Colombia national football team

The Colombia national football team (Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Colombia) represents Colombia in men's international football and is managed by the Colombian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Colombia. They are a member of CONMEBOL and are currently ranked 17th in the FIFA World Rankings.[7] The team are nicknamed Los Cafeteros due to the coffee production in their country.

Colombia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Los Cafeteros (The Coffee Growers) La Tricolor (The Tricolors)
AssociationFederación Colombiana de Fútbol (FCF)
ConfederationCONMEBOL (South America)
Head coachNéstor Lorenzo
CaptainDavid Ospina
Most capsDavid Ospina (124)
Top scorerRadamel Falcao (35)
Home stadiumEstadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez[1]
FIFA codeCOL
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 17 Steady (23 June 2022)[2]
Highest3 (July–August 2013, September 2014 – March 2015, June–August 2016)
Lowest54 (June 2011)
First international
 Colombia 4–1 Costa Rica 
(Barranquilla, Colombia; 17 February 1926)[3]
Biggest win
 Bahrain 0–6 Colombia 
(Riffa, Bahrain; 26 March 2015)[4]
Biggest defeat
 Brazil 9–0 Colombia 
(Lima, Peru; 24 March 1957)[5]
World Cup
Appearances6 (first in 1962)
Best resultQuarter-finals (2014)
Copa América
Appearances23 (first in 1945)
Best resultChampions (2001)
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Appearances3 (first in 2000)
Best resultRunners-up (2000)
Central American and Caribbean Games
Appearances2 (first in 1938)
Best resultChampions (1946)
Bolivarian Games
Appearances9 (first in 1938)
Best resultChampions (1951)
FIFA Confederations Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2003)
Best resultFourth place (2003)

Since the mid-1980s, the national team has been a symbol of nationalism, pride, and passion for many Colombians worldwide. Colombia is known for having a passionate fan base, and the team's dances during goal celebrations have been symbolic.[8][9]

The Colombian team has participated in six World Cups (1962, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2014 and 2018). In the 2014 edition held in Brazil, the team achieved its best World Cup performance, reaching the quarter-finals and coming fifth in the final standings.[10] Its greatest international achievement is winning the Copa América in 2001 as hosts, also setting a new record with no goals conceded and every match won; it has also finished runner-up in 1975 and finished third five times: in 1987, 1993, 1995, 2016, and 2021. Furthermore, the team managed to make outstanding appearances at the continental level, obtaining from the Central American and Caribbean Games the gold and bronze medals in 1946 and 1938 respectively,[11] and in the Bolivarian Games the team obtained the gold medal in 1951 and the silver medal in 1961, 1973 and 1981.[12]

Colombia had its strongest period during the 1990s. A 1993 match which resulted in a 5–0 win over Argentina began a special "mutual respect" rivalry between both nations.[13] The goalkeeper René Higuita achieved fame from his eccentric scorpion kick clearance against England at Wembley Stadium in 1995. Stars from Colombia's team playing in top European leagues included Carlos Valderrama, who shined in Ligue 1, Faustino Asprilla, who shined in the Serie A and Premier League, and Freddy Rincón, who played in Serie A, La Liga, and the Brazilian Championship. During this era Colombia qualified for 1990, 1994, and 1998 World Cups, only reaching the second round in 1990. Following the murder of Andrés Escobar after the 1994 World Cup, Colombia's performances faded in the latter half of the 1990s and early half of the 2000s, and although Colombia was the champion of the 2001 Copa América, which they hosted, the nation missed three World Cups between 2002 and 2010. 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.[14]

A new era began for Colombia with the arrival of Argentine manager José Pékerman in January 2012.[15] During the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Colombia showed improvement over the 2011 Copa América, bringing its rank up from 40th to the top ten for the first time since 2002 and into the top five consistently for the first time since 2004.[16] After a 16-year-long wait, in 2014 Colombia finally returned to the World Cup,[17][18] where they were able to advance to the quarter-finals, the furthest Colombia has ever made it in a World Cup. Colombia's star midfielder James Rodríguez won two awards that tournament, the Golden Boot for most goals (6) and Best Goal of the Tournament, his long-range strike against Uruguay.[19]

HistoryEdit

Early years and maiden World Cup debutEdit

 
Fernando Paternoster of Argentina was Colombia's first non-domestic coach

Colombia played its first international match in February 1926 against Costa Rica in the Julio Torres Stadium, obtaining a 4–0 victory against the Central American team.[3]

Years later, Colombia played 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).[20] 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, while 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 finished fourth with one win and three losses. Fernando Paternoster was the manager of Colombia, the side's first foreign manager.

Colombia did not play again until 1945 when they participated for the first time at the South American Championship, finishing in fifth place. 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).[21] 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. Austrian coach Friedrich Donenfeld was the manager of Colombia during the tournament; he had moved with his family to Colombia due to World War II, and Atlético Junior would be his first team as a coach.[22] As Junior was chosen to represent Colombia in the tournament, he became in the first European manager of the Colombia national team. The team, however, repeated their losing streak since, as in the previous tournament, ended eighth with two draws and five losses, scoring four goals.

 
Argentine Adolfo Pedernera helped Colombia to qualify for their first World Cup in 1962

After 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, a 1–1 draw. Colombia lost their next matches, leaving them at the bottom of the group.

Colombia qualified for the 1962 World Cup, its first-ever FIFA World Cup by eliminating Peru 2–1 on aggregate. At the 1962 World Cup, Colombia was drawn into a tough group containing Uruguay, Soviet Union and Yugoslavia; both had achieved notable results comparing to Colombia. Colombia lost its 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 to give the Colombians their first-ever World Cup goal and a shock lead. In the second match, they earned a 4–4 draw with the USSR, champions of the 1960 European Nations' Cup. In this game, Colombia scored four goals against Soviet goalkeeper Lev Yashin, widely considered the best goalkeeper in football history. Also in that game, Marco 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 finished in fourth place in the tournament. After the 1962 World Cup, Colombia didn't qualify for over 28 years before they returned in the 1990 edition.

For the 1974 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the 9 teams were divided into three groups. Colombia was drawn with Uruguay and Ecuador, finishing behind group winners Uruguay and failing to qualify on goal difference. The following year, in the 1975 Copa América, Colombia made its first final, losing to Peru in a playoff 1–0, which was played after Colombia won the first leg but Peru won the second leg.

1990s: The Golden Era and a tragic endEdit

 
Colombia line-up against Germany at the 1990 World Cup in Italy

At 1990 World Cup, Colombia was once again drawn with the Yugoslavs, alongside United Arab Emirates and powerhouse West Germany. Colombia defeated the United Arab Emirates 2–0 to achieve its first-ever win in the World Cup, then lost to Yugoslavia 1–0, but earned their place in the Round of 16 after a respectable 1–1 draw with West Germany, who would later win the World Cup. Colombia would be eliminated in their next match against Cameroon with a 2–1 defeat in extra time, marking the rise of a generation known as the first Colombian Golden Generation.

For the 1994 World Cup, Colombia finished top of their qualifying group without having lost a match, which included a historic 0–5 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires.[23] Expectations of the team were high, some even naming them as favorites to win the tournament. Colombia was assigned to the Group A with the hosts United States, Romania, and Switzerland. During the tournament, internal conflict within Colombia proved to be detrimental and harmful for the Colombian squad as the team was distracted from their main goal. Colombia only earned one win over Switzerland and suffered two losses, which would eliminate them in the first phase. The first match against Romania ended with a 3–1 defeat that resulted in cartels' threats to relatives of Colombian players. During the match against the United States, an unwanted incident occurred, when Andrés Escobar scored an own goal, leading to Colombia's elimination as they lost 2–1. Escobar was later murdered following the own goal in Colombia. This traumatic incident would lead to the demise of Colombia's first Golden Generation.

Colombia ended their qualification for the 1998 World Cup in third place with 28 points, two points below first-place Argentina with 30 points. Colombia was assigned to the Group G alongside Tunisia, England and once again, Romania. Romania, like in the 1994 edition, obtained a 1–0 victory in the first match. Colombia's second match was a 1–0 win against Tunisia, with a goal from Léider Preciado. In the last match, however, England won the game 2–0, thereby eliminating Colombia from the tournament.

2001 Copa AmericaEdit

 
Iván Córdoba captained the Colombia squad that won the 2001 Copa América, and also provided the sole goal in the final against Mexico

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 canceled on 1 July, just ten days before the opening match.[24] On 6 July, 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 (a CONCACAF invitee) was 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 (a CONCACAF invitee) hastily invited and flown in by the Colombian Air Force to participate.[24] There were no terrorist incidents throughout the competition.

Colombia began the tournament strongly, topping their group consisting of Venezuela, Chile and Ecuador. They eliminated Peru and Honduras on their way to winning their first Copa América title by defeating Mexico (a CONCACAF invitee) in the final with a goal from Iván Córdoba in the second half. The team also broke a Copa America record of not conceding any goals and winning every game.[25]

The Declining Years (2002–2010)Edit

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 while by a single point thanks to Uruguay's win over Argentina. Had Uruguay and Argentina drawn, Colombia would've qualified to the playoff spot with their 1–0 away win over Paraguay, and they had superior goal difference to Uruguay as well. A similar situation occurred in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, where the country failed to qualify by a point and won its final match against Paraguay again.

These failures to qualify for the World Cup were mainly a result of constantly changing formations and managers, combined with the struggle to score goals in the last games of the qualification.[26]

Although these were the declining years for the Colombian squad, the country had an acceptable performance at the 2004 Copa América under Reinaldo Rueda, beginning by topping their group. The team eliminated Costa Rica in the quarter-finals and then lost to Argentina in the semi-finals. They ended up earning fourth place after losing the third place match.

Colombia also participated in the 2005 Gold Cup. The team performed poorly in the group stage, placing third with one win, and two losses. Even though it qualified to the next round as the best third-placed team and beat defending champions Mexico in the quarter-finals,[27] the team was eventually eliminated by Panama, who Colombia had already lost to in the group stage.[28] Many people thought Colombia would be one of the tournament favorites, and another failure was shown after not making the final.[29]

Colombia had one of its worst ever Copa América performances in the 2007 Copa América. The team finished third in the group with one win and two losses, including a 5–0 loss to Paraguay, and didn't qualify for the knockout stages.[30][31]

The Revival and a new Golden Generation (2011–present)Edit

 
Colombia line-up against Uruguay at the Estadio Centenario on 10 September 2013

In June 2011, Colombia has its worst ranking ever: 54th. Despite this ranking, In the 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 loss against Peru in extra time. Los Cafeteros ended the year 2011 36th in the FIFA Rankings.

In October 2012, Colombia moved back into the top 10 of the FIFA Rankings for the first time since July 2002, after the wins against Chile (3–1) and Uruguay (4–0). The team moved up to 9th place, up 13 places.[16] At the end of the year, the team were in 5th.[14]

"We can't stop people talking about us, nor should we duck away from positive opinions. This national squad, with a new generation of players, is making history. Nowadays nearly all of us are playing in Europe and I think we've got a wider variety of players and talent than we did at the 1994 World Cup when this pressure was on them too. But we can't afford to get too carried away with what people say. Of course, we want to have a great tournament, but we mustn't let ourselves get weighed down by external pressures."

Jackson Martínez on the current generation and its run into the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[32]

The Colombian side gained Leonel Álvarez as the new coach following the resignation of Hernán Darío Gómez, but was sacked after three games with disappointing results, which led in the hiring of José Pékerman in January 2012.[33] Pékerman's first match was a 2–0 win over Mexico in Miami. Under Pékerman, the squad would break a personal qualifying best record by finishing in second with 30 points, and raise the FIFA ranking consistently into the top ten, which allowed them to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 16 years. The qualification was secured with a 3–3 draw against Chile, after having trailed 0–3 at the half.[17] Celebrations broke throughout the nation, as many neutrals hailed Colombia as a dark-horse towards being a World Cup contender.[18][34][35][36] Often, Colombia were noted by many Colombian figures such as Carlos Valderrama as a team that could become the most successful Colombian squad in history.[34][36] Throughout the qualification process, Colombia only conceded 12 goals, which was the second-best defensive record behind Argentina.[18]

2014 World CupEdit

 
Colombia against Brazil at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Colombia topped off their return in the 2014 World Cup after a 16-year absence by defeating Greece 3–0.[37] Colombia then edged a 2–1 victory over the Ivory Coast to dispute Group C's top spot days later.[38] 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 World Cup.[39] 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 win all three group stage games 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.[40] Colombia went on to defeated Uruguay 2–0 on 28 June in the round of 16, securing a spot in the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.[41] Colombia then fell to hosts 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.[42][43][44][45][46][47]

Despite the elimination, the national team was greeted by tens of thousands of Colombians in Bogotá, welcoming them back as heroes and restoring pride to the nation.[48] 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.[49][50]

2015 Copa AméricaEdit

Colombia had a disappointing 2015 Copa América, having won only a single game during the group stage match against Brazil, with their only goal of the tournament. Colombia would be eliminated by Argentina in the next round via penalty shootout, ending their campaign with one win, two draws, and one loss. Their only goal throughout the tournament was scored by Jeison Murillo, who would later win the tournament's Best Young Player award and be included in the tournament's Star XI.

Copa América CentenarioEdit

Colombia began their campaign with a 0–2 victory against hosts United States. Days later they sealed their qualification to the quarter finals with a 2–1 victory against Paraguay. However, they fell to Costa Rica 2–3 and finished second in the group following a complete change with 11 of their starters. On 17 June, they advanced to the semi-finals with a win against Peru on penalties 4–2 in front of 79,000 fans at MetLife Stadium. Colombia would then lose to eventual tournament winners Chile following mistakes by their defense. Colombia, however, won the third place match against the hosts United States to seal their best result since winning the 2001 edition.

2018 World CupEdit

Colombia qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup by finishing fourth in CONMEBOL qualifying and drew a challenging group; playing with Japan, Poland and Senegal.[51] The team was nevertheless considered the group favorites, but began their campaign with an unexpected 2–1 controversial defeat to Japan, with Carlos Sánchez being sent off after just three minutes of play.[52][53][54] Colombia resurrected their hopes of advancing from the group with a 3–0 win over Poland, whose own chances of advancing were ended with the defeat. After the match, head coach José Pékerman dedicated the win to Carlos Sánchez.[55][56][57] On 28 June, Colombia beat Senegal by a scoreline of 1–0, topping their group and advancing into the round of 16, and eliminated Senegal in process as well.[58][59][60] On 3 July in Moscow, Colombia were knocked out by England in the round of 16; the game finished 1–1 after extra time, with England winning 4–3 on penalties.[61][62]

Match referee Mark Geiger proved to be controversial, with criticism from both sets of teams.[63] Colombia captain Radamel Falcao and manager José Pékerman both accused Geiger of favouring the England team during the match.[64][65] Diego Maradona once again claimed favouritism against Colombia, saying, "England's penalty was a terrible call and that the ref won the match for England," and that Colombia were victims of a "monumental robbery".[66][67][68] In response, FIFA said Maradona's comments were "entirely inappropriate" and insinuations about the referee "completely unfounded". A FIFA statement read, "Following comments made by Diego Armando Maradona in relation to yesterday's round of 16 game, Colombia vs England, FIFA strongly rebukes the criticism of the performance of the match officials which it considers to have been positive in a tough and highly emotional match. Furthermore, it also considers the additional comments and insinuations made as being entirely inappropriate and completely unfounded."[69][70] Maradona subsequently apologized to FIFA and its president, admitting some of things he said were unacceptable: "I said a couple of things and, I admit, some of them are unacceptable."[71]

2019 Copa AméricaEdit

Following the federation's choice to not renew Pekerman's contract, former Iran manager Carlos Queiroz was hired to coach the national team. After an impressive 8 goal run, winning 3 out of 4 of their pre-Copa America friendlies as well as conceding only 2 goals in only one, optimism for the Portuguese coach and the team itself was strong.[72]

Starting off their 2019 Copa América campaign, Colombia defeated favorites Argentina in a shocking 2–0 win, marking their first victory over the La Albiceleste since 2007.[73] Days later, they would face a very defensive Asian Cup champions and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar with a 1–0 victory to end Qatar's unbeaten streak to eight and becoming in the first team in the group stages to advance to the next round.;[74][75] Colombia would end their group stage run in perfect fashion with a 1–0 victory over Paraguay, resting a majority of their starters and finishing with nine points with four goals scored and none conceded throughout the group stage.[76] Colombia became the only team since the 2001 edition to advance out of the group stage with a 100% perfect run.[77] Despite this achievement, Colombia was then eliminated by Chile in a penalty shootout during the quarter-finals match where Colombia performed poorly, only to be saved by the referee over two disallowed Chilean goals.

2021 Copa AméricaEdit

Following major defeats in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, where Colombia lost 3–0 to Uruguay and 6–1 to Ecuador, the Colombian Football Federation announced the departure of Carlos Queiroz in a statement on December 1, 2020.[78] January 2021, it was confirmed that Reinaldo Rueda would once again be the Colombian team coach where they would fail to qualify to the World Cup losing the most important match day against Peru in Barranquilla 0-1 in the 15th Matchday with a very historic goal by Edison Flores in the 85th minute finishing 6th Place just behind Peru who placed 5th by one point which Peru would later win the intercontinental Playoff game against New Zealand to go to the World Cup leaving Colombia Out with no chance to go to the big stage.

In the 2021 Copa América, Colombia started with a 1–0 victory against Ecuador.[79] Days later, they faced Venezuela, where the match ended with a 0–0 draw.[80] Then, they would face Peru, where the first half ended with a victory for Peru with a goal in the 17th minute. In the second half, Colombia was able to tie with a penalty goal for an action by Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese against Miguel Borja. However, in the 64th minute, a mistake by Yerry Mina caused him to score an own goal after a corner kick by Peru, goalkeeper David Ospina clawed the ball away but the referee ruled the goal valid, ending the match with a score of 1–2.[81] Finally, Colombia faced Brazil, with Luis Díaz scoring the first goal of the match in just 10 minutes into the game, which was considered the best goal of the Copa América by some media and fans.[82] However, in the 78th minute, Brazil scored a controversial goal shortly after the ball touched referee Nestor Pitana, without him stopping play. Brazil scored another goal in the finale minutes of the game, causing the score to end 1–2.[82] Even so, Colombia finished in third place in the Group B table and qualified for the quarterfinals, where they faced Uruguay, where the match was defined with a 4–2 victory for Colombia through penalties after a 0–0 draw.[83] In the semifinals, Colombia contested with Argentina, A great game where they drew 1–1. Argentina won 3–2 in the penalty shoot-out.[84] Colombia managed to win the match for third place against Peru, with the score 3–2,[85] where the last two goals that Luis Díaz scored along with one in the final 93rd minute of the game made him the top scorer of the Copa América, along with Lionel Messi. The third-place victory for Colombia marks their best result since also winning the third place in the Copa América Centenario.

RivalriesEdit

Colombia's main geopolitical rival has always been Venezuela. However, the rivalry is historically very one-sided for Colombia. This state of affairs started to change from the late 1990s, when football slowly began replacing baseball as Venezuela's main sport.[86]

In 2001, Coach Luis Garcia was sacked for only managing a draw in an away game in San Cristóbal which ended 2–2 when a victory had been taken for granted. This was just a sign of things to come. Four years later in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, Venezuela stunned the continent by defeating Colombia in Barranquilla 0–1. The game showed the new direction of the rivalry: while Colombia remains ahead on all rankings and competitions, Venezuela always outperform themselves when meeting each other. Former captain Valderrama started calling the games a "classic" and stated "Venezuela kill themselves [do their best] playing against us."[87]

As of 2021, Colombia has not been able to win on Venezuelan soil since 1996. They would win in Venezuela during 2022 World Cup qualifying which marked their first win in Venezuela since 1996. During Jose Pekerman's coaching for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, considered the rebirth of Colombian football, Venezuela still managed to win their game at home, which was one of only three defeats the Argentinean suffered. Venezuela also won the group stage game against Colombia in the 2015 Copa America which were their only three points, although Colombia still managed to advance to the knockout stage while Venezuela ended last. However, the matches are still not as popular as the rival matches against Argentina.

The historical Colombian 5–0 victory in 1993, beating host Argentina in the 1994 World Cup qualifiers, was the very first time Argentina lost in its home stadium Estadio Monumental during a qualifying match for a World Cup. Argentina had come to the qualifiers as a World Cup champion and finalist in the most recent editions (1986 and 1990). It caused a huge upset and start of a respective rivalry. 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.[88] After the wane of Valderrama's generation, the rivalry became one-sided again until the last decade where the majority of the games have resulted in draws. Colombia and Argentina have played ten times in the past decade, where Colombia has won once and Argentina twice, and there have been 7 draws.

Colombia also has another small rivalry against Peru, which both fought in the Leticia Incident to control the Amazon region. Peru is often seen as the buildup of Colombia's football successes, as Colombia had eliminated Peru during qualification for the 1962 World Cup to secure its maiden appearance. Matches between the two teams also draw a great level of intensity.

Colombia had a more hostile rivalry against Brazil due to the 2014 FIFA World Cup encounter, where Brazil defeated Colombia 2–1 overshadowed by Neymar's injury and referee's favoritism towards Brazil against Colombia;[89] This would later cause matches between the two national teams to be more intense, aggressive and to a certain extent, played with great hostility with numerous violent incidents, especially during the 2015 Copa América, where Neymar was sent off during a brawl after the final whistle.[90] The rivalry would soon improve in a less hostile manner after the 2016 Copa Sudamericana Finals when Atlético Nacional asked CONMEBOL to award the trophy for Associação Chapecoense de Futebol due to the LaMia Flight 2933 crash;[91] Nonetheless, it remains a competitive rivalry between the two.

Home stadiumEdit

Colombia plays their qualifying matches and friendlies at the Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Melendez in Barranquilla and has the Estadio el Campin in Bogota as a second alternative.

Team imageEdit

Traditionally, Colombia's home colours are yellow shirts with navy trim and navy or white shorts and socks, with their away colours being normally navy shirts. They wore their first ever red kit at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Colombia used red as their home colours in the 20th century, although in Copa América Centenario the team played in an all-white kit for the first time in their history, before reverting to the yellow and navy kit thereafter.

Kit sponsorshipEdit

Kit supplier Period
  Adidas 1980–1987
  Puma 1987
  Adidas 1988–1990
  Kelme 1991
  Comba 1992
  Umbro 1992–1998
  Reebok 1998–2002
  Lotto 2002–2010
  Adidas 2011–present

Results and fixturesEdit

  Win   Draw   Loss

2021Edit

6 July 2021 Copa América Argentina   1–1
(3–2 p)
  Colombia Brasília, Brazil
22:00 UTC−3
  • La. Martínez   7'
Report
Stadium: Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha
Attendance: 0
Referee: Jesús Valenzuela (Venezuela)
Penalties
9 July 2021 Copa América Colombia   3–2   Peru Brasília, Brazil
21:00 UTC−3
Report
Stadium: Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha
Attendance: 0
Referee: Raphael Claus (Brazil)
2 September 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Bolivia   1–1   Colombia La Paz, Bolivia
16:00 UTC−4
Report
Stadium: Estadio Hernando Siles
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Alexis Herrera (Venezuela)
5 September 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Paraguay   1–1   Colombia Asunción, Paraguay
18:00 UTC−4
Report
Stadium: Estadio Defensores del Chaco
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Raphael Claus (Brazil)
9 September 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Colombia   3–1   Chile Barranquilla, Colombia
18:00 UTC−5
Report
Stadium: Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez
Attendance: 23,500
Referee: Andrés Cunha (Uruguay)
7 October 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Uruguay   0–0   Colombia Montevideo, Uruguay
20:00 UTC−3 Report Stadium: Estadio Gran Parque Central
Attendance: 18,000
Referee: Jesús Valenzuela (Venezuela)
10 October 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Colombia   0–0   Brazil Barranquilla, Colombia
16:00 COT (UTC−5) Report Stadium: Estadio Metropolitano
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: Patricio Loustau (Argentina)
11 November 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Brazil   1–0   Colombia São Paulo, Brazil
21:30 UTC−3
Report Stadium: Arena Corinthians
Attendance: 20,080
Referee: Roberto Tobar (Chile)
16 November 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Colombia   0–0   Paraguay Barranquilla, Colombia
18:00 UTC−5 Report Stadium: Estadio Metropolitano
Referee: Facundo Tello (Argentina)

2022Edit

16 January Friendly Colombia   2–1   Honduras Fort Lauderdale, United States
17:30 UTC−5
Report
Stadium: DRV PNK Stadium
Referee: David Gómez (Costa Rica)
1 February 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Argentina   1–0   Colombia Córdoba, Argentina
20:30 UTC−3 Report Stadium: Estadio Mario A. Kempes
Referee: Raphael Claus (Brazil)
24 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Colombia   3–0   Bolivia Barranquilla, Colombia
18:30 UTC−5
Report Stadium: Estadio Metropolitano
Referee: Facundo Tello (Argentina)
5 June Friendly Saudi Arabia   0–1   Colombia Murcia, Spain
19:00 UTC+2 Report Borré   9' Stadium: Estadio Nueva Condomina
Referee: Jason Barcelo (Gibraltar)
24 September Friendly Colombia   v   Guatemala Harrison, United States
Report Stadium: Red Bull Arena
27 September Friendly Mexico   v   Colombia Santa Clara, United States
Report Stadium: Levi's Stadium

Coaching staffEdit

Position Name
Head coach   Néstor Lorenzo
Assistant coaches   Fernando Alloco
Assistant coaches   Luis Amaranto Perea
Goalkeeping coach   Alejandro Otamendi
Fitness coaches   Leandro Jorge
Fitness coaches 2   Leandro Clocchiatti
Doctor   Gustavo Pineda
Doctor   Mauricio Serrato
Physiotherapist   Salomón Vizcarra
Match analyst   Francis García Talavera
IT and media consultant   Pablo Vásquez Peñaranda

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following 20 players were called up to the squad for the friendly match against Saudi Arabia on 5 June 2022.[92]

Caps and goals updated as of 5 June 2022, after the match against Saudi Arabia.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK José Luis Chunga (1991-07-11) 11 July 1991 (age 31) 2 0   Alianza Petrolera
1GK Iván Arboleda (1996-04-21) 21 April 1996 (age 26) 1 0   Newell's Old Boys

2DF Davinson Sánchez (1996-06-12) 12 June 1996 (age 26) 49 0   Tottenham Hotspur
2DF Daniel Muñoz (1996-05-25) 25 May 1996 (age 26) 13 0   Genk
2DF Carlos Cuesta (1999-03-09) 9 March 1999 (age 23) 7 0   Genk
2DF Jhon Lucumí (1998-06-26) 26 June 1998 (age 24) 5 0   Genk
2DF Helibelton Palacios (1993-06-11) 11 June 1993 (age 29) 5 0   Elche

3MF Yairo Moreno (1995-04-04) 4 April 1995 (age 27) 16 0   León
3MF Éder Álvarez Balanta (1993-02-28) 28 February 1993 (age 29) 9 0   Club Brugge
3MF Steven Alzate (1998-09-08) 8 September 1998 (age 23) 6 0   Brighton & Hove Albion
3MF Eduard Atuesta (1997-06-18) 18 June 1997 (age 25) 1 0   Palmeiras
3MF Kevin Velasco (1997-04-30) 30 April 1997 (age 25) 1 0   Deportivo Cali
3MF Kevin Agudelo (1998-11-14) 14 November 1998 (age 23) 0 0   Spezia
3MF Sebastián Pedroza (1999-04-08) 8 April 1999 (age 23) 0 0   Al-Batin

4FW Rafael Santos Borré (1995-09-15) 15 September 1995 (age 26) 17 1   Eintracht Frankfurt
4FW Luis Suárez (1997-12-02) 2 December 1997 (age 24) 4 0   Marseille
4FW Juan Hernández (1999-04-20) 20 April 1999 (age 23) 2 2   Columbus Crew
4FW Jhon Arias (1997-09-21) 21 September 1997 (age 24) 1 0   Fluminense
4FW Jaminton Campaz (2000-05-24) 24 May 2000 (age 22) 1 0   Grêmio
4FW Óscar Estupiñán (1996-10-29) 29 October 1996 (age 25) 1 0   Hull City

Recent call-upsEdit

The following players have also been called up in the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK David Ospina (1988-08-31) 31 August 1988 (age 33) 124 0   Al-Nassr v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
GK Camilo Vargas (1989-03-09) 9 March 1989 (age 33) 11 0   Atlas v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
GK Álvaro Montero (1995-03-29) 29 March 1995 (age 27) 3 0   Millonarios v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
GK Andrés Mosquera (1991-09-10) 10 September 1991 (age 30) 1 0   Independiente Medellín v.   Argentina, 1 February 2022
GK Diego Novoa (1989-05-31) 31 May 1989 (age 33) 0 0   América de Cali v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
GK Aldair Quintana (1994-07-11) 11 July 1994 (age 28) 0 0   Atlético Nacional v.   Ecuador, 14 October 2021

DF William Tesillo (1990-02-02) 2 February 1990 (age 32) 30 1   León v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
DF Stefan Medina (1992-06-14) 14 June 1992 (age 30) 28 0   Monterrey v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
DF Frank Fabra (1991-02-22) 22 February 1991 (age 31) 24 1   Boca Juniors v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
DF Johan Mojica (1992-08-21) 21 August 1992 (age 29) 19 1   Elche v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
DF Óscar Murillo (1988-04-18) 18 April 1988 (age 34) 23 0   Pachuca v.   Argentina, 1 February 2022
DF Yerry Mina (1994-09-23) 23 September 1994 (age 27) 39 7   Everton v.   Peru, 28 January 2022 SUS
DF Álvaro Angulo (1997-03-06) 6 March 1997 (age 25) 1 0   Atlético Nacional v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
DF Yeimar Gómez (1992-06-30) 30 June 1992 (age 30) 1 0   Seattle Sounders v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
DF Andrés Llinás (1993-03-25) 25 March 1993 (age 29) 1 0   Millonarios v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
DF Homer Martínez (1997-10-06) 6 October 1997 (age 24) 1 0   Junior v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
DF Andrés Felipe Román (1995-10-05) 5 October 1995 (age 26) 1 0   Atlético Nacional v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
DF Germán Mera (1990-03-05) 5 March 1990 (age 32) 0 0   Deportivo Cali v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
DF Dairon Mosquera (1992-07-23) 23 July 1992 (age 30) 0 0   Santa Fe v.   Chile, 9 September 2021

MF James Rodríguez (1991-07-12) 12 July 1991 (age 31) 86 24   Al-Rayyan v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
MF Wilmar Barrios (1993-10-16) 16 October 1993 (age 28) 52 0   Zenit Saint Petersburg v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
MF Mateus Uribe (1991-03-21) 21 March 1991 (age 31) 42 5   Porto v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
MF Juan Fernando Quintero (1993-01-18) 18 January 1993 (age 29) 31 4   River Plate v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
MF Jefferson Lerma (1994-10-25) 25 October 1994 (age 27) 30 1   Bournemouth v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
MF Gustavo Cuéllar (1992-10-14) 14 October 1992 (age 29) 24 1   Al-Hilal v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
MF Víctor Cantillo (1993-10-15) 15 October 1993 (age 28) 2 0   Corinthians v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
MF Juan Cuadrado (1988-05-26) 26 May 1988 (age 34) 111 10   Juventus v.   Bolivia, 24 March 2022
MF Fredy Hinestroza (1990-04-05) 5 April 1990 (age 32) 2 0   Junior v.   Argentina, 1 February 2022
MF Yaser Asprilla (2003-11-19) 19 November 2003 (age 18) 1 0   Watford v.   Argentina, 1 February 2022
MF Andrés Colorado (1998-12-01) 1 December 1998 (age 23) 1 1   São Paulo v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
MF Yerson Candelo (1992-02-24) 24 February 1992 (age 30) 1 0   Atlético Nacional v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
MF Daniel Giraldo (1992-07-01) 1 July 1992 (age 30) 1 0   Junior v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
MF Stiven Vega (1998-05-22) 22 May 1998 (age 24) 1 0   Millonarios v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022
MF Sebastián Gómez (1996-03-06) 6 March 1996 (age 26) 0 0   Atlético Nacional v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022 COV
MF Alexander Mejía (1988-07-11) 11 July 1988 (age 34) 27 0   Atlético Nacional v.   Chile, 9 September 2021
MF Baldomero Perlaza (1992-06-25) 25 June 1992 (age 30) 0 0   Colón v.   Chile, 9 September 2021 INJ
MF Andrés Andrade (1989-02-23) 23 February 1989 (age 33) 1 0   Atlético Nacional v.   Paraguay, 2 September 2021 INJ

FW Luis Sinisterra (1999-06-17) 17 June 1999 (age 23) 5 0   Leeds United v.   Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022
FW Luis Muriel (1991-04-16) 16 April 1991 (age 31) 45 8   Atalanta v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
FW Luis Díaz (1997-01-13) 13 January 1997 (age 25) 35 8   Liverpool v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
FW Miguel Borja (1993-01-26) 26 January 1993 (age 29) 27 8   River Plate v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
FW Harold Preciado (1994-05-01) 1 May 1994 (age 28) 3 0   Santos Laguna v.   Venezuela, 28 March 2022
FW Alfredo Morelos (1996-06-21) 21 June 1996 (age 26) 11 1   Rangers v.   Bolivia, 24 March 2022
FW Radamel Falcao (1986-02-10) 10 February 1986 (age 36) 99 35   Rayo Vallecano v.   Argentina, 1 February 2022
FW Yimmi Chará (1991-04-02) 2 April 1991 (age 31) 16 1   Portland Timbers v.   Argentina, 1 February 2022
FW Diego Valoyes (1996-09-22) 22 September 1996 (age 25) 2 0   Talleres v.   Argentina, 1 February 2022
FW Cristian Arango (1995-03-09) 9 March 1995 (age 27) 1 0   Los Angeles v.   Honduras, 16 January 2022 COV
FW Duván Zapata (1991-04-01) 1 April 1991 (age 31) 34 4   Atalanta v.   Paraguay, 16 November 2021
FW Roger Martínez (1994-06-23) 23 June 1994 (age 28) 25 3   América v.   Paraguay, 16 November 2021

INJ Withdrew due to injury
PRE Preliminary squad
COV Withdrew due to COVID-19
RET Retired from the national team
SUS Suspended

Individual recordsEdit

As of 5 June 2022[93]
Players in bold are still active with Colombia.

Most capped playersEdit

 
David Ospina is Colombia's most-capped player with 124 international appearances.
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 David Ospina 124 0 2007–
2 Carlos Valderrama 111 11 1985–1998
Juan Cuadrado 111 10 2010–
4 Mario Yepes 102 6 1999–2014
5 Leonel Álvarez 101 1 1985–1997
6 Radamel Falcao 99 35 2007–
7 Carlos Sánchez 88 0 2007–2018
8 James Rodríguez 86 24 2011–
9 Freddy Rincón 84 17 1990–2001
10 Luis Carlos Perea 78 2 1987–1994

Most capped goalkeepersEdit

Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 David Ospina 124 0 2007–
2 Óscar Córdoba 73 0 1993–2006
3 René Higuita 68 3 1987–1999
4 Miguel Calero 51 0 1995–2009
Faryd Mondragón 51 0 1993–2014

Top goalscorersEdit

 
Radamel Falcao is Colombia's all-time top scorer with 35 goals.
Rank Player Goals Caps Average Career
1 Radamel Falcao (list) 35 99 0.36 2007–
2 Arnoldo Iguarán 25 68 0.37 1979–1993
3 James Rodríguez 24 86 0.28 2011–
4 Faustino Asprilla 20 57 0.35 1993–2001
5 Freddy Rincón 17 84 0.2 1990–2001
6 Carlos Bacca 16 52 0.31 2010–2018
7 Teófilo Gutiérrez 15 51 0.29 2009–2017
Víctor Aristizábal 15 66 0.23 1993–2003
9 Adolfo Valencia 14 37 0.38 1992–1998
10 Iván Valenciano 13 29 0.45 1991–2000
Antony de Ávila 13 54 0.24 1983–1998

Competitive recordEdit

FIFA World CupEdit

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
  1934
  1938 Withdrew Withdrew
  1950 Did not enter Did not enter
  1954 Banned Did not participate
  1958 Did not qualify 3rd 4 0 1 3 3 8
  1962 Group stage 14th 3 0 1 2 5 11 Squad 1st 2 1 1 0 2 1
  1966 Did not qualify 3rd 4 1 0 3 4 10
  1970 3rd 6 1 1 4 7 12
  1974 2nd 4 1 3 0 3 2
  1978 3rd 4 0 2 2 1 8
  1982 3rd 4 0 2 2 4 7
  1986 3rd 8 3 2 3 8 10
  1990 Round of 16 14th 4 1 1 2 4 4 Squad 1st1 6 3 2 1 6 3
  1994 Group stage 19th 3 1 0 2 4 5 Squad 1st 6 4 2 0 13 2
  1998 21st 3 1 0 2 1 3 Squad 3rd 16 8 4 4 23 15
    2002 Did not qualify 6th 18 7 6 5 20 15
  2006 6th 18 6 6 6 24 16
  2010 7th 18 6 5 7 14 18
  2014 Quarter-finals 5th 5 4 0 1 12 4 Squad 2nd 16 9 3 4 27 13
  2018 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 6 3 Squad 4th 18 7 6 5 21 19
  2022 Did not qualify 6th 18 5 8 5 20 19
      2026 To be determined To be determined
Total Quarter-finals 6/22 22 9 3 10 32 30 170 62 54 54 200 178
1.^ Played Intercontinental playoffs.

Copa AméricaEdit

  Champions    Runners-up    Third place    Fourth place  

South American Championship / Copa América record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad
  1916 Did not participate
  1917
  1919
  1920
  1921
  1922
  1923
  1924
  1925
  1926
  1927
  1929
  1935
  1937
  1939 Withdrew
  1941
  1942
  1945 Fifth place 5th 6 1 1 4 7 25 Squad
  1946 Withdrew
  1947 Eighth place 8th 7 0 2 5 2 19 Squad
  1949 8th 7 0 2 5 4 23 Squad
  1953 Withdrew
  1955
  1956
  1957 Fifth place 5th 6 2 0 4 10 25 Squad
  1959 Withdrew
  1959
  1963 Seventh place 7th 6 0 1 5 10 19 Squad
  1967 Did not qualify
  1975 Runners-up 2nd 9 6 0 3 11 5 Squad
  1979 Group stage 5th 4 2 1 1 5 2 Squad
  1983 7th 4 1 2 1 5 5 Squad
  1987 Third place 3rd 4 3 0 1 8 3 Squad
  1989 Group stage 6th 4 1 2 1 5 4 Squad
  1991 Fourth place 4th 7 2 2 3 5 6 Squad
  1993 Third place 3rd 6 3 2 1 6 4 Squad
  1995 3rd 6 3 1 2 7 8 Squad
  1997 Quarter-finals 8th 4 1 0 3 6 7 Squad
  1999 5th 4 3 0 1 8 4 Squad
  2001 Champions 1st 6 6 0 0 11 0 Squad
  2004 Fourth place 4th 6 3 1 2 7 7 Squad
  2007 Group stage 9th 3 1 0 2 3 9 Squad
  2011 Quarter-finals 6th 4 2 1 1 3 2 Squad
  2015 6th 4 1 2 1 1 1 Squad
  2016 Third place 3rd 6 3 1 2 7 6 Squad
  2019 Quarter-finals 5th 4 3 1 0 4 0 Squad
  2021 Third place 3rd 7 2 3 2 7 7 Squad
  2024 Qualified
Total 1 Title 23/47 124 49 25 50 142 191

FIFA Confederations CupEdit

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad
  1992 Did not qualify
  1995
  1997
  1999
    2001
  2003 Fourth place 4th 5 2 0 3 5 5 Squad
  2005 Did not qualify
  2009
  2013
  2017
Total Fourth place 1/10 5 2 0 3 5 5

Head-to-head recordEdit

Below is a result summary of all matches Colombia have played against FIFA recognized teams.[94][95]

As of 5 June 2022

  Positive Record   Neutral Record   Negative Record

  1. ^ Includes matches against   Curaçao.
  2. ^ Includes matches against   West Germany.
  3. ^ Includes matches against   Soviet Union.
  4. ^ Includes matches against   Yugoslavia.

HonoursEdit

Competition       Total
World Cup 0 0 0 0
Confederations Cup 0 0 0 0
Copa América 1 1 5 7
Gold Cup 0 1 0 1
Olympic Games 0 0 0 0
Pan American Games 0 1 1 2
Total 1 3 6 10

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit