Open main menu

The Categoría Primera A (Spanish pronunciation: [kateɣoˈɾi.a pɾiˈmeɾa ˈa]), commonly referred to as Liga Águila[1] due to sponsorship by brewery company Bavaria (manufacturer of Águila beer), is a Colombian professional league for association football clubs. It is the country's premier football tournament and sits at the top of the Colombian football league system. The league was ranked 6th in the world and 2nd in South America by the IFFHS in its list "The Strongest National League in The World 2017".[2]

Liga Águila
Founded1948
CountryColombia
ConfederationCONMEBOL
Number of teams20
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toCategoría Primera B
Domestic cup(s)Copa Colombia
Superliga Colombiana
International cup(s)Copa Libertadores
Copa Sudamericana
Current championsJunior (9th title)
(2019–I)
Most championshipsAtlético Nacional
(16 titles)
Top goalscorerSergio Galván Rey (224)
TV partnersWin Sports (8 games by round)
RCN Colombia (2 games by round)
WebsiteLiga Águila
DIMAYOR
2019 season

A total of twenty clubs compete in the league's regular season. División Mayor del Fútbol Profesional Colombiano, better known as DIMAYOR, operates the league system of promotion and relegation for both Categoría Primera A and Categoría Primera B leagues. Since its founding in 1948, fourteen teams have been crowned as Colombian football champions. The most successful club is Atlético Nacional with 16 titles.

HistoryEdit

Before 1948 there was no professional football league in Colombia. The first clubs were formed in Barranquilla and Bogotá: Barranquilla FC, Polo Club, Escuela Militar and Bartolinos, although the game took a while to develop in popularity.[3] The 1918 Campeonato Nacional was the first tournament played between Colombian clubs, followed by the Copa Centenario Batalla de Boyacá. Independiente Medellín, founded on 15 April 1913, is the oldest club that remains as a professional club.[4] The first tournament was organised by the Colombian Football Federation and DIMAYOR in 1948. Ten teams signed up for this first tournament, paying the required fee of 1,000 pesos). Two teams each signed on from Bogotá, Cali, Manizales, and Pereira, plus one from Barranquilla.[5] 252 players were registered for that year's tournament, 182 of which were Colombians, 13 were Argentine, 8 Peruvian, 5 Uruguayan, 2 Chilean, 2 Ecuadorian, 1 Dominican, and 1 Spanish.[5]

Soon after the league's foundation, disputes between Adefútbol (the body governing amateur football in Colombia) and DIMAYOR (the organizing body behind the new national league) erupted. DIMAYOR broke away from Adefútbol, announcing that it would operate independently of FIFA rules and regulations. In response, FIFA sanctioned Colombian football, banning the national team and all its clubs from international competition. This period, which lasted from 1949 to 1954, is known as El Dorado.

Far from being a dark time in Colombian football, this was its golden age. No longer required to pay transfer fees to clubs from other nations, Colombian clubs began importing stars from all over South America and Europe. The most aggressive signer of international players was Millonarios, which won consecutive championships with stars such as Alfredo di Stéfano. Attendances boomed, and the expanding appetite for club competitions resulted in the creation of the Copa Colombia in 1950. That knockout competition was played sporadically over the next 58 years and only became an annual tournament in 2008.[6] Although the stars returned to their nations when Colombia rejoined the international fold in 1954, the era was never forgotten.[7]

In 1968 the league followed the pattern emerging in South America by replacing its year-long tournament with two shorter ones. From this point forward, Colombian clubs would compete in two tournaments a year; the Apertura from February to June and the Finalización from July to December, which became independent championships in 2002. Another league restructuring came in 1991, with the addition of second and third divisions. The third division had its 2002 edition cancelled for economic reasons, and stopped awarding promotion to the professional tiers in 2003 until it was finally dropped in 2010.

FormatEdit

The current format of Colombian football was adopted for the 2015 season. The top flight features 20 teams, all of which play through the Apertura and Finalización tournaments each year. Both tournaments are conducted according to an identical three-stage format.

The first stage is conducted on a single round-robin basis, with each team playing the other teams once for a total of 19 matches. The top eight teams then advance to a knockout round, playing four ties on a home-and-away basis. The four winners advance to the semifinals, and the winners of the semifinal then square off to determine the championship. Relegation to Categoría Primera B is determined by averaging the point totals achieved by teams over the previous three seasons. Each year, the bottom two teams drop out and are replaced by the top two from Primera B.[8]

Current teamsEdit

Teams for the 2019 season

Team City Stadium Capacity Head Coach First season
in the Primera A
Last title
Alianza Petrolera Barrancabermeja Daniel Villa Zapata 10,400   César Torres 2013 None
América de Cali Cali Pascual Guerrero 33,130   Alexandre Guimarães 1948 2008–II
Atlético Bucaramanga Bucaramanga Alfonso López 28,000   Sergio Novoa (caretaker) 1949 None
Atlético Huila Neiva Guillermo Plazas Alcid 22,000   Jorge Luis Bernal 1993 None
Atlético Nacional Medellín Atanasio Girardot 40,043   Juan Carlos Osorio 1948 2017–I
Cúcuta Deportivo Cúcuta General Santander 42,901   Guillermo Sanguinetti 1950 2006–II
Deportes Tolima Ibagué Manuel Murillo Toro 28,100   Alberto Gamero 1955 2018–I
Deportivo Cali Cali Deportivo Cali 52,000   Lucas Pusineri 1948 2015–I
Deportivo Pasto Pasto Libertad 20,665   Octavio Zambrano 1999 2006–I
Envigado Envigado Polideportivo Sur 11,000   José Arastey (caretaker) 1992 None
Independiente Medellín Medellín Atanasio Girardot 40,043   Aldo Bobadilla 1948 2016–I
Jaguares Montería Jaraguay 12,000   Juan Cruz Real 2015 None
Junior Barranquilla Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez 49,692   Julio Comesaña 1948 2019–I
La Equidad Bogotá Metropolitano de Techo 8,000   Guillermo Rivera (caretaker) 2007 None
Millonarios Bogotá Nemesio Camacho 36,343   Jorge Luis Pinto 1948 2017–II
Once Caldas Manizales Palogrande 32,000   Hubert Bodhert 1948 2010–II
Patriotas Tunja La Independencia 20,630   Nelson Gómez 2012 None
Rionegro Águilas Rionegro Alberto Grisales 14,000   Flabio Torres 2011 None
Santa Fe Bogotá Nemesio Camacho 36,343   Harold Rivera (caretaker) 1948 2016–II
Unión Magdalena Santa Marta Sierra Nevada 16,000   Carlos Silva (caretaker) 1953 1968

TrophyEdit

The same trophy has been used to commemorate the annual champion since 1948. The original stays at DIMAYOR headquarters and is engraved with all the names of the champion clubs. A replica is given to the winner each year to decorate their trophy room.[9]

Clubs in international competitionsEdit

PlayersEdit

AppearancesEdit

As of 13 March 2016[10]
Rank Name Years Appearances
1   Gabriel Berdugo 1973–1981 773
2   Alexis García 1980–1998 723
3   Arturo Segovia 1963–1979 706
4   Jorge Bermúdez 1989–96, 2005, 2006–07 682
5   Misael Flórez 1962–1981 652

Top scorersEdit

As of 13 March 2016[11]
Rank Name Years Goals
1   Sergio Galván Rey 1996–2011 224[12]
2   Iván Valenciano 1988–2009 217
3   Hugo Lóndero 1969–1981 211
4   Oswaldo Palavecino 1975–1985 204
5   Jorge Ramírez Gallego 1962–1975 201
6   Omar Devanni 1962–1975 198
7   Víctor Aristizábal 1990–2007 187
8   Arnoldo Iguarán 1977–1997 186
9   Willington Ortiz 1972–1988 184
10   José Verdún 1962–1971 184

Champions by seasonsEdit

The only tournament that was not awarded to a champion occurred on 1989, after the assassination of referee Álvaro Ortega on October 1 in Medellín. All games, post-season games and international representation for the following year were cancelled.[13][14]

TableEdit

Season Champion (title count) Runner-up Leading goalscorer(s)[15]
1948 Santa Fe (1) Junior   Alfredo Castillo (Millonarios; 31 goals)
1949 Millonarios (1) Deportivo Cali   Pedro Cabillón (Millonarios; 42 goals)
1950 Deportes Caldas (1) Millonarios   Casimiro Ávalos (Deportivo Pereira; 27 goals)
1951 Millonarios (2) Boca Juniors   Alfredo Di Stéfano (Millonarios; 31 goals)
1952 Millonarios (3) Boca Juniors   Alfredo Di Stéfano (Millonarios; 19 goals)
1953 Millonarios (4) Atlético Quindío   Mario Garelli (Atlético Quindío; 20 goals)
1954 Atlético Nacional (1) Atlético Quindío   Carlos Alberto Gambina (Atlético Nacional; 21 goals)
1955 Independiente Medellín (1) Atlético Nacional   Felipe Marino (Independiente Medellín; 22 goals)
1956 Atlético Quindío (1) Millonarios   Jaime Gutiérrez (Atlético Quindío; 21 goals)
1957 Independiente Medellín (2) Deportes Tolima   José Vicente Grecco (Independiente Medellín; 30 goals)
1958 Santa Fe (2) Millonarios   José Américo Montanini (Atlético Bucaramanga; 36 goals)
1959 Millonarios (5) Independiente Medellín   Felipe Marino (Cúcuta Deportivo / Independiente Medellín; 35 goals)
1960 Santa Fe (3) América de Cali   Walter Marcolini (Deportivo Cali; 30 goals)
1961 Millonarios (6) Independiente Medellín   Alberto Perazzo (Santa Fe; 32 goals)
1962 Millonarios (7) Deportivo Cali   José Omar Verdún (Cúcuta Deportivo; 36 goals)
1963 Millonarios (8) Santa Fe   Omar Devani (Atlético Bucaramanga; 36 goals)
  José Omar Verdún (Cúcuta Deportivo; 36 goals)
1964 Millonarios (9) Cúcuta Deportivo   Omar Devani (Unión Magdalena / Atlético Bucaramanga; 28 goals)
1965 Deportivo Cali (1) Atlético Nacional   Perfecto Rodríguez (Independiente Medellín; 38 goals)
1966 Santa Fe (4) Independiente Medellín   Omar Devani (Santa Fe; 31 goals)
1967 Deportivo Cali (2) Millonarios   José María Ferrero (Millonarios; 38 goals)
1968 Unión Magdalena (1) Deportivo Cali   José María Ferrero (Millonarios; 32 goals)
1969 Deportivo Cali (3) América de Cali     Hugo Lóndero (América de Cali; 25 goals)
1970 Deportivo Cali (4) Junior   José María Ferrero (Cúcuta Deportivo; 27 goals)
  Walter Sossa (Santa Fe; 27 goals)
1971 Santa Fe (5) Atlético Nacional     Hugo Lóndero (Cúcuta Deportivo; 30 goals)
  Apolinar Paniagua (Deportivo Pereira; 30 goals)
1972 Millonarios (10) Deportivo Cali     Hugo Lóndero (Cúcuta Deportivo; 27 goals)
1973 Atlético Nacional (2) Millonarios   Nelson Silva Pacheco (Cúcuta Deportivo / Junior; 36 goals)
1974 Deportivo Cali (5) Atlético Nacional   Víctor Ephanor (Junior; 33 goals)
1975 Santa Fe (6) Millonarios   Jorge Ramón Cáceres (Deportivo Pereira; 35 goals)
1976 Atlético Nacional (3) Deportivo Cali   Miguel Angel Converti (Millonarios; 33 goals)
1977 Junior (1) Deportivo Cali   Oswaldo Marcial Palavecino (Atlético Nacional; 33 goals)
1978 Millonarios (11) Deportivo Cali   Oswaldo Marcial Palavecino (Atlético Nacional; 36 goals)
1979 América de Cali (1) Santa Fe   Juan José Irigoyén (Millonarios; 36 goals)
1980 Junior (2) Deportivo Cali   Sergio Cierra (Deportivo Pereira; 26 goals)
1981 Atlético Nacional (4) Deportes Tolima   Víctor Hugo del Río (Deportes Tolima; 29 goals)
1982 América de Cali (2) Deportes Tolima   Miguel Oswaldo González (Atlético Bucaramanga; 27 goals)
1983 América de Cali (3) Junior   Hugo Gottardi (Santa Fe; 29 goals)
1984 América de Cali (4) Millonarios   Hugo Gottardi (Independiente Santa Fe; 23 goals)
1985 América de Cali (5) Deportivo Cali   Miguel Oswaldo González (Atlético Bucaramanga; 34 goals)
1986 América de Cali (6) Deportivo Cali   Héctor Ramón Sossa (Independiente Medellín; 23 goals)
1987 Millonarios (12) América de Cali   Jorge Aravena (Deportivo Cali; 23 goals)
1988 Millonarios (13) Atlético Nacional   Sergio Angulo (Santa Fe; 29 goals)
1989
Championship not awarded
1990 América de Cali (7) Atlético Nacional   Antony de Ávila (América de Cali; 25 goals)
1991 Atlético Nacional (5) América de Cali   Iván Valenciano (Junior; 30 goals)
1992 América de Cali (8) Atlético Nacional   John Jairo Tréllez (Atlético Nacional; 25 goals)
1993 Junior (3) Independiente Medellín   Miguel Guerrero (Junior; 34 goals)
1994 Atlético Nacional (6) Millonarios   Rubén Darío Hernández (Independiente Medellín / Deportivo Pereira / América de Cali; 32 goals)
1995 Junior (4) América de Cali   Iván Valenciano (Junior; 24 goals)
1995–96 Deportivo Cali (6) Millonarios   Iván Valenciano (Junior; 36 goals)
1996–97 América de Cali (9) Atlético Bucaramanga   Hamilton Ricard (Deportivo Cali; 36 goals)
1998 Deportivo Cali (7) Once Caldas   Víctor Bonilla (Deportivo Cali; 37 goals)
1999 Atlético Nacional (7) América de Cali   Sergio Galván Rey (Once Caldas; 26 goals)
2000 América de Cali (10) Junior   Carlos Alberto Castro (Millonarios; 24 goals)
2001 América de Cali (11) Independiente Medellín   Carlos Alberto Castro (Millonarios; 29 goals)
  Jorge Horacio Serna (Independiente Medellín; 29 goals)
2002 Apertura América de Cali (12) Atlético Nacional   Luis Fernando Zuleta (Unión Magdalena; 13 goals)
Finalización Independiente Medellín (3) Deportivo Pasto   Orlando Ballesteros (Atlético Bucaramanga; 13 goals)
  Milton Rodríguez (Deportivo Pereira; 13 goals)
2003 Apertura Once Caldas (2) Junior   Arnulfo Valentierra (Once Caldas; 13 goals)
Finalización Deportes Tolima (1) Deportivo Cali   Léider Preciado (Deportivo Cali; 17 goals)
2004 Apertura Independiente Medellín (4) Atlético Nacional   Sergio Herrera (América de Cali; 13 goals)
Finalización Junior (5) Atlético Nacional   Leonardo Fabio Moreno (América de Cali; 15 goals)
  Léider Preciado (Santa Fe; 15 goals)
2005 Apertura Atlético Nacional (8) Santa Fe   Víctor Aristizábal (Atlético Nacional; 16 goals)
Finalización Deportivo Cali (8) Real Cartagena   Jámerson Rentería (Real Cartagena; 12 goals)
  Hugo Rodallega (Deportivo Cali; 12 goals)
2006 Apertura Deportivo Pasto (1) Deportivo Cali   Jorge Díaz Moreno (Cúcuta Deportivo; 15 goals)
Finalización Cúcuta Deportivo (1) Deportes Tolima   Diego Álvarez (Independiente Medellín; 11 goals)
  Jhon Charría (Deportes Tolima; 11 goals)
2007 Apertura Atlético Nacional (9) Atlético Huila   Fredy Montero (Atlético Huila; 13 goals)
  Sergio Galván Rey (Atlético Nacional; 13 goals)
Finalización Atlético Nacional (10) La Equidad   Dayro Moreno (Once Caldas; 16 goals)
2008 Apertura Boyacá Chicó (1) América de Cali   Miguel Caneo (Boyacá Chicó; 13 goals)
  Iván Velásquez (Deportes Quindío; 13 goals)
Finalización América de Cali (13) Independiente Medellín   Fredy Montero (Deportivo Cali; 16 goals)
2009 Apertura Once Caldas (3) Junior   Teófilo Gutiérrez (Junior; 16 goals)
Finalización Independiente Medellín (5) Atlético Huila   Jackson Martínez (Independiente Medellín; 18 goals)
2010 Apertura Junior (6) La Equidad   Carlos Bacca (Junior; 12 goals)
  Carlos Rentería (La Equidad; 12 goals)
Finalización Once Caldas (4) Deportes Tolima   Wilder Medina (Deportes Tolima; 16 goals)
  Dayro Moreno (Once Caldas; 16 goals)
2011 Apertura Atlético Nacional (11) La Equidad   Carlos Rentería (Atlético Nacional; 12 goals)
Finalización Junior (7) Once Caldas   Carlos Bacca (Junior; 12 goals)
2012 Apertura Santa Fe (7) Deportivo Pasto   Robin Ramírez (Deportes Tolima; 13 goals)
Finalización Millonarios (14) Independiente Medellín   Henry Hernández (Cúcuta Deportivo; 9 goals)
  Carmelo Valencia (La Equidad; 9 goals)
  Germán Cano (Independiente Medellín; 9 goals)
2013 Apertura Atlético Nacional (12) Santa Fe   Wilder Medina (Santa Fe; 12 goals)
Finalización Atlético Nacional (13) Deportivo Cali   Dayro Moreno (Millonarios; 16 goals)
  Luis Carlos Ruiz (Junior; 16 goals)
2014 Apertura Atlético Nacional (14) Junior   Dayro Moreno (Millonarios; 12 goals)
Finalización Santa Fe (8) Independiente Medellín   Germán Cano (Independiente Medellín; 16 goals)
2015 Apertura Deportivo Cali (9) Independiente Medellín   Fernando Uribe (Millonarios; 15 goals)
Finalización Atlético Nacional (15) Junior   Jefferson Duque (Atlético Nacional; 15 goals)
2016 Apertura Independiente Medellín (6) Junior   Miguel Borja (Cortuluá; 19 goals)
Finalización Santa Fe (9) Deportes Tolima   Ayron del Valle (Millonarios; 12 goals)
2017 Apertura Atlético Nacional (16) Deportivo Cali   Dayro Moreno (Atlético Nacional; 14 goals)
Finalización Millonarios (15) Santa Fe   Yimmi Chará (Junior; 11 goals)
  Ayron del Valle (Millonarios; 11 goals)
  Dayro Moreno (Atlético Nacional; 11 goals)
  Carmelo Valencia (La Equidad; 11 goals)
2018 Apertura Deportes Tolima (2) Atlético Nacional   Germán Cano (Independiente Medellín; 12 goals)
Finalización Junior (8) Independiente Medellín   Germán Cano (Independiente Medellín; 20 goals)
2019 Apertura Junior (9) Deportivo Pasto   Germán Cano (Independiente Medellín; 21 goals)
Finalización

Source for champions and runners-up by season: RSSSF[16]

List of champions and runners-upEdit

Club Winners Runners-up Winning years Runners-up years
Atlético Nacional 16 11 1954, 1973, 1976, 1981, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2005–I, 2007–I, 2007–II, 2011–I, 2013–I, 2013–II, 2014–I, 2015–II, 2017–I 1955, 1965, 1971, 1974, 1988, 1990, 1992, 2002–I, 2004–I, 2004–II, 2018–I
Millonarios 15 9 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1972, 1978, 1987, 1988, 2012–II, 2017–II 1950, 1956, 1958, 1967, 1973, 1975, 1984, 1994, 1995–96
América de Cali 13 7 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996–97, 2000, 2001, 2002–I, 2008–II 1960, 1969, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2008–I
Deportivo Cali 9 14 1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1995–96, 1998, 2005–II, 2015–I 1949, 1962, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1985, 1986, 2003–II, 2006–I, 2013–II, 2017–I
Junior 9 9 1977, 1980, 1993, 1995, 2004–II, 2010–I, 2011–II, 2018–II, 2019–I 1948, 1970, 1983, 2000, 2003–I, 2009–I, 2014–I, 2015–II, 2016–I
Santa Fe 9 5 1948, 1958, 1960, 1966, 1971, 1975, 2012–I, 2014–II, 2016–II 1963, 1979, 2005–I, 2013–I, 2017–II
Independiente Medellín 6 10 1955, 1957, 2002–II, 2004–I, 2009–II, 2016–I 1959, 1961, 1966, 1993, 2001, 2008–II, 2012–II, 2014–II, 2015–I, 2018–II
Once Caldas 4 2 1950, 2003–I, 2009–I, 2010–II 1998, 2011–II
Deportes Tolima 2 6 2003–II, 2018–I 1957, 1981, 1982, 2006–II, 2010–II, 2016–II
Deportivo Pasto 1 3 2006–I 2002–II, 2012–I, 2019–I
Deportes Quindío 1 2 1956 1953, 1954
Cúcuta Deportivo 1 1 2006–II 1964
Boyacá Chicó 1 0 2008–I
Unión Magdalena 1 0 1968
La Equidad 3 2007–II, 2010–I, 2011–I
Atlético Huila 2 2007–I, 2009–II
Boca Juniors 2 1951, 1952
Real Cartagena 1 2005–II
Atlético Bucaramanga 1 1996–97

Source: RSSSF

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Así es el nuevo logo del FPC: llegó la Liga Aguila". GOL Caracol. 19 December 2014.
  2. ^ "THE STRONGEST NATIONAL LEAGUE OF THE WORLD". IFFHS. IFFHS. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  3. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesc/colfound.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Ruíz Bonilla, Guillermo (2008). La gran historia del Fútbol Profesional Colombiano. Ediciones Dayscript. pp. 12–14, 19. ISBN 978-958-987-1300.
  5. ^ a b Ruíz Bonilla, Guillermo (2008). La gran historia del Fútbol Profesional Colombiano. Ediciones Dayscript. p. 51. ISBN 978-958-987-1300.
  6. ^ Acosta, Andrés (2013-01-10). "Colombia - List of Cup Winners". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Andrés Acosta and RSSSF. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  7. ^ "El Tiempo - Colombia entra en la élite del fútbol mundial con 'la época de El Dorado'" (in Spanish).
  8. ^ "Balance de la Asamblea Extraordinaria de la Dimayor" (in Spanish). Dimayor.com. 12 December 2017.
  9. ^ Caracol Radio, ed. (14 July 2012). "Estos son los trofeos que reciben los campeones" (in Spanish).
  10. ^ "Semana.com - Imprimir". www.semana.com.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-03-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-29. Retrieved 2016-03-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Ruiz Bonilla, Guillermo (October 2008). La gran historia del Fútbol Profesional Colombiano [The Grand History of Colombian Professional Football] (in Spanish). Ediciones Dayscript. p. 223. ISBN 978-958-98713-0-0.
  14. ^ "Colombia 1989". www.rsssf.com.
  15. ^ Arteaga, José; Ballesteros, Frank (March 6, 2008). "Colombian League Top Scorers". website. RSSSF. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  16. ^ Juan Pablo Andres and Frank Ballesteros, 22 May 2014. "Colombia - List of Champions and Runners-Up". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 September 2014.

External linksEdit