Unión Magdalena (Spanish pronunciation: [uˈnjom maɣðaˈlena]) commonly known as El Unión, and nicknamed as El Ciclón Bananero (The Banana Cyclone) and also Los Samarios (The Samarios), is a Colombian football club from the city of Santa Marta, capital of the department of Magdalena, founded on April 19 1953. They currently play in the Primera B, second division of the Colombian football league system.[1]

Unión Magdalena
Full nameUnión Magdalena
Nickname(s)El Ciclón Bananero (The Banana Cyclone)
Los Samarios (The Samarios)
Founded10 March 1951; 73 years ago (1951-03-10) (as Deportivo Samarios)
19 April 1953; 71 years ago (1953-04-19) (officially)
GroundEstadio Sierra Nevada
ChairmanAlberto Garzón
ManagerÁlvaro Hernández
LeagueCategoría Primera B
2023Primera A, 17th of 20 (Relegated by average)
WebsiteClub website

Founded on 10 March 1951 as Deportivo Samarios, the club was re-founded as Unión Magdalena on 19 April 1953. The original playing squad was largely composed of Hungarians who were touring Colombia when their club, the Hungaria FbC Roma, was disbanded.[2]

History edit

Unión Magdalena was founded as Deportivo Samarios on 10 March 1951. The team was founded with the help of José Eduardo Gnecco Correa and Eduardo Dávila Riascos and was formed by the squad of the Hungaria FbC Roma when it was disbanded after a tour in South America.[2] The first team consisted in 10 Colombians, 8 Hungarians, 2 Yugoslavs, 1 Austrian, 1 Argentine, 1 Italian and 1 Romanian. Deportivo Samarios debuted on league that same year and placed 14th. That season, the team achieved the record of the biggest win in the Colombian league against Universidad, with a score of 12–1.

The club was re-founded as Unión Magdalena on 19 April 1953. Unión has only won one championship, in 1968 playing against Deportivo Cali in the final, thus becoming the first football club of the Caribbean region of Colombia to win a football championship in history. Carlos Valderrama, born in Santa Marta and one of the most famous Colombian footballer, started his career in this club.

Relegated in 2005 after losing 3–0 to Deportivo Pereira, Unión earned automatic promotion to the 2019 Categoría Primera A season, after playing 13 years in the second division football league.[3] Despite qualifying for the semifinals of the 2019 Apertura, Unión's performance in the Finalización tournament was poor and the club ended up being relegated on 29 October after losing 3–1 to Once Caldas.[4]

Red and blue stripes compose the traditional shirt of the team, and its design is inspired by the Argentine club San Lorenzo de Almagro.

2021 controversy and promotion edit

On 4 December 2021, the last matchday of the semi-final Group B of the second tournament of the 2021 Primera B season, Unión Magdalena sealed their promotion to Categoría Primera A after coming back from a 1–0 deficit against Llaneros in Villavicencio with a couple of goals in quick succession in stoppage time to win the game by a 2–1 score and get promoted at the expense of Fortaleza, who were clinching promotion with the score in Villavicencio despite losing their final match to Bogotá at the same time. However, video footage of Unión Magdalena's winning goal appeared to show the Llaneros players backing off and failing to make an effort to prevent their rivals from scoring.[5] The events sparked outrage both within the country and abroad, with Colombian internationals Juan Cuadrado and Mateus Uribe expressing their displeasure, calling them "a lack of respect" and "an embarrassment for Colombian football", whilst President of Colombia Iván Duque Márquez stated it was a "national disgrace".[6][7][8]

In response to the growing backlash, as well as calls from Fortaleza to get the match annulled and Unión Magdalena's promotion reversed,[9] Dimayor chairman Fernando Jaramillo ordered the opening of an inquiry on the match events while also requesting the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia to investigate whether any criminal offenses had been committed,[10][11] but on 7 December 2021, Jaramillo stated that the tournament would not be paused and Unión Magdalena's promotion would not be overturned while due process was completed.[12] However, amid the ongoing inquiries, the Torneo II's final match between Cortuluá and Unión Magdalena, which was originally scheduled to be played on 11 December 2021 in Tuluá was postponed until further notice.[13]

On 30 December 2021 Dimayor's disciplinary commission closed the investigation on Unión Magdalena as it found no evidence implying that members of the aforementioned club had been responsible for the events that occurred in the match against Llaneros, thus confirming their promotion to Primera A for the 2022 season.[14]

Stadiums edit

The Eduardo Santos Stadium, inaugurated in 1951, was the highest sports venue for Magdalenes, located in the Olympic Village of Santa Marta. It served for the Unión Magdalena local games but since its inauguration, it has not only been the headquarters of the Unión Magdalena soccer club, it also witnessed the birth of prominent Colombian soccer figures such as the former Colombian team captain, Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama. It currently has a capacity of 23,000 spectators.[citation needed]

On 3 March 2013, Unión Magdalena played its last game at the stadium against Llaneros F.C., in compliance with the final closure order of the Eduardo Santos Stadium.[citation needed]

The team had a tour of venues around Riohacha (La Guajira) at the Federico Serrano Soto Stadium and then in the Magdalena municipality of Ciénaga, at the "Luis Tete Samper" Municipal Stadium, with a capacity of 5,000 spectators.[citation needed]

After the inauguration of the Sierra Nevada Stadium for the 2017 Bolivarian Games, the Union Magdalena made the agreement with the mayor of Santa Marta official to return to the city from the 2018 season.[citation needed]

Periode Stadium
1951 - 1991 Estadio Eduardo Santos
1991 Estadio Jaime Morón León
1992 - 2013 Estadio Eduardo Santos
2013 Estadio Federico Serrano Soto
2014 Estadio Cortes Campomanes (Julia Turbay Samur)
2014 - 2015 Estadio Municipal "Luis Tete Samper"
2016 Estadio Federico Serrano Soto
2017 Estadio Diego de Carvajal
2018–present Estadio Sierra Nevada

Players edit

Current squad edit

As of 15 April 2024[15]

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 Johan Wallens
2 DF   COL Jefrey Trujillo
3 DF   COL Daniel Mera
4 DF   COL Jaime Giraldo
5 MF   COL Roberto Vanegas
7 FW   COL Daiver Vega (captain)
8 MF   COL Jesús Serrano
9 FW   COL Santiago Gómez
10 MF   COL Jannenson Sarmiento
11 FW   COL Juan del Río
12 GK   COL Cristian Baldovino
13 DF   COL Jhon Lajud
14 DF   COL Alain Guerrero
15 DF   COL Guillermo Tegüé
16 MF   URU Cristhian Sención
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 FW   COL Gabriel Arrieta
18 DF   COL Juan Ocampo
19 FW   COL Andrés Carreño
20 DF   COL Juan José Tello (on loan from Deportivo Cali)
21 MF   COL Juan Diego Giraldo
22 GK   COL Efraín Ustariz
25 MF   ARG Agostino Spina
26 MF   COL Jeisson Castro
28 MF   COL José Mercado
29 MF   COL Arneth González
30 DF   VEN Freddy Molina
31 DF   COL Andrés Escobar
GK   COL Guillermo Gómez
DF   COL Andrés Felipe Correa
FW   COL Janeth Alemán

Out on loan edit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
FW   COL Isaac Camargo (at Deportivo Cali)

Players with dual citizenship edit

First Team (Deportivo Samarios – 1951) edit

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   HUN Ernest Sabeditch
GK   COL Rubén Rocha
GK   COL Jaime de la Spriella
GK   YUG Zvonko Monsider
DF   COL Víctor Lanao
DF   ROU Alexandru Negrescu
DF   HUN Sándor Török
MF   HUN Gerro Hinduliak
MF   HUN József Samu
MF   COL Enrique Ortiz
MF   COL Nelson Pérez
MF   COL Rómulo Barrios
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   COL Felipe Fernández
MF   ARG Rafael Botto
FW   HUN György Marik
FW   HUN Joseph Kajml
FW   HUN Gyula Zsengellér (also Manager)
FW   COL Orlando Granados
FW   HUN László Füzesi
FW   YUG Milos Dragolovich
FW   AUT Rudolf Strittich
FW   COL Antonio Carrasquilla
FW   ITA Alessandro Adam
FW   COL Apolinar Pérez

Notable players edit

Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama

Notable fans edit

Honours edit

Domestic edit

Campeonato Profesional trophy replica from 1968

Performance in CONMEBOL competitions edit

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Pen.
1969 Copa Libertadores GS   Deportivo Cali 2–2 1–3
  Deportivo Italia 3–0 0–2
  Deportivo Canarias 0–1 1–0

Personnel edit

Current technical staff edit

Position Staff
Head coach   Claudio Rodríguez
Assistant manager   David Ferreira
Physical Trainer   Waldir Manga
Goalkeeping coach   Diego Rojas
Psychologist   Joaquín Valdés
Doctor   Pedro Larios
  Luis Mendoza
Kinesiologist   Norman Royero

Last updated: 30 April 2018
Source: Unión Magdalena

References edit

  1. ^ "Summary of the last extraordinary assembly of the Dimayor 2021". Dimayor (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  2. ^ a b Ascencio, Jose Orlando (5 November 1999). "A la tierra del olvido" [To the land of oblivion] (in Spanish). El Tiempo.
  3. ^ "Unión Magdalena pone fin a su larga odisea en la B". El Tiempo. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Balance de Unión Magdalena: el 'ciclón' perdió su fuerza en la Liga". Futbolred. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Anger in Colombia after suspicious goal decides promotion". Sportstar. 5 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Juan Cuadrado slams suspicious goal that decided promotion in Colombia". ESPN. 4 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Escándalo en FPC es noticia mundial: así hablan del ascenso de Unión" (in Spanish). Futbolred. 5 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  8. ^ "How a suspicious soccer goal turned into a matter of state in Colombia". El País. 8 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Carlos Barato, presidente de Fortaleza: "Solicitamos la nulidad de Unión Magdalena vs Llaneros"" (in Spanish). Gol Caracol. 6 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Comunicado: Presidente de La Dimayor Frente a Lo Sucedido en El Partido Llaneros FC vs Unión Magdalena" (in Spanish). Dimayor. 4 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Match-fixing inquiry ordered after bizarre Colombian match between Llaneros, Union Magdalena". ESPN. 6 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Fernando Jaramillo: "El torneo sigue, con Unión Magdalena ascendido y se jugará la final"" (in Spanish). Gol Caracol. 7 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Aplazada la final Unión Magdalena vs Cortuluá: ¿se aproxima fallo?" (in Spanish). Futbolred. 9 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Archivan investigación contra Unión Magdalena por el juego contra Llaneros" (in Spanish). El Tiempo. 1 January 2022. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Unión Magdalena". Dimayor. Retrieved 21 July 2019.

External links edit