Faustino Asprilla

Faustino Hernán "Tino" Asprilla Hinestroza (born 10 November 1969) is a Colombian former professional footballer who most notably played for Parma, Newcastle United and the Colombia national team as a forward.

Faustino Asprilla
Argentina colombia gol asprilla.jpg
Argentina Colombia, Asprilla goal
Personal information
Full name Faustino Hernán Asprilla Hinestroza
Date of birth (1969-11-10) 10 November 1969 (age 50)
Place of birth Tuluá, Colombia
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position(s) Forward
Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1986–1987 Sarmiento Lora
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1989 Cúcuta Deportivo 36 (17)
1989–1992 Atlético Nacional 75 (32)
1992–1996 Parma 84 (25)
1996–1998 Newcastle United 48 (9)
1998–1999 Parma 12 (1)
1999–2000 Palmeiras 12 (2)
2000–2001 Fluminense 12 (8)
2001–2002 Atlante 12 (3)
2002 Atlético Nacional 11 (3)
2003 Universidad de Chile 13 (5)
2003–2004 Estudiantes La Plata 2 (0)
2004 Cortuluá 1 (0)
Total 318 (105)
National team
1993–2001 Colombia 57 (20)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

After starting out playing football with local team Carlos Sarmiento Lora School, Asprilla started his professional career in 1988 for the Colombian team Cúcuta Deportivo at the age of 18 for a year before transferring to Atlético Nacional. Thirty-five goals in seventy-eight games brought him to the attention to several Italian clubs who bid for him, with Parma winning the race to sign him for US$10.9 million in 1992.


In his first season at Parma, Asprilla scored some important goals, including a 27-yard second-half free-kick which helped Parma defeat Milan 1–0, ending the Italian champions' unbeaten streak at 58 matches.[1] It was at Parma Asprilla arguably enjoyed his greatest club success. Asprilla was part of the Parma squad which won its first international tournament, the 1992–93 European Cup Winners' Cup, scoring four goals in eight matches. It was his brace in Spain that rallied the Italian team to a 2–1 victory over Atlético Madrid in the semi-final. However, an injury meant he was an unused substitute as Parma defeated Belgian club Royal Antwerp 3–1 in the final.[1]

In early 1994, Asprilla was part of the Parma side which defeated Milan 0–2 at the San Siro to overturn a 0–1 first leg deficit and claim the 1993 European Super Cup.

Also in the 1993–94 season, Parma reached a second Cup Winners' Cup final. However, a 0–1 defeat to Arsenal meant they would not retain their trophy.

In 1994–95, Parma again reached the final of a major European competition as they faced Italian compatriots Juventus in the final of the UEFA Cup. Asprilla was instrumental in Parma's run to the final, with three goals over two legs in the semi-final against Bayer Leverkusen.[2] In the final itself, Asprilla was in the starting XI for both legs as Parma defeated Juventus 2–1 on aggregate.

At the start of the 1995–96 season, Asprilla found himself out of head coach Nevio Scala's plans. In February 1996, after making only six appearances in the opening five months of the season,[3] Asprilla joined English Premier League leaders Newcastle United for a £6.7 million transfer fee.

During his first spell at Parma, Asprilla scored 25 goals in 84 Serie A appearances.[3] He is considered one of the greatest players of Parma's successful period in the 1990s.[4] In his three full seasons with the club, Parma finished third, fifth and third in Serie A. The club also reached a European final in each of those seasons, as well as the 1994–95 Coppa Italia final. He also won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1992–93, as well as a runners-up medal in 1993–94 edition of the tournament, the European Super Cup in 1993, and the UEFA Cup in 1994–95 and 1998–99.[5] In 1993, he was also ranked by FIFA as the sixth-best player in the world in the FIFA World Player of the Year award.[6]

Newcastle UnitedEdit

Parma sold Asprilla to English Premier League side Newcastle United for £6.7 million in February 1996, with "Tino", as the fans nicknamed him, appearing at St James' Park to finalise the move during a snowstorm, dressed in a fur coat. At the time, Newcastle were ahead of Manchester United in the Premier League, although their lead at the top of the table was narrowing. Asprilla's arrival on Tyneside came just months after earlier media reports of a move to England, with Leeds United being linked with his signature.[7]

Asprilla made his league debut in Newcastle's 2–1 win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, coming on as a second-half substitute with the score 1–0 in Middlesbrough's favour. He made an immediate impact, creating the assist for Newcastle's equaliser. However, his time on Tyneside was blighted by inconsistency and off-field incidents, and Asprilla was blamed as one of the reasons Newcastle would go on to concede the 1995–96 Premier League title to eventual winners Manchester United.[citation needed]

Asprilla's second season for Newcastle ended with the club finishing in second place once again, behind Manchester United. His role was largely reduced to substitute appearances, although he retained his best performances for the club's UEFA Cup campaign, scoring five goals. His celebration of the goal he scored against Metz, whereby he removed his shirt and swung it from a corner flag, resulted in Asprilla being given a yellow card, meaning a suspension from Newcastle's next UEFA Cup match against Monaco.

The 1997–98 season was Asprilla's last for Newcastle. With the sale of striker Les Ferdinand to Tottenham Hotspur and a serious injury to Alan Shearer during the pre-season, Asprilla was preferred as first choice striker alongside the young, inexperienced Jon Dahl Tomasson. With the club competing in that season's UEFA Champions League, Asprilla scored a hat-trick for Newcastle in a 3–2 win over Barcelona, which would be his last goals for the club.[8] By the end of January 1998, with Newcastle struggling in the league and eliminated from the Champions League, Asprilla's time at Newcastle came to an end. He was sold back to Parma for £6 million, having scored a total of 9 goals in 48 Premier League appearances and 9 goals in 11 European matches.

Return to ParmaEdit

In his second spell at Parma, Asprilla won his second UEFA Cup, coming on as a substitute as Parma defeated Marseille in the final.[9]


Asprilla played in the successful Palmeiras team in the 1999 and 2000 seasons. He won both the Rio-São Paulo Tournament and the Brazilian Champions Cup in 2000.

Later career and Darlington linkEdit

Although his brief time with Palmeiras saw the team achieve success, for Asprilla personally his time there marked the beginning of a pattern of short, relatively unproductive stays with various clubs across various countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Argentina.

During a time which was generally low-key, he appeared in the public eye again in 2002 amid reports he had been approached by English Division Three side Darlington. Darlington successfully appealed an initial work permit refusal and had offered around £17,000 per week plus 20% of gate receipts, a car and a rent-free flat. Chairman George Reynolds considered they were friends and in fact paraded Asprilla in front of 5,163 fans before Darlington's 2–0 win over Carlisle United on 27 August, believing the intended two-year contract was good as signed. However, it was reported that after Asprilla stalled on taking a medical on 29 August, in the early hours of 30 August, Asprilla caught a flight from Newcastle Airport to the Middle East, apparently to accept a more lucrative contract offer. Reynolds described himself as "absolutely gutted" by the snub, complaining Asprilla "did not even have the decency to say goodbye" and said he would never talk to him again.[10][11] This was the second time Darlington was snubbed by a high-profile ex-Newcastle player that summer, the first being Paul Gascoigne.

The identity of the Middle East club has never been revealed and whether Asprilla did join them remains a mystery.

There is no official record of Asprilla playing for another professional team after his departure from Argentine side Estudiantes de La Plata in 2004.

International careerEdit


Asprilla scored 20 goals in 57 matches for Colombia from 1993 to 2001 and played for his country at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups. Asprilla was expected to be one of the top players of the 1994 tournament, but failed to score a single goal as Colombia was eliminated in the first round.

1992 Summer OlympicsEdit

Asprilla was a member of the Colombian team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona where the team was eliminated in the first round following losses to Spain (4–0) and Egypt (3–4) and a draw with Qatar (1–1).

1993 Copa AmericaEdit

In the 1993 Copa América, held in Ecuador, Colombia finished third overall. After topping Group C with a 2–1 win over Mexico and draws with Bolivia (1–1) and Argentina (1–1), Colombia defeated Uruguay 1–1 (5–3 on penalties) before losing 0–0 (6–5 on penalties) to Argentina in the semi-final, the eventual tournament winners. In the match for third place, Colombia defeated hosts Ecuador 1–0 to claim third place. Asprilla did not score in the tournament.

1994 FIFA World CupEdit

Asprilla was part of the Colombian team which demolished Argentina 5–0 in a World Cup Qualifier match in Buenos Aires in 1993, where Asprilla scored twice. Colombia finished undefeated in the South American qualifying group. Entering the 1994 World Cup, there were high expectations for Colombia as a dark horse favourite to win the tournament with a squad that included such notable players as Carlos Valderrama, Freddy Rincón and Asprilla. However, with one win and two losses, Colombia finished at the bottom of their group and was eliminated after the first round. Asprilla himself had a disappointing tournament, failing to score, and even walked out on his teammates midway through the group stage.

1995 Copa AméricaEdit

In the 1995 Copa América, held and won by Uruguay, Colombia again finished third. Colombia started out by finishing third in Group B with a 1–1 draw with Peru (Asprilla scored the goal), a 1–0 win over Ecuador and a 0–3 loss to Brazil. The nation then went on to defeat Paraguay 5–4 on penalties after a 1–1 draw in the quarter-finals before losing to Uruguay 2–0 in the semi-final. In the third place match, Colombia faced the United States, which Colombia easily defeated 4–1 with Asprilla scoring one of the Colombians' four goals in the match.

1998 FIFA World CupEdit

In the 1998 FIFA World Cup, held in France, expectations were again high for Colombia and Asprilla remained in the team. However, again Colombia was eliminated in the first round following one win and two losses. Asprilla was dismissed from the team after complaining to reporters about the head coach's decision to substitute him near the end of Colombia's opening loss against Romania.

In 2001, at age 32, Asprilla retired from international football.


In July 2009, Asprilla officially retired from top flight football following a retirement match in Medellín, Colombia. Although this marks his official retirement date, he had not been actively employed by a professional side in around five years.

In 2008, he was arrested for allegedly firing a machine gun at security forces near his farm in Colombia. He was placed under house arrest on charges of weapons possession and criminal damage.[12][deprecated source] He has appeared in various Colombian Reality Shows, such as Desafio 2005 and Nomadas.

He made a return to St James' Park on 22 January 2011 appearing on the pitch at half time during Newcastle United's Premier League home match against Tottenham Hotspur and attended a charity dinner in Gateshead that evening, alongside Les Ferdinand and Peter Beardsley, where he spoke of his affection for the Newcastle fans.[13]

In early 2013, Asprilla was linked with a return to his former club Newcastle. Asprilla spoke of performing a coaching role with the youth squad as well as developing a special role in introducing young talent into the academy from his homeland Colombia. His intention is to give Colombians a chance to showcase their skills in European/English football, based on the sheer amount of talent that has come from Colombia in recent years.

Asprilla played in former Magpies goalkeeper Steve Harper's testimonial match on 11 September 2013 against A.C. Milan Glorie. He had a header disallowed for offside before the Italians won 2–1 on penalties.[14]

In September 2014, it was revealed Asprilla was preparing to launch a range of flavoured condoms in Colombia.[15][16] In 2020, he sold the products at a special promotional price in order to ease the strains of the coronavirus outbreak in his home country.[17]

Asprilla revealed in 2019 that a hitman wanted to murder Paraguay goalkeeper José Luis Chilavert after both players were sent off in Colombia's 2–1 defeat during a 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier in 1997.[18][19]

Style of playEdit

Regarded as one of the greatest Colombian players of all time, Asprilla was capable of playing as a forward, as a striker, as a centre-forward, as a second striker, or even as a creative, playmaking attacking midfielder in the number ten role.[15][17][19][20][21][22][23] Though never a prolific goalscorer, he was a quick, agile and skilful player known for his flair, creativity, technique, power, acceleration, and pace, as well as his eye for goal and ability to create chances and score spectacular goals with either foot; moreover, he was an accurate free kick taker.[20][21][24][25][26]

Despite his talent and unpredictability, he was known for being inconsistent,[20][27][28] as well as temperamental and controversial, both on and off the field.[29][30][26] He was also known for his somersault then double-fist-pump goal celebration.[26][31] Due to his long limbs, he was given the nickname il polpo ("the octopus," in Italian), during his time in Serie A,[32] as well as cobra, due to his playing ability.[33]

Career statisticsEdit


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Cúcuta Deportivo 1988 Categoría Primera A 36 17 36 17
Atlético Nacional 1989 Categoría Primera A 15 7 1[36] 2 16 9
1990 20 9 2 0 22 9
1991 34 12 5 0 39 12
1992 6 4 7 3 13 7
Total 75 32 1 2 14 3 0 0 90 37
Parma 1992–93 Serie A 26 7 7 1 6 4 39 12
1993–94 27 10 7 4 10 2 44 16
1994–95 25 6 8 0 8 4 41 10
1995–96 6 2 0 0 0 0 6 2
Total 84 25 22 5 24 10 0 0 130 40
Newcastle United 1995–96 Premier League 14 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 15 3
1996–97 24 4 0 0 6 5 0 0 30 9
1997–98 10 2 1 0 5 4 0 0 16 6
Total 48 9 2 0 11 9 0 0 61 18
Parma 1997–98 Serie A 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
1998–99 8 1 3 2 5 0 16 3
Total 12 1 3 2 5 0 0 0 20 3
Palmeiras 1999 Série A 6 2 1 0 7 2
2000 6 0 8 1 14 1
Total 12 2 0 0 9 1 0 0 21 3
Fluminense 2000 Série A 2 0 2 0
2001 10 8 10 8
Total 12 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 8
Atlante 2001–02 Liga MX 12 3 12 3
Atlético Nacional 2002 Categoría Primera A 11 3 0 11 3
Universidad Chile 2003 Chilean Primera División 13 5 13 5
Estudiantes La Plata 2003–04 Argentine Primera División 2 0 2 0
Cortuluá 2004 Categoría Primera A 1+[37] 0 1 0
Career total 318 105 28 9 0 0 63 23 409 137

International goalsEdit

Scores and results lists Colombia's goal tally first.[38]

List of international goals scored
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Final Competition
1. 6 June 1993 Estadio Nemesio Camacho, Bogotá, Colombia   Chile
2. 5 September 1993 Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires, Argentina   Argentina
1994 FIFA World Cup qualification
4. 7 July 1995 Estadio Atilio Paiva Olivera, Rivera, Uruguay   Peru
1995 Copa América
5. 22 July 1995 Estadio Domingo Burgueño, Maldonado, Uruguay   United States
6. 28 March 1996 Estadio Atanasio Girardot, Medellín, Colombia   Bolivia
7. 24 April 1996 Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia   Paraguay
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
8. 29 May 1996 Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, United States   Scotland
9. 7 July 1996 Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia   Uruguay
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
10. 1 September 1996   Chile
13. 9 October 1996 Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito, Ecuador   Ecuador
14. 8 February 1997 Estadio Hernán Ramírez Villegas, Pereira, Colombia   Slovakia
15. 20 August 1997 Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia   Bolivia
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
16. 9 February 1999 Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, United States   Germany
18. 17 June 1999 Estadio Palogrande, Manizales, Colombia   Peru
20. 19 February 2000 Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, United States   United States
2000 Gold Cup



Atlético Nacional




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  2. ^ "Italy 2 Germany 0". The Independent. 19 April 1995.
  3. ^ a b "Newcastle demands block Asprilla move". The Independent. 5 February 1996.
  4. ^ "Parma: 15 Greatest Players of the Parmalat Era". The Blecher Report.
  5. ^ "Tra fenomeni e trofei: quando il Parma era una grande fotogallery" (in Italian). sport.sky.it. 4 December 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  6. ^ "FIFA Awards – World Player of the Year - Top 10". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ – Highlight of the Newcastle 3–2 victory against Barcelona
  9. ^ "Football: Parma seize Blanc's gift". The Independent. 12 May 1999. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Asprilla snubs Darlington". BBC Sport. 30 August 2002. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  11. ^ Van Wijk, Jim (31 August 2002). "Darlington left furious as Asprilla flies away". The Independent. London.
  12. ^ Sportsmail Reporter (27 June 2008). "Newcastle legend Asprilla arrested after peppering the defence with shots - using a machine gun". Mail Online. London. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  13. ^ Moore, James (22 January 2011). "Faustino Asprilla entertains at charity event". North East: ChronicleLive, the Evening Chronicle newspaper online.
  14. ^ https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/steve-harper-testimonial-newcastle-milan-2267895
  15. ^ a b Swaby, Sean (25 September 2014). "Ex-Newcastle Man Faustino Asprilla Launches Condom Company in Native Colombia". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  16. ^ Montes, Euclides (25 September 2014). "Faustino Asprilla's latest business venture: guava-flavoured condoms". The Guardian.
  17. ^ a b Edwards, Daniel (2 April 2020). "'I can't use them all!' - Ex-Newcastle favourite Asprilla announces special condom promotion to combat coronavirus". www.goal.com. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  18. ^ https://www.thedailyawaaz.com/news/sports/839
  19. ^ a b "Faustino Asprilla: Ex-Colombia striker urged hitman not to kill Jose Luis Chilavert". BBC Sport. 13 November 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  20. ^ a b c Dotto, Matteo. "Asprilla, Faustino" (in Italian). www.treccani.it. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  21. ^ a b Spinella, Vanni (21 March 2018). "Gol di Asprilla. E il Milan 'invincibile' cadde" (in Italian). sport.sky.it. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  22. ^ "Asprilla saluta il calcio in smoking e limousine". La Repubblica (in Italian). 5 July 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  23. ^ COMASCHI, GIORGIO; CROSETTI, MAURIZIO (7 November 1993). "UOMINI E TRUCCHI DELL' ALTRO POTERE". La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  24. ^ "Asprilla's magical European night". ESPN. Archived from the original on 22 January 2013.
  25. ^ Mike Zizzo (15 June 1994). "Baggio Takes Great Strides Toward Soccer Greatness". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  26. ^ a b c Anderson, Marley (19 August 2013). "Power Ranking the Best Newcastle Strikers of the Past 20 Years". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  27. ^ MARRESE, EMILIO (17 May 1995). "FIORE PIU' ASPRILLA IL BUONO E IL CATTIVO". La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  28. ^ Aulenti, Vito (27 May 2020). "Melli: "Asprilla un 'videogame', Zola il più grande. D'Aversa è giudicato un passatista, ma..."" (in Italian). Parma Live. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  29. ^ "Falcao form boosts troubled Colombia". FourFourTwo. 29 April 2011.
  30. ^ "Whatever happened to Newcastle's Faustino Asprilla?". FootballFanCast. 31 December 2009.
  31. ^ ""Tino, fai ancora le capriole ?". L'abbraccio a Parma fra Asprilla e Tanzi". La Repubblica (in Italian). 1 August 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  32. ^ Gabrielli, Fabrizio (4 May 2016). "Asprilla oggetto misterioso" (in Italian). L'Ultimo Uomo. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  33. ^ Di Gioia, Alessandro (13 November 2014). "Che fine ha fatto? Il cobra Asprilla" (in Italian). Calciomercato.com. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  34. ^ "Faustino Asprilla". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
  35. ^ http://www.worldfootball.net/player_summary/faustino-asprilla/2/
  36. ^ http://www.laopinion.com.co/c-cuta-deportivo/hace-26-os-el-tino-debut-con-el-c-cuta-deportivo-91960#ATHS
  37. ^ http://colombia.as.com/colombia/2015/02/20/futbol/1424472758_821898.html
  38. ^ Ballesteros, Frank (3 October 2002). "Faustino Hernán Asprilla - Goals in International Matches". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 7 August 2014.

External linksEdit