affiliated clubs[edit]


  1. ^ "DIMAYOR Official Website". Archived from the original on 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  2. ^ Junior de Barranquilla squad
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]