|Full name||Mario Alberto Yepes Díaz|
|Date of birth||13 January 1976|
|Place of birth||Cali, Colombia|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 August 2015|
Mario Alberto Yepes Díaz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmaɾjo ˈʝepes]; born 13 January 1976) is a Colombian former professional footballer who played as a defender. He is well known for his time in Paris Saint-Germain, where he was considered to be one of the best defenders at the time, being dubbed by fans as "Super Mario". During his time in Italy with Chievo, he earned a reputation in the media as a solid and physical old-fashioned man-marking centre-back, known as a "stopper" in Italian football jargon. He served as the captain of the Colombia national team between 2008 and 2014.
Having begun his career in 1999, and having played for the Colombian national team during that period, Yepes is one of only two players that can truly be considered to be part of the late 1990s and early 2000s golden generation of Colombian football which won the 2001 Copa América and ended in 2003, but has also been part of Colombia's present golden generation (which began in 2013). Faryd Mondragón is the other Colombian footballer of the two, but officially retired in 2014.
Yepes began his managerial career with hometown club Deportivo Cali, whom he managed from 2016 to 2017.
In 2002, Yepes moved to Europe, signing for Nantes in the French Ligue 1. After two-and-half personally successful seasons with Nantes, Yepes joined fellow Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain in 2004. Yepes would become a mainstay in the PSG side winning the Coupe de France in 2006 and the Coupe de la Ligue in 2008, though he did not feature in the second final.
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 comeback against 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. After being an irregular player during the following season, however, 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.
On 13 September 2014, Argentine club San Lorenzo announced the signing of Yepes on a deal valid until the end of 2015. On 20 January 2016, Yepes officially retired from professional football, joining Deportivo Cali as manager four months later.
Yepes has played 102 matches for the Colombia national team since his debut in 1999, making him the second-most capped Colombian player of all time, after Carlos Valderrama. He was part of the Colombia squad that won the Copa América in 2001. and was also in the squads for three other editions of the tournament in 1999, 2007 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.
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 World Cup.
On 14 June 2014, Yepes made his first appearance in the FIFA World Cup finals stage at age 38, captaining Colombia to a 3–0 win over Greece in Belo Horizonte. Yepes was the oldest outfield player at the 2014 World Cup, and the second-oldest overall, after compatriot Faryd Mondragón.
On 19 June 2014, Yepes earned his 100th cap for Colombia in the second group stage match against the Ivory Coast, becoming the third Colombian player to reach the milestone after Valderrama and Leonel Álvarez. He led Colombia to its best ever World Cup performance as they reached the quarter-finals for the first time in their history, where they lost 2–1 to tournament hosts Brazil.
- Scores and results list Colombia's goal tally first.
|1.||20 June 2003||Stade de Gerland, Lyon, France||New Zealand||2003 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|2.||17 November 2004||Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia||Bolivia||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|3.||30 May 2005||Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, United States||England||Friendly|
|4.||23 June 2007||Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia||Ecuador|
|5.||15 October 2013||Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Paraguay||2–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
In late April 2016 Mario Alberto Yepes was named as manager of Deportivo Cali, which became his first managerial experience. Yepes came to replace Fernando "Pecoso" Castro, who had been dismissed for the poor recent results, especially the early elimination of Copa Libertadores and the farewell of the event at the hands of Boca Juniors with a 6–2 rout. Yepes's coaching team had Freddy Hurtado and Julián Barragán as assistants, and Daniel Curbelo as physical trainer. During his period as coach, Deportivo Cali was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the domestic league twice (at the hands of Independiente Medellín in the Apertura and Atlético Bucaramanga in the Finalización), and qualified for the 2017 Copa Sudamericana. However, a streak of poor performances in the start of the 2017 season plus a poor record while playing away from home, led to his exit from the club on 9 March 2017.
- As of match played 19 november 2015
- As of 19 June 2014
|Colombia national team|
- As of 27 August 2014
Yepes is married to Colombian Carolina Villegas. Yepes and his wife have three children, his son Luciano Yepes was born in May 2002, his second son Valentino Yepes was born on 23 September 2012, and his daughter Miranda Yepes was born in April 2005.
Notes and references
- "Mario Yepes offered – Chronicle". newcastle-online.org. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- "Passato glorioso di Super Mario Yepes". Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Sebastiano Vernazza (15 April 2019). "Chievo, ciao Serie A. La nostra Top Undici gialloblù" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
- "Yepes: We'll be raring to go". fifa.com. 15 April 2011. Archived from the original on April 19, 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- "Mario Yepes será el capitán de Colombia". terra.com (in Spanish). Terra Networks, S.A. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "MARIO YEPES ANCORA IN GIALLOBLU'" (in Italian). chievoverona.it. 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-07-18.[dead link]
- Vince Masiello (2010-03-30). "Chievo Captain Sergio Pellissier Confirms That Mario Yepes Will Join Milan'". goal.com. Retrieved 2010-03-30.
- "Yepes signs one-year extension with A.C. Milan". Goal.com. 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- "Mario Yepes announces AC Milan split - Tribal Football".
- "Yepes confirms Milan exit - Football Italia".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-22. Retrieved 2013-07-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- http://www.football-italia.net/36428/yepes-join-atalanta Yepes to join Atalanta
- "Ex-Colombia captain Mario Yepes retires from football". ESPN FC. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Mario YEPES". FIFA. Archived from the original on June 9, 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- rsssf: Copa América 2001 Archived 2013-10-19 at the Wayback Machine
- rsssf: Copa América 1999 Archived 2015-07-09 at the Wayback Machine
- rsssf: Copa América 2007 Archived 2015-06-23 at the Wayback Machine
- "Mario Yepes se retiraría después del Mundial".
- "Colombia 3-0 Greece". BBC. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "World Cup stats: The tallest, youngest and most prolific players in Brazil". 360°. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "World Cup: Colombia beat Ivory Coast 2-1 in Brasília to close on last 16". FIFA. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Colombia Taps World Cup Fever to Urge Guerrilla Defections". Bloomberg. 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
- "Mario Yepes International Statistics"., Int.soccerway.com Retrieved on 16 July 2014
- "Confirmado: Mario Yepes no continuará como técnico del Deportivo Cali" (in Spanish). El País. 9 March 2017.
- "Colombia – M. Yepes". soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "Yepes, Mario". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- "Mario Yepes Trophies". Int.soccerway.com. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- "Mario Yepes "La muralla"". latinoaldia.com (in Spanish). 10 March 2005. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2013., "Querido, te sigo donde vayas". Olé (in Spanish). 10 July 2000. Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "[Milan] Noticias". taringa.net (in Spanish). 4 February 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2013.