Colombia national football team
|Nickname(s)||Los Cafeteros (The Coffee growers)|
|Association||Federación Colombiana de Fútbol (FCF)|
|Confederation||CONMEBOL (South America)|
|Head coach||José Pékerman|
|Most caps||Carlos Valderrama (111)|
|Top scorer||Radamel Falcao & Arnoldo Iguarán (25)|
|Home stadium||Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez|
|FIFA ranking||4 (3 September 2015)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||3 (July–August 2013, September 2014–March 2015)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||54 (June 2011)|
|Elo ranking||5 (August 2015)|
|Highest Elo ranking||4 (July–October 2014, March–June 2015)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||93 (August 1965)|
| Mexico 3–1 Colombia
(Panama City, Panama; 10 February 1938)
| Bahrain 0–6 Colombia
(Riffa, Bahrain; 26 March 2015)
| Brazil 9–0 Colombia
(Lima, Peru; 24 March 1957)
|Appearances||5 (First in 1962)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals, 2014|
|Appearances||19 (First in 1945)|
|Best result||Champions, 2001|
|CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|Appearances||3 (First in 2000)|
|Best result||Runners-up, 2000|
|Appearances||1 (First in 2003)|
|Best result||Fourth Place, 2003|
The Colombia national football team represents Colombia in international football competitions and is overseen by the Colombian Football Federation. It is a member of the CONMEBOL and is currently ranked 4th in the FIFA World Rankings, and 5th in Elo World Rankings.
Since the mid-1980s, the national team has been a symbol fighting the country's negative reputation. This has made the sport popular and made the national team a sign of nationalism, pride, and passion for many Colombians worldwide. Colombia is known for having a passionate fanbase.
Colombia had its strongest period during the 1990s. A 1993 match resulted in a 5–0 win over Argentina which caused a special 'mutual respect' rivalry between both nations. The goalkeeper René Higuita achieved fame from his eccentric scorpion kick clearance against England at Wembley in 1995. Stars from Colombia's team included Carlos Valderrama and Faustino Asprilla. During this era Colombia qualified for the 1990, 1994, and 1998 World Cups, only reaching the second round in 1990. Following the death of Andrés Escobar after the 1994 World Cup, Colombia's team faded in the latter half of the 1990s. They were the champions of the 2001 Copa América, which they hosted and set a new Copa América record of conceding no goals and winning each match. Prior to that success they were runners-up to Peru in the 1975 Copa América. In total, Colombia has gained a top 4 result in 7 Copa Américas. Colombia was the first team to win FIFA best mover in 1993 where the achievement was first introduced and the second team after Croatia to win it twice in 2012.
Colombia missed 3 World Cups between 2002-2010. However, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Colombia showed improvement since the 2011 Copa América, bringing its rank within the top 10 for the first time since 2002 and into the top 5 consistently for the first time since 2004. After a 16-year-long wait, Colombia finally returned to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Former midfielder Marcos Coll is the only player in history to score a rare Olympic goal in a FIFA World Cup game, in the 1962 FIFA World Cup against the USSR. The match finished in a 4–4 tie after a spectacular come back by Colombia from 4–1 to draw the match, making it the biggest comeback in World Cup history. The team are nicknamed Los Cafeteros due to the coffee production in their country. Colombia's midfielder James Rodriguez was awarded the Golden Boot for most goals (6) and the Best Goal of the Tournament awards at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
- 1 History
- 2 Schedule and results
- 3 Rivalries
- 4 Players
- 5 Individual records
- 6 Coaching staff
- 7 Kit
- 8 Competitive record
- 9 Honours
- 10 Managers
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
- 14 Titles
Colombia played its first official matches at the 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games. The Colombia national football team was composed mostly by all the players of the Club Juventud Bogotana (now Millonarios FC). Alfonso Novoa was the manager of Colombia until 23 February.
The first game was played on 10 February 1938 against Mexico. Colombia was defeated 1–3; Luis Argüelles, Luis de la Fuente and Horacio Casarín scored for Mexico, Marcos Mejía scored for Colombia. Colombia was able to obtain the bronze medal, with two wins and three losses. The same year Colombia played at the I Bolivarian Games in Bogotá, where they were 4th with one win and three losses. Fernando Paternoster was the manager of Colombia, being the first foreign manager of the team.
Colombia did not play again until 1945 when they participated for the first time at the South American Championship, where they were 5th. This time, Colombia was composed by players of Junior de Barranquilla, except for Antonio de la Hoz, who played for Sporting de Barranquilla, and Pedro Ricardo López, who played for Boca Juniors de Cali. Roberto Meléndez was player and coach of Colombia throughout the tournament.
The first match of Colombia in the professional era was played on 6 April in the 1949 South American Championship, a 3–0 defeat against Paraguay. The Austrian coach Friedrich Donnenfeld was the manager of Colombia during the tournament. He had moved with his family to Colombia due to the Second World War, and Atlético Junior would be his first team as a coach. As Junior was chosen to represent Colombia in the tournament, he became in the first European manager of the Colombia national team. However, the team repeated their losing streak since, as in the previous tournament, ended 8th with 2 draws and 5 losses, scoring 4 goals.
After a withdrawal in 1938 and getting banned in 1954 (due to the controversial El Dorado era), Colombia participated for the first time in qualifying for the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden. Their first match was on 16 June 1957 against Uruguay in Bogotá, that ended in a 1–1 draw. Colombia lost their next matches, leaving them at the bottom of the group.
At the 1962 World Cup, Colombia lost their first match 2–1 against Uruguay. Luis Cubilla and Jorge Sasía scored for Uruguay at the 56th and 75th minute respectively, while Francisco Zuluaga scored a 19th minute penalty goal for Colombia. In the second match they got a 4–4 draw with the Soviet Union, champions of the 1960 European Nations' Cup. It should be noted that in this game, Colombia scored four goals against Soviet goalkeeper Lev Yashin, widely considered the best goalkeeper in football history. Also in that game, Marcos Coll scored the only olympic goal in World Cup history so far. Unfortunately, the Colombian campaign in 1962 ended with a 5–0 defeat against Yugoslavia, who end up in fourth place in the tournament.
1990s Golden Era
At 1990 World Cup, Colombia defeated United Arab Emirates 2–0, lost to Yugoslavia 1–0, and earned their place in the Round of 16 after a 1–1 draw with West Germany, who would later win the Cup. Colombia would be eliminated in their next match against Cameroon with a 2–1 defeat in extra time.
For the 1994 World Cup, Colombia finished top of their qualifying group without having lost a match, which included a historic 5–0 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires. Expectations of the team were high, some even naming them as favourites to win the tournament. Colombia was assigned to the Group A with the hosts United States, Romania, and Switzerland. During the tournament, Colombia only got 1 win and 2 losses, which would eliminate it in the first phase.
Colombia ended their qualification for the 1998 World Cup in third place with 28 points, 2 points below Argentina who was in 1st place with 30 points. Colombia was assigned to the Group G with Tunisia, England, and Romania. Romania obtains a 1–0 victory in the first match. Colombia's second match was a 1–0 win against Tunisia, with a goal from Leider Preciado. However, in the last match England won the game 2–0, with which Colombia was eliminated.
The 2001 Copa América was the first Copa América held in Colombia. Prior to the tournament, meetings were held by CONMEBOL authorities who were concerned about potential security issues in Colombia, and the tournament was cancelled on July 1, just 10 days before the first game. On July 6 CONMEBOL decided to reinstate the tournament, which was held on schedule. Canada had already disbanded its training camp and released its players, so Costa Rica (CONCACAF invitee) were invited to the tournament. Claiming that Argentine players had received death threats from terrorist groups, the Argentine Football Association decided to withdraw from the competition the day before the first game, with Honduras (CONCACAF invitee) hastily invited and flown in by the Colombian Air Force to participate. There were no terrorist incidents within the competition. Colombia had a strong run through the tournament, winning their first Copa América title by beating Mexico (CONCACAF invitee) with a goal from Iván Córdoba in the second half.
Depression Era (2002–2010)
For the 2002 World Cup, Colombia only managed to place sixth in the qualification round, tied with Uruguay but failing to qualify due to goal difference. Colombia would also eventually fail to qualify for the 2006 edition in Germany and for the 2010 World Cup, mainly because their constant change of formations and struggles to score goals in the last games of the qualification.
A new golden generation (2010–present)
In 2011 Copa América, Colombia made a good run topping their group and achieving a draw to the host nation Argentina, who were the favorites. In the next round, Colombia would be eliminated in a 2–0 lost against Peru in the extra time.
The Colombian side gained Leonel Álvarez as the new coach following the resignation of Hernán Darío Gómez, but was sacked after 3 games with disappointing results, which led in the hiring of José Pékerman. The Colombian squad would break a personal qualifying best record, and raise the FIFA ranking consistently into the top 10 and allowed them to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 16 years. Celebrations broke throughout the nation, as many neturals hailed Colombia as a dark-horse towards being a World Cup contender. Often, Colombia were noted by many figures in Colombia such as Carlos Valderrama as a team that could become the most successful Colombian squad in history.
2014 World Cup
Colombia topped off their return in the 2014 World Cup after a 16-year absence by defeating Greece 3-0. Colombia then edged a 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast to dispute Group C's top spot days later. On the same day, Japan and Greece drew 0-0 and automatically qualified Colombia to the round of 16 for the first time in 24 years since the 1990 edition of the world cup. In its final group stage game, Colombia defeated Japan 4–1 to win Group C and become the third South American team (following Brazil and Argentina) to go 3–0 in group stage in World Cup history. The Japan match also saw goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón, the last active player from the country's previous World Cup appearance in 1998, become the oldest player ever to appear in a World Cup final tournament. Colombia went on to defeat Uruguay 2-0 on 28 June 2014 in the knockout round, securing a spot in the quarter finals for the first time in their history. Colombia fell to the host country Brazil 2–1 in the quarter final round in controversy, where media and figures such as Diego Maradona criticized FIFA and Carlos Velasco Carballo for 'favoring' Brazil and being biased in disallowing a goal from Mario Yepes and allowing too many fouls by the Brazilians to occur without any yellow cards being shown.
Despite the elimination, the national team was greeted by tens of thousands of Colombians in Bogotá Colombia, welcoming them back as heroes and restoring pride to the nation. Colombia would then receive the FIFA Fair Play Trophy and have James Rodríguez and Juan Cuadrado end as the World Cup's leading goal scorer and assist leader respectively.
Schedule and results
Win Draw Loss
|26 March Friendly||Bahrain||0–6||Colombia||Riffa, Bahrain|
|20:00 (UTC+03:00)||Report||Bacca 15'
Falcao 32', 36'
|Stadium: Bahrain National Stadium
Referee: Mohammed Al Hoaish (Saudi Arabia)
|30 March Friendly||Colombia||3–1||Kuwait||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
|19:00 (UTC+04:00)||Aguilar 22'
Falcao 74' (pen.)
|Report||Neda 45+1'||Stadium: Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium
Referee: Sultan Al-Marzouqi (United Arab Emirates)
|6 June Friendly||Colombia||1–0||Costa Rica||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|18:15 (UTC−03:00)||Falcao 47'||Report||Stadium: Estadio Diego Armando Maradona
Referee: Carlos Amarilla (Paraguay)
|14 June 2015 Copa América||Colombia||0–1||Venezuela||Rancagua, Chile|
|16:00 (UTC−03:00)||Report||Rondón 60'||Stadium: Estadio El Teniente
Referee: Andrés Cunha (Uruguay)
|17 June 2015 Copa América||Brazil||0–1||Colombia||Santiago, Chile|
|21:00 (UTC−03:00)||Report||Murillo 36'||Stadium: Estadio Monumental David Arellano
Referee: Enrique Osses (Chile)
|21 June 2015 Copa América||Colombia||0–0||Peru||Temuco, Chile|
|16:00 (UTC−03:00)||Report||Stadium: Estadio Municipal Germán Becker
Referee: Néstor Pitana (Argentina)
|26 June 2015 Copa América||Argentina||0–0
|Colombia||Viña del Mar, Chile|
|20:30 (UTC−3)||Report||Stadium: Estadio Sausalito
Referee: Roberto García Orozco (Mexico)
|8 October 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification||Colombia||v||Peru||Barranquilla, Colombia|
|15:30 (UTC−5)||Stadium: Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez
|13 October 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification||Uruguay||v||Colombia||Montevideo, Uruguay|
|Stadium: Estadio Centenario
|13 November 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification||Chile||v||Colombia||Santiago, Chile|
|Stadium: Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos
|17 November 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification||Colombia||v||Argentina||Barranquilla, Colombia|
|Stadium: Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez
With political issues with history/culture related nations Ecuador and Venezuela, Colombia has always taken interest. While Colombia has natural rival matches with neighbors Ecuador and Venezuela, the matches aren't as popular as the rival matches against Argentina.
The historical Colombian 5–0 victory in 1993, beating host Argentina in the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, was the very first time Argentina lost in its home stadium Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti during a qualifying match for a World Cup. Argentina come as a previous twice FIFA World Cup champion. It caused a huge upset and start of a respective rivalries. Unlike other rivalries full of hostility, the Colombian-Argentine rivalry is more based on 'respect' than a 'hated' relationship always attracting great interest between both nations. Thus, the Colombian-Argentine rivalry has been considered 'unique' and 'special'. In a way, the Colombian-Argentine relationship is viewed as 'sparring partners' in world football.
The following players have been recently called up in the last 12 months.
- Bold denotes players still playing international football.
- As of 26 June 2015
Most capped players
Since its inception the Colombia national football team has adopted different colors for their uniform. This article describes the evolution of the Colombia national football team strip along the years.
In July 1937 on the occasion of the inauguration of Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero of Cali and the fourth centenary of the founding of Cali city, was an international tournament with teams from Mexico, Argentina, Cuba and would be the first Colombia team in unofficial game. In this opening Colombia team won 3–1 over Mexico. (Without information from the uniform worn.)
Colombia sky blue
Later in 1938 the Colombia team officially participated in the 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games in Panama and later in the same year in Bogotá Bolivarian Games, for these two tournaments wore a sky blue shirt, white shorts and white socks. The sky blue may have been modeled upon three of the world's best teams at the time: Uruguay (Olympic Gold in 1924 and 1928 and the inaugural winners of the World Cup in 1930), Italy (World Cup winners in 1934 and 1938) and Argentina (Olympic Silver in 1928 and World Cup finalist in 1930).
In the year 1945, the highest authority in the Colombian football: Adefútbol, affiliated to FIFA and CONMEBOL, then the Colombia team participated for the first time in Copa América called 1945 South American Championship, held in Chile, where they played with a team purely "brown" because it was the Junior Barranquilla. (Without information from the kit worn.) Colombia team also participated in 1947 South American Championship and again in 1949, Adefútbol called to Junior Barranquilla to represent Colombia at the 1949 South American Championship in Brazil. (Without information from the uniform worn.)
Colombia dark blue
Colombia's participation in the championship 1957 South American Championship and the first appearance in the World Cup 1962 FIFA World Cup wore a dark blue shirt white shorts with white or dark blue socks and as an alternate dark blue shirt, dark blue shorts and white socks. This same kit was used in qualifying for the 1966 World.
On 15 June 1971, long after the power struggle between Adefútbol and Dimayor, a general assembly was held to give life to the present Colombian Football Federation and with it came the orange uniform, evoking the powerful Netherlands team world runner-up in 1974 and 1978: orange shirt with the national flag crossed on the chest, white shorts and orange socks, and for away matches a white shirt with the national flag crossed on the chest. In the great Copa América 75 on Efraín 'Caiman' Sanchez's team achieved the first time a subtitle Copa América, orange shirt was used without the fringe on the chest, black shorts and orange socks. By the early 80's is still with the same uniform, this time sponsored by the French brand Le Coq Sportif. In the friendly match 24 August 1984 against Argentina in which the Colombia team won 1 to 0, again used the orange shirt with the tricolor band cross.
In 1985 started the tricolor era for the uniform of Colombia team, and for the qualifying to the 1986 FIFA World Cup using a kit designed by María Elvira Pardo with tricolor turtle neck, sleeves and stockings with tricolor edge, red shirt, blue shorts and yellow socks for the home matches and yellow shirt for the away matches. Colombia team used kits of the German brand Adidas in the final matches of the qualifying, keeping the same colors.
For the 1988 Ciudad de Bogotá cup, the 1989 Copa América and the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualification Colombia national team turned to wear Adidas, with red shirt, blue shorts and yellow socks for home matches and yellow shirt for away matches. Also, for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, Adidas designed the kit, keeping the same colours.
In the 1991 Copa América Colombia national team used kits by the Spanish brand Kelme and kept the same colours of the previous year, red shirt for home matches and yellow shirt for away matches.
Since 1992 they used a local yellow shirt, blue shorts and red socks from the brand Comba. For the 1993 Copa América and the 1994 FIFA World Cup Colombia national team was worn by the English brand Umbro with the same colours: yellow shirt, blue shorts and red socks and blue shirt for away matches. Umbro sponsored the Colombia national team until 1997, in 1998 Reebok is the new brand of clothing from Colombia team on the 1998 FIFA World Cup, keeping the same colours for home matches and blue shirt, white shorts and white or blue socks for away matches, Reebok dressed the Colombia national team in the 2001 Copa América until 2002.
Between 29 and 30 December 2002, the Federation traveled to Panama to negotiate with the Italian sportswear company Lotto, they obtained sponsorship in 2003 and it was used on the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, keeping the same colours that they had been using for both home and away jerseys. Lotto accompanied the Colombia team until 2010. Since 2011 the German brand Adidas returned, Adidas was present in March 2011. For the 2011 South American Youth Championship in Peru, held in January, team Colombia uses a preliminary design from Adidas.
In November 2013, Adidas released a very controversial new design for the home jersey, carrying a yellow/blue striped shirt while also carrying blue and white designs, while attending to white shorts and white socks (carrying the Colombian flag stripes), where many Colombian supporters gave a negative mixed response. Likely due towards breaking the traditional yellow shirt, blue shorts, and red socks that started during early 2013 by changing the socks to white. Although Adidas has been praised for including the traditional Sombrero Vueltiao, within the blue stripe that is also surrounding the country's football association badge. Although more positive response has turned towards the away jersey (to be fully revealed in January 2014) over a red scheme, returning the classical late '80s / early '90s praised jerseys.
FIFA World Cup
Main article: Colombia at the FIFA World Cup
Champions Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
FIFA Confederations Cup
Main article: Colombia at the Copa América
Champions Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
South American Championship
List of coaches: