Colombia national football team
WORLD RANKING: 15
Colombian Football Federation (Federación Colombiana de Fútbol, FCF)
MOST CAPPED PLAYER:-
Carlos Valderrama (111)
Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez
Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Melendez, Barranquilla
Los Cafeteros (The Coffee Growers), La Tricolor (The Tricolors)
Best Result: Quarterfinals (2014)
Best Result: Champions (2001)
The Colombia national football team 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 15th in the FIFA World Rankings. The team are nicknamed Los Cafeteros due to the coffee production in their country.
Since the mid-1980s, the national team has been a symbol of fighting the country’s negative reputation.
This has made the sport popular and made the national team a sign of nationalism, pride, and passion for many Colombians worldwide. Colombia is known for having a passionate fan base.
The Colombian team has participated in six World Cups (1962, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2014 and 2018). In Brazil 2014 the team achieved its best World Cup performance, reaching the quarter-finals of that event and coming fifth in the final standings.
Its greatest international achievement is the Copa América, won in 2001, with Colombia hosting the event; it has also reached a runner-up in 1975 and reached the semifinals in 1987, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2004 and 2016.
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, and the Bolivarian Games the gold medal in 1951 and the silver medal in 1961, 1973 and 1981.
Colombia had its strongest period during the 1990s. A 1993 match resulted in a 5–0 win over Argentina which began a special “mutual respect” rivalry between both nations.
The goalkeeper René Higuita achieved fame from his eccentric scorpion kick clearance against England at Wembley Stadium in 1995.
Stars from Colombia’s team included Carlos Valderrama and Faustino Asprilla. 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 team faded in the latter half of the 1990s.
They were the champions of the 2001 Copa América, which they hosted and set a new Copa América record of conceding no goals and winning each match.
Prior to that success, they were runners-up to Peru in the 1975 Copa América. In total, Colombia has gained a top-four result in seven Copa Américas.
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.
Colombia missed three World Cups between 2002 and 2010. During the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Colombia showed improvement over the 2011 Copa América, bringing its rank up to the top ten for the first time since 2002 and into the top five consistently for the first time since 2004.
After a 16-year-long wait, in 2014 Colombia finally returned to the World Cup, where they were able to advance to the quarterfinals, the furthest Colombia has ever made it in a World Cup.
Colombia’s midfielder James Rodríguez won two awards, the Golden Boot for most goals (6) and Best Goal of the Tournament.
Football in Colombia
Football is the most popular sport in Colombia (according to FIFA, there are 3,043,229 players total, 291,229 of which are registered and 2,752,000 are unregistered; with 2,773 clubs and 15,800 officials).
The Colombian national league ranks 9th in the IFFHS’s ranking The Strongest National League in the World of 2014 (3rd in South America).
The Colombian national team represents Colombia in international football competitions.
The highest rank it has ever reached in the FIFA World Rankings was third in 2013.
Among the individual notable players that have emerged from the country are René Higuita, creator of the “Scorpion kick”, Carlos Valderrama, Leonel Álvarez, Faustino Asprilla, Iván Córdoba, Mario Yepes, Radamel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and James Rodríguez.
Colombia had its strongest period during the 1990s, where they were among the giants in world football.
A match during this period in 1993 resulted in a 5–0 win over Argentina which caused a special “mutual respect” rivalry between both nations.
During this era, Colombia qualified for the 1990, 1994 and 1998 editions of the World Cup, only reaching the second round in 1990.
At the 2001 Copa América, Óscar Córdoba became the first and the only goalkeeper in history to keep a perfect clean sheet in a Copa América tournament.
Football became an important part of the identity of Colombia as it fought the negative image of Colombia from the mid-1980s up to the present day.
While Colombia has had ups and downs with the sport, football is still widely loved and supported.
Colombian football league system
The Colombian football league system is a series of interconnected football leagues for clubs in Colombia and is governed by the Colombian Football Federation at the national level.
From 1991 to 2010 there was a Categoría Primera C for amateur and reserve teams.
The Colombian league system consists of two categories.
At the top of the pyramid is Categoría Primera A or Primera A, which consists of the top 20 teams of the country.
Below them is Categoría Primera B or Primera B.
Teams in Primera A play independent of the 16 teams that make up Primera B.
Level 1 – Categoría Primera A (Liga BetPlay Dimayor)
The highest level of club football in Colombia features 20 teams.
The Categoría Primera A, commonly referred to as Liga BetPlay Dimayor (between 2015 and 2019 Liga Águila) due to sponsorship by online betting company BetPlay, is a Colombian professional league for association football clubs.
It is the country’s premier football tournament and sits at the top of the Colombian football league system.
A total of twenty clubs compete in the league’s regular season.
División Mayor del Fútbol Profesional Colombiano, better known as DIMAYOR, operates the league system of promotion and relegation for both Categoría Primera A and Categoría Primera B leagues.
Since its founding in 1948, fourteen teams have been crowned as Colombian football champions.
The most successful club is Atlético Nacional with 16 titles.
Level 2 – Categoría Primera B (Torneo BetPlay Dimayor)
Categoría Primera B, commonly referred to as Torneo BetPlay Dimayor due to sponsorship by online betting company BetPlay (formerly Torneo Águila), is the second-division football league in Colombia.
The Copa Colombia, officially known as Copa BetPlay Dimayor is an annual football tournament in Colombia.
It is contested by the 36 professional clubs of DIMAYOR.
The Copa Colombia was played for the first time in 1950, and it has been played consecutively since its revival in 2008.
The most successful club is Atlético Nacional, with four titles.
The Superliga Colombiana (Colombian Superleague, officially known until 2020 as Superliga Águila due to sponsorship by brewery company Bavaria, manufacturer of Águila beer) is an official competition contested between the winners of the Apertura and Finalización tournaments of the Colombian Categoría Primera A.
The tournament is organized by the División Mayor del Fútbol Colombiano, DIMAYOR.
The competition was created in 2012 and it is played by the end of January of every year.