Independiente Medellín

Deportivo Independiente Medellín, also known as Independiente Medellín or DIM, is a Colombian professional football club based in Medellín that currently plays in the Categoría Primera A. They play their home games at Estadio Atanasio Girardot, which seats 40,943 people, and is also shared with city rivals Atlético Nacional. The team is dubbed "El Poderoso de la Montaña" (Mighty of the Mountain) due to Medellín's geographical location high in the Andes mountains.

Independiente Medellín
Escudo del Deportivo Independiente Medellín.png
Full nameDeportivo Independiente Medellín
Nickname(s)El Rojo Paisa (The Paisa Red),[1]
El Poderoso de la Montaña (The Mighty of the Mountain),[2]
El Decano (The Dean),
El Equipo del Pueblo (The People's Team),
El Rey de Corazones (The King of Hearts),
Short nameDIM
Founded14 November 1913; 109 years ago (1913-11-14) as Medellin Foot Ball Club
GroundEstadio Atanasio Girardot
Medellín, Colombia
ChairmanDaniel Ossa
ManagerDavid González
LeagueCategoría Primera A
2022Primera A, 2nd of 20
WebsiteClub website

Founded in 1913, Independiente Medellín has won the Categoría Primera A six times: in 1955, 1957, 2002–II, 2004–I, 2009–II, and 2016–I, and the Copa Colombia three times: in 1981, 2019, and 2020. Its best performance at international level was in 2003, when the team reached the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores.

Independiente Medellín has a rivalry with Atlético Nacional, and the teams face each other in El Clásico Paisa, which is considered one of the most important derbies in the country.


Early yearsEdit

Independiente Medellín was founded on 14 November 1913 under the name of Medellín Foot Ball Club by siblings Alberto, Luis, and Rafael Uribe Piedrahíta.[4] The team played its first match with an amateur team called Sporting of Medellín, who defeated them 11–0. In 1948, Medellín joined professional football and played the first edition of the league. Medellín placed seventh out of 10 teams, winning seven matches. Their first match was a 4–0 defeat against América de Cali. Their first win was 3–2 against Junior.[5]

The next decade, Medellín signed Peruvian Segundo Castillo Varela, who won the 1939 South American Championship, the first title of his country, in a movement of what was known as El Dorado, when Colombian teams signed many foreign footballers. Medellín did not play in 1952 and 1953 due to economic problems. In 1953, the club changed its entire administration and was renamed to its current name, Deportivo Independiente Medellín.[6]

First three titlesEdit

The team won its first title in the 1955 Campeonato Profesional, finishing first with 31 points and just one defeat. Argentine striker Felipe Marino was the tournament's top goalscorer, with 22 goals.[6] The team won its second title two years later, in 1957, with almost the same players as the previous seasons. José Vicente Grecco was the top scorer of the tournament.

In 1966, Medellín achieved their first ever qualification for the Copa Libertadores, after finishing runner-up in the league. They played against Argentine sides Racing de Avellaneda and River Plate, Bolivian teams 31 de Octubre and Bolívar, and fellow Colombians Independiente Santa Fe. They finished fifth out of six in their group and were eliminated. They qualified for the Copa Libertadores again after 27 years in 1994, being eliminated by Junior in the quarter-finals.[7]

Independiente Medellin won its first Copa Colombia in 1981, although this title is not officially recognized by many experts nor by DIMAYOR, it is recognized by CONMEBOL.[8]

1989 season controversyEdit

In 1989, a year where Medellín had one of the best teams in the league and was expected to win the title, a tragic event occurred in Colombian football. In one of the final games of the season, Medellín tied América de Cali 0–0 at home. During the game, linesman Álvaro Ortega disallowed a Medellín goal, angering many people.[9] Afterwards, a person that had been reportedly sent by Pablo Escobar hunted down the linesman and murdered him. An anonymous caller said they had betted on the game and the disallowed goal made them lose a lot of money. In response, the Colombian Football Federation decided to cancel the rest of the season, which left the 1989 league season without a winner.[10]

1993 runner-upEdit

On 19 December 1993, during the last game of the season, Medellín and Atlético Junior were fighting for a tight first place, as both clubs had the same number of points. Junior was playing América de Cali at home in Barranquilla while simultaneously Medellín played hometown rivals Atlético Nacional. The games were to start simultaneously. A Medellín win combined with a Junior loss or draw would give Medellín the title. But if Medellín drew and Junior did as well, then Junior would win the title. At halftime América were leading the game in Barranquilla 1–0 and in Medellin the game was still 0–0, meaning that at that moment América were winning the title due to the draw in Medellín. Junior scored two goals to put the game at 2–1 with ten minutes remaining, and Independiente Medellín scored at the same time to put the game in their favor 1–0. América tied the game at 2–2 with seven minutes remaining. The match in Medellín ended with Independiente Medellín winning 1–0 while awaiting the 2–2 game in Barranquilla to end, which still had five minutes remaining due to a delay at the start of the second half. Medellín players were celebrating with a victory lap and giving interviews with reporters white they waited for the final whistle in Barranquilla. However, Oswaldo Mackenzie scored a late goal in the 89th minute and gave Junior the 3–2 win and the title, leaving the Medellín players and fans heartbroken.[11][12]

1999–2009: End of title drought and glory daysEdit

El Poderoso had a great 1999 season, finishing in the top eight of both Apertura and Finalización tournaments, and finishing fourth in the aggregate table. This season was different from the standard format; in the Apertura tournament there were no playoffs. The Finalizacion tournament had playoffs, where Medellin topped their group and qualified for the Finalizacion finals against city rivals Nacional. However, Nacional won 1–0, and went on to win the league title, while Medellin missed out on a spot for the 2000 Copa Libertadores.

Rexixtenxia Norte fans in Estadio Atanasio Girardot during a match.

Medellin came close to winning their third league title in 2001 thanks to Jorge Serna's prolific goalscoring, who finished as top scorer tied with Carlos Castro on 29 goals. The club ended up losing the final to América de Cali 3–0 on aggregate, although they reached the final in an unexpected manner; in the regular season they finished in 10th place and occupied the last seed for the eight teams that qualified for the playoffs through the aggregate table.[13] After 45 long years of agony, Medellín won its third league title in the 2002 Finalización tournament under manager Víctor Luna, who replaced Reinaldo Rueda halfway through the season after he was sacked due to poor results. Medellín played against Deportivo Pasto in the two-legged final. El Rojo Paisa beat Pasto 2–0 at home in the first leg with goals from Robinson Muñoz and an own goal from Julio César Valencia. In the second leg on 23 December 2002, Medellín drew 1–1 away from home, with Mauricio Molina scoring Medellín's goal from a free-kick, meaning they became champions with a 3–1 aggregate score.[14][15]

The 2002 league title gave the club a spot in the 2003 Copa Libertadores, where they qualified for the knockout stages by topping their group, which consisted of Boca Juniors, Barcelona, and Colo-Colo, with twelve points and a total of four wins and two losses. During the group stage, the club famously beat Bianchi's Boca Juniors, 1–0. "Medallo" beat Cerro Porteño on penalties in the round of 16 and Grêmio in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals, they faced Santos. In the first leg played at Estádio Urbano Caldeira, DIM lost 1–0. In the second leg at home, Tressor Moreno scored first to level the aggregate score at 1–1, but the club eventually lost the game 3–2 (4–2 on aggregate) and was eliminated, narrowly missing out for the final, which would have been played against their group stage opponent, Boca Juniors.[7][16][17]

In 2004, Medellín and Nacional qualified for the final of the Apertura tournament; in Antioquia everybody was very excited because this was the first "Paisa" final in the league's history. The final was played over two legs, both at Atanasio Girardot: in the first leg, Medellín won 2–1 with goals scored by Rafael Castillo and Jorge Horacio Serna. The second leg was played on 27 June; it ended 0–0 and Medellín became the champion of the 2004 Apertura, its fourth league title, won under manager Pedro Sarmiento.[18][19]

In the 2005 Copa Libertadores, the club topped their group, which was made up of Atletico Paranaense, América de Cali, and Libertad. They also unexpectedly beat Paranaense 4–0 away in Curitiba[20][21] on their way to the round of 16, where they faced Banfield and lost 5–0 on aggregate.[7]

For the 2008 Finalización, the club almost won its fifth title, but lost the final to América de Cali with Santiago Escobar as head coach. The next season, the 2009 Apertura, was very poor; the team finished in last place. However, in the 2009 Torneo Finalización, with the departure of Santiago Escobar as head coach, his assistant, Leonel Álvarez, replaced him, and the team got its fifth title, beating Atlético Huila 3–2 on aggregate. In that season, Jackson Martinez broke the league's top scoring record with 18 goals (the previous record was Léider Preciado's 17 goals),[22] a record that was broken again later by Cortuluá forward Miguel Borja in 2016, with 19 goals.

2010–present: Back-to-back runner-ups and sixth league titleEdit

During the 2010s, DIM was close to winning league titles several times. In 2012, they faced Millonarios in the Torneo Finalización final and lost on penalties. In 2014, they finished as runners-up to Independiente Santa Fe in that year's Finalización tournament. Six months later they made the final again, this time losing to Deportivo Cali. These losses were finally overcome in the 2016 season, where the club won its sixth league title. In the Apertura tournament, they finished first in the regular season table with 40 points. Then they eliminated Deportivo Cali and Cortuluá in the playoffs to set up a final with Junior; the first leg in Barranquilla ended 1–1 and the second leg was won by Medellín 2–0, with Christian Marrugo scoring a brace and securing a 3–1 aggregate victory.[23]

With the 2016 league title, El Poderoso gained a spot in the 2017 Copa Libertadores, returning to the tournament for the first time since 2010. They were placed in Group 3 along with River Plate, Emelec, and Melgar. The club placed third in the group and was transferred to the Copa Sudamericana, where they eventually lost to Racing Club in the second round. One of the highlights of their Copa Libertadores run was beating powerhouse River Plate 2–1 at Estadio Monumental.[7][24]


Aerial photo of Atlético Nacional fans (Los del Sur) and Medellín fans (Rexixtenxia Norte).

Medellín's greatest rivalry is with the city's other major club, Atlético Nacional. Both clubs share the same stadium; Atanasio Girardot. Atletico Nacional has a clear advantage over Independiente Medellin in titles won, with 30 titles (most in Colombia) to Medellin's 9 titles. However, Nacional has never beaten Medellin in a final, since they lost in the 2004 Apertura. This was considered as a very shocking result, since Nacional's squad had a much higher value that Medellin's.

The rivalry is especially strong due to each team's main fanbases; Rexixtenxia Norte for Medellín and Los Del Sur for Atlético Nacional. There are often fights between these two fanbases, which is why sometimes only the fanbase of one team is allowed entry.[25][26][27] The two clubs are named with the location that they occupy in the stadium; Rexixtenxia Norte occupies the section behind the northern goal and Los Del Sur occupy the section behind the southern goal.

The first Clásico Paisa was played on 12 September 1948, where Medellín beat Nacional 3–0. Over 300 matches have been played between the two clubs, with Nacional dominating the historical record by 40 wins.[28]

The club also has minor rivalries with other clubs in the Medellin Metropolitan Area, such as Rionegro Águilas, Leones, and Envigado. Although none of these teams have won top-flight titles, matches between them still draw attention due to their close geographical location, meaning games like these usually sellout.



Winners (6): 1955, 1957, 2002–II, 2004–I, 2009–II, 2016–I
Runners-up (11): 1959, 1961, 1966, 1993, 2001, 2008–II, 2012–II, 2014–II, 2015–I, 2018–II, 2022–II
Winners (3): 1981, 2019, 2020
Runners-up (2): 1955–56, 2017
Runners-up (1): 2017


  • Copa Jimenez Jaramillo (1): 1923[29]
  • Campeonato Nacional (7): 1918, 1920, 1922, 1930, 1936, 1937, 1938[29]
  • Campeonato Departamental (8): 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945[29]

Friendly tournamentsEdit

  • Copa Club Unión: 1942[30]
  • Triangular ‘Trofeo Coltejer’: 1955[31]
  • Torneo "Medellín sin tugurios": 1983[32]
  • Copa Montreal (Canada): 1992
  • Copa DC United: 1994
  • Copa Ciudad de Popayán: 2005
  • Copa Gobernación de Antioquia: 2008, 2010
  • Copa del Pacífico: 2009[33]
  • Copa Movilco– Gobernación del Meta Runner-up: 2009[34]
  • Copa del Pacífico Runner-up: 2010

Performance in CONMEBOL competitionsEdit

1967: First round
1994: Quarter-finals
2003: Semi-finals (third place)
2005: Round of 16
2009: Group stage
2010: Second round
2017: Group stage
2019: Second stage
2020: Group stage
2006: First round
2016: Quarter-finals
2017: First round
2018: First round
1995: First round


Current squadEdit

As of 12 January 2023[35]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   COL Andrés Mosquera
3 DF   COL Víctor Moreno
4 DF   COL Jonathan Marulanda
5 DF   COL Andrés Cadavid (captain)
6 MF   COL David Loaiza
7 FW   COL Emerson Batalla (on loan from Talleres de Córdoba)
9 FW   ARG Luciano Pons
10 MF   COL Andrés Ricaurte
11 FW   COL Andrés Ibargüen
12 GK   COL Luis Vásquez
13 DF   COL Daniel Londoño
No. Pos. Nation Player
15 MF   COL Jaime Alvarado
16 MF   COL Daniel Torres
17 MF   COL Felipe Pardo
18 FW   COL Edwuin Cetré
19 FW   COL Jorge Cabezas Hurtado (on loan from Watford)
20 MF   COL Miguel Monsalve
24 DF   ARM Jordy Monroy
26 DF   COL Yulián Gómez
27 FW   COL Diber Cambindo (on loan from Deportes Quindío)
28 DF   COL Guillermo Tegue
29 DF   COL Jhon Palacios

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   COL Yimmy Gómez (at Fortaleza C.E.I.F.)
DF   COL Jaime Giraldo (at Atlético Bucaramanga)
DF   COL Juan Camilo Moreno (at Real Cartagena)
MF   ARG Adrián Arregui (at Temperley)
MF   COL Bryan Castrillón (at Unión de Santa Fe)
MF   COL José Estupiñán (at La Equidad)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   COL Juan Pablo Gallego (at Aldosivi)
MF   COL Ever Valencia (at Envigado)
FW   COL Juan Manuel Cuesta (at Internacional)
FW   COL Diego Herazo (at Millonarios)
FW   COL Steven Rodríguez (at Sri Pahang FC)

Club statisticsEdit

Top scorersEdit

As of 27 October 2021[36]
No. Name Goals Country
1 German Cano 119  
2 José Vicente Grecco 92  
3 Carlos Castro 91  
4 Felipe Marino 77  
5 Jorge Serna 75  
6 Diego Álvarez 69  
7 Uriel Cadavid 65  
8 Perfecto Rodríguez 64  
9 Jackson Martinez 56  
10 Jaime Castrillón 55  

Most appearancesEdit

As of 27 October 2021[37]

No. Name Games Country
1 Héctor Echeverri 457  
2 Ricardo Calle 418  
3 Roberto Carlos Cortés 351  
4 Ponciano Castro 342  
5 David González 337  
6 John Restrepo 335  
7 José Zárate 318  
8 Álvaro Escobar 315  
9 Carlos Castro 292  
10 Rodolfo Avila 283  



This is the list of presidents of Independiente Medellín since its foundation:[29]

  • José Luis Restrepo Jaramillo (1913–1928)[6]
  • Luis Eduardo Ramírez (1929–1933)
  • Jesus Maria Burgos (1933–1938)[6]
  • Bernardo Munera A. (1940–1947)
  • Federico Kahn (1948)[38]
  • Alejandro Cano (1948–1951)
  • Ignacio Gómez (1953–1954)
  • Javier Arriola (1954–1958)[6]
  • Alfonso Arriola (1959–1970)[6]
  • Oscar Serna Mejía (1971–1974)
  • Gustavo Arbeláez (1974)
  • Gabriel Toro Pérez (1975–1977)
  • Oscar Serna Mejía (1978)
  • Hernán Gómez Agudelo (1978–1979)
  • Pablo Correa Ramos (1979–1981)
  • Oscar Serna Mejía (1981)
  • Héctor Mesa Gómez (1981–1983)
  • Oscar Serna Mejía (1984–1985)
  • Pablo Correa Ramos (1985)
  • Mario de Jesus Valderrama (1986–1987)
  • Gabriel Toro Pérez (1987)
  • Luis Fernando Correa (1987)
  • Humberto Betancur (1987–1988)
  • Hernán Gómez Agudelo (1988–989)
  • Antonio Mesa Escobar (1989–1991)
  • Alberto Montoya Callejas (1991–1992)
  • Jesús Aristizábal Guevara (1992)
  • Julio Villate (1992–1995)[6]
  • Jorge Castillo (1995–1997)[6]
  • Mario de Jesus Valderrama (1998–2000)[6]
  • Javier Velásquez (2001–2005) [39][40]
  • Juan Guillermo Montoya (2005–2006)
  • John Cardona Arteaga (2006)
  • Carlos Alberto Palacio Acosta (2006–2008)
  • Jorge Alberto Osorio (2008–2012)[41]
  • Julio Roberto Gómez 2012–2013
  • Carlos Mario Mejía (2013–2014)[42]
  • Eduardo Silva Meluk (2014–2018)
  • Michael Gil Gómez (2019)
  • Jairo Vélez (2020)
  • Daniel Ossa Giraldo (2021–present)


  1. ^ "Al final, al rojo paisa le faltaron ideas y goles". 21 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Todo listo para la final entre el "Poderoso de la Montaña" y el Deportivo Cali".
  3. ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011: Technical Report and Statistics" (PDF). (in English, French, German, and Spanish). FIFA. 29 July – 20 August 2011.
  4. ^ Galvis Ramírez, Alberto, 1952- (2008). 100 años de fútbol en Colombia (1. ed.). Bogotá: Planeta. ISBN 978-958-42-1910-7. OCLC 430736818.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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  10. ^ Matthews, Geoffery (26 November 1989). "COLOMBIAN SOCCER IN MOURNING". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Cuando Junior le quitó a Medellín el título de sus manos". (in Spanish). 14 December 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  12. ^ "El día en que Mackenzie se volvió inmortal". El Heraldo (in Spanish). 19 December 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Colombia 2001". RSSSF. 9 February 2002. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  14. ^ "2000 al presente". Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Medellín campeón". Caracol Radio (in Spanish). 23 December 2002.
  16. ^ "Poderoso y semifinalista: recuerdos del DIM que le ganó al Boca campeón de Bianchi". (in Spanish). 23 September 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  17. ^ "La Bombonera, el DIM y la campaña semifinalista de 2003". (in Spanish). 9 March 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  18. ^ "Expediente DIM: Un 27 de junio para no olvidar". VAVEL (in Spanish). 4 June 2015.
  19. ^ "DIM CAMPEÓN EN EL 2004". Saque de Meta (in Spanish). 27 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Con goles, ratificó su mote de "Poderoso"". (in Spanish). 9 May 2005. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  21. ^ "El día en el que el DIM hizo historia: goleó a un equipo brasileño en su propia casa". 30 April 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
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  24. ^ "1-2. El Medellín vence al clasificado River Plate pero queda fuera de la Libertadores". (in Spanish). 26 May 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Pelea entre hinchas de Atlético Nacional y Medellín". OneFootball (in Spanish). 3 September 2022. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  26. ^ Fernández, Juan Esteban Vásquez (20 March 2016). "Pelea entre hinchas retrasó inicio del clásico entre Medellín y Nacional". (in European Spanish). Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  27. ^ "Violenta pelea en barrio de Medellín previo al clásico antioqueño". (in Spanish). 17 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  28. ^ "El clásico antioqueño tiene dominio verdolaga en su historial". FutbolRed (in Spanish). 15 March 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  29. ^ a b c d Deportivo Independiente Medellín, El Poderoso. El Colombiano. 2004. ISBN 9789588240213. OCLC 777912312.
  30. ^ Medellín ganó la Copa Club Unión Archived 20 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)
  31. ^ "Fernando Paternoster primer técnico campeón con Nacional" (in Spanish). 19 June 2011. Archived from the original on 13 September 2011.
  32. ^ Torneos amistosos en RSSSF (in Spanish)
  33. ^ "DIM se llevó la Copa del Pacífico" (in Spanish). CRE Satelital Ecuador. 21 January 2009. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011.
  34. ^ "El clásico de rojos y la Copa Movilco fue para Santa Fe". Santa Fe Corporacion Deportiva (in Spanish). 6 July 2009. Archived from the original on 18 June 2010.
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  36. ^ "Ficha de Corporación Deportiva Independiente Medellin - Jugadores con Mas Partidos". BDFA. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  37. ^ "Ficha de Corporación Deportiva Independiente Medellin - Jugadores con Mas Goles". BDFA. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Historia 1948". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  39. ^ "Death of Javier Velásquez, historical president of Medellín". El Espectador (in Spanish). 8 August 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  40. ^ "A los 82 años falleció Javier Velásquez, expresidente del DIM". El Mundo. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  41. ^ "Directivos". 14 October 2008. Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  42. ^ "Carlos Mario Mejía asumió como Presidente del DIM". El Pais Colombia. 7 May 2013.

External linksEdit