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Colombia national football team facts for kids

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Colombia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Los Cafeteros (The Coffee Growers) La Tricolor (The Tricolors)
Association Federación Colombiana de Fútbol (FCF)
Confederation CONMEBOL (South America)
Head coach Néstor Lorenzo
Captain David Ospina
Most caps David Ospina (127)
Top scorer Radamel Falcao (36)
Home stadium Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez
FIFA code COL
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 12 Steady (7 February 2019)
Highest 3 (July–August 2013, September 2014 – March 2015, June–August 2016)
Lowest 54 (June 2011)
Elo ranking
Current 6 Increase 3 (3 March 2019)
Highest 3 (June 2016)
Lowest 99 (March 1957)
First international
 Colombia 4–1 Costa Rica 
(Barranquilla, Colombia; 17 February 1926)
Biggest win
 Bahrain 0–6 Colombia 
(Riffa, Bahrain; 26 March 2015)
Biggest defeat
 Brazil 9–0 Colombia 
(Lima, Peru; 24 March 1957)
World Cup
Appearances 6 (first in 1962)
Best result Quarter-finals (2014)
Copa América
Appearances 23 (first in 1945)
Best result Champions (2001)
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Appearances 3 (first in 2000)
Best result Runners-up (2000)
Central American and Caribbean Games
Appearances 2 (first in 1938)
Best result Champions (1946)
Confederations Cup
Appearances 1 (first in 2003)
Best result Fourth place (2003)
Medal record
Copa América
Gold 2001 Colombia Team
Silver 1975 South America Team
Bronze 1987 Argentina Team
Bronze 1993 Ecuador Team
Bronze 1995 Uruguay Team
Bronze 2016 United States Team
Bronze 2021 Brazil Team
Central American and Caribbean Games
Gold 1946 Barranquilla Team
Bronze 1938 Panama City Team
Gold Cup
Silver 2000 United States Team

The Colombia national football team (Spanish: [Selección de fútbol de Colombia] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) 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. The team are nicknamed Los Cafeteros due to the coffee production in their country. Notably, 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.

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. 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, and in the Bolivarian Games the team obtained 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 which resulted in a 5–0 win over Argentina 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 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.

A new era began for Colombia with the arrival of Argentine manager José Pékerman in January 2012. 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. After a 16-year-long wait, in 2014 Colombia finally returned to the World Cup, 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.

History

Early years, Argentine influence and maiden World Cup debut

The development of football in Colombia is debated by many. Most historians agree that the Caribbean Region was the place where football spread. It is believed that its origins go back to 1900, by English railway engineers from The Colombia Railways Company.

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

It was not until 1924 that the Colombian Football Federation was formed, initially under the name Liga de Fútbol, that gained the affiliation with FIFA and CONMEBOL in 1936. Colombia played its first international match on 17 February 1926 against Costa Rica at the Julio Torres Stadium in Barranquilla, obtaining a 4–1 victory against the Central Americans.

In 1937, Colombia formed a national team for the Juegos del IV Centenario de Cali (Games of the IV Centenary of Cali). Colombia played four matches at the recently opened Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero: against Mexico (3–1), Argentina (1–3), Ecuador (5–0), and Cuba (1–3).

Despite becoming a FIFA member in 1936, Colombia withdrew from the 1938 World Cup in France. Instead, 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). 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). Roberto Meléndez was player and coach of Colombia throughout the tournament. Despite Colombia's debut at the tournament, the country withdrew from the 46' edition.

Under manager Lilo Taioli, Colombia returned to the South American Championship in 1947 where they finished last of the tournament with only 2 points.

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. 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.

Colombia chose to not enter the qualification process for the 1950 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil. For the following World Cup in 1954, Colombia was banned from participating due to the controversial El Dorado era which witnessed the Colombia football league's breaking away from FIFA.

Colombia withdrew from three consecutive South American Championship tournaments before returning for the 57' edition held in Peru under manager Pedro López where the team finished fifth.

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.

Pedernera argnationalteam
Argentine Adolfo Pedernera helped Colombia to qualify and coached for them at their first World Cup in 1962

Under Argentine coach Adolfo Pedernera, Colombia qualified for the 1962 World Cup, its first-ever FIFA World Cup by eliminating Peru. The first match was played in Bogotá and ended 1–0 in favour of Colombia with a goal from Eusebio Escobar. For the following game in Lima, Peru managed to tie on aggregate with the help of a penalty in the third minute of the match, however, Héctor González scored in the 68th minute of the second half to help Colombia finish 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.

Unsuccessful qualification campaigns and first Copa América final (1963–1979)

After withdrawing the two editions of the South American Championship in Argentina and Ecuador, Colombia participated in the 1963 South American Championship in Bolivia. Colombia finished last in the tournament with a draw and five defeats. Delio Gamboa was the goalscorer of Colombia with three goals.

For the 1966 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Colombia was placed in a group against Ecuador and Chile. The team finished in the bottom of their group with 2 points, only with a 2–0 win over Chile in Bogotá. The following year, Colombia had to play qualifying for the 1967 South American Championship against Chile, but was eliminated with a 5–2 defeat in Santiago and a 0–0 draw in Bogotá.

Colombia participated for qualifying for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Group 2, with Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela. The team finished 3rd with one win, one draw and four defeats. In 1970, before the start of the World Cup in Mexico, England prepared a friendly against Colombia to prepare the team for the high altitudes of Mexico. England beat Colombia 4–0, but their victory was overshadowed by the Bogotá Bracelet incident.

For the 1974 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Colombia faced Uruguay and Ecuador. Colombia was able to obtain a win and three draws, tied on 5 points with Uruguay, but Uruguay would be the one who qualified to the next stage due to better goal difference.

In the 1975 Copa America Colombia was placed in Group C with Paraguay and Ecuador. Colombia won all four games with 7 goals for and 1 against, advancing to the semifinals against Uruguay. Colombia won 3–0 at home and lost 1–0 away, but the 3–1 aggregate score allowed them to advance to the final for the first time in their history, where they faced Peru. Colombia won at home 1–0, but lost 2–0 away, so that the champion was defined on neutral ground (in Caracas) where Peru beat Colombia with a 25th-minute goal from Hugo Sotil. Colombian Ernesto Díaz tied with Argentinian Leopoldo Luque as the top goalscorer of the tournament with 4 goals.

Yugoslav Blagoje Vidinić who notably won the 1974 African Cup of Nations with Zaire (now known as DR Congo) was Colombia's coach during the qualificiation process for the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina. Colombia shared Group 1 with Brazil and Paraguay and failed to qualify after finishing last with just two points. Eduardo Vilarete was Colombia's sole goalscorer throughout the qualifiers with a goal against Paraguay. Although failing to qualify for the World Cup, Vidinić continued as coach as Colombia disputed the 1979 Copa América, where they shared Group A with Chile and Venezuela. Despite finishing with the same points as first-placed Chile, Colombia were knocked out of the tournament due to goal difference.

1980s: dawn of the Golden Generation and World Cup qualification (1980–1989)

Narigón Bilardo 1986
1986 World Cup winner Carlos Bilardo served as Colombia's manager for the 1982 World Cup qualifiers
Francisco Maturana
Francisco Maturana is Colombia's most renowned domestic manager, who guided Colombia to two World Cup qualifications in 90' and 94', and led them to their first Copa América title in 2001

Prior to the 1980s, the Colombia national football team was widely recognized as a weak team, and lack of fans, due to neglected investment for the national team by the Colombian Football Federation, national tragedies like La Violencia, and widespread criminal activities that destabilized the country. Their lack of participation also added to this sporadic support, and despite having qualified for the 1962 FIFA World Cup, the national team remained underrated and under-achieved than the rest of South America, particularly to those of Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay outside traditional powers Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina, in spite of their youth football successes.

For the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Colombia was under the command of Argentine manager Carlos Bilardo, who later won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986. Colombia was drawn into Group 2 with Peru and Uruguay with the first-placed team earning direct qualification. Colombia started off their qualification campaign with a 1–1 draw at home against Peru. Colombia played away against Uruguay for the second match, where they suffered a 3–2 defeat. For their next match, Colombia's hopes of qualifying were diminished after suffering a 2–0 away defeat to Peru. Lastly, Colombia ended the qualification campaign with a 1–1 draw at home against Uruguay. Ultimately, Colombia finished last behind Uruguay and first-placed Peru with just 2 points. As a result, Bilardo was fired from his position as coach, eventually being replaced by Efraín Sánchez.

For the 1983 Copa América, former national team player Efraín Sánchez managed Colombia during the tournament. Colombia took part in Group C with Peru and Bolivia and started the tournament with a 1–0 against Bolivia. Colombia would tie the following two games against Peru and Bolivia, respectively, and failed to qualify to the next round after finishing second behind Peru.

..... Following with it, the national team has become a symbol 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, often attend in large number whatever the national team of Colombia play elsewhere.

Under the orders of Gabriel Ochoa Uribe, Colombia was drawn into Group 1 for the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualifiers along with Argentina, Peru, and Venezuela. The team began their qualification campaign with a 1–0 win against Peru with a goal from Miguel Prince. However, Colombia suffered a 1–3 home defeat to Argentina for the following fixture. Despite tying with Peru in the third fixture, Colombia fell 1–0 away to Argentina. Notably, Colombia recovered with a 2–2 tie and a 2–0 win against Venezuela. Colombia ultimately qualified for the play-offs against Paraguay, however, the team failed to qualify after losing 2–4 on aggregate.

Shortly before the 1987 Copa América, Francisco Maturana was hired. Placed in Group C with Bolivia and Paraguay, Colombia began their tournament with a 2–0 over Bolivia. Their next game against Paraguay ended 3–0 for Colombia, owing to a hat-trick from Arnoldo Iguarán. Colombia faced Chile in the semi-finals, a match which extended itself in extra-time following a 0–0 draw after regular time. Colombia would score in the 103rd minute following a penalty-kick goal from Bernardo Redín. However, Chile would ultimately score two goals to eliminate Colombia. Despite this, they won the third-place match against Argentina to finish in the top three for the first time in their history. Additionally, Iguarán won the tournament's top-scorer award with four goals and Carlos Valderrama won the best player award for his nifty performances throughout the tournament.

For the 1990 World Cup qualifiers, South America was allocated three-and-a-half berths at the 1990 finals. The continent's nine remaining sides were split into three groups with the two automatic qualifying berths going to the two best group winners, in this instance Uruguay and Brazil. The group winner with the worst record would advance to the CONMEBOL–OFC play-off. Thus Colombia had to take on the winners of the Oceania zone. Curiously, this turned out to be Israel, after they finished ahead of Australia and New Zealand in the final qualifying group. Colombia qualified for their first FIFA World Cup since Chile 1962 after winning in Barranquilla 1–0, and tying in Ramat Gan 0–0, with most of the players coming from Atlético Nacional, who Maturana was also managing at the time.

1990s: World Cup return, The Golden Era and a tragic end

1990 World Cup

Selección de fútbol de Colombia, Italia 90
Colombia line-up against Germany at the at the San Siro in Milan, Italy for the third group-stage fixture of the 1990 World Cup

At the 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, a match which is remembered for an mistake from goalkeeper René Higuita. Shortly after this defeat, Maturana left his post as Colombia manager. However, this world cup marked the rise of a generation known as the first Colombian Golden Generation.

1991 Copa América

El Pibe Valderrama
Carlos Valderrama (pictured in 2016) was one of Colombia's star players and the team's captain during the '90s and represented his nation at five Copa América tournaments and three consecutive FIFA World Cups

For the 1991 Copa América, Luis Augusto García was head coach of the Colombian national team. The squad included stars such as Arnoldo Iguarán, Antony de Ávila, Bernardo Redín, René Higuita, and Carlos Valderrama, amongst others. The team was drawn into Group B, composed of Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay. The team started off with a 1–0 win against Ecuador with a goal from Antony de Ávila. The following game, Colombia drew against Bolivia. Notably, the team triumphed over Brazil in a 2–0 win with goals from de Ávila and Iguarán, respectively. Despite losing their last game against Uruguay, Colombia topped the group with 5 points with a superior goal difference to Brazil and Uruguay, who shared the same amount of points. Despite an impressive run in the first round, Colombia ended last in the group for the final round after drawing once and losing twice. For this reason, Colombia finished fourth with Antony de Ávila finishing as the team's top scorer at the tournament with three goals; Argentina were ultimately crowned as champions of the tournament.

1993 Copa América

Shortly before the 1993 Copa América in Ecuador, Maturana returned for his second spell as Colombia manager; Colombia's captain during the tournament was Carlos Valderrama. Colombia began their tournament campaign by topping their group undefeated. In the first match, the team beat Mexico 2–1 with goals from Adolfo Valencia and Víctor Aristizábal. Colombia drew their next two games against Bolivia and Argentina. Despite sharing the same points as Argentina, Colombia finished first due to superior goal difference. In the quarter-finals, they beat Uruguay on penalties, and lost to eventual winners Argentina in the semi-finals on penalties, but won the third place match against Ecuador to finish third for the second time in their history. Freddy Rincón finished as Colombia's top scorer with two goals against Argentina in the first round and against Ecuador in the third-place match.

Argentina colombia gol rincon
Freddy Rincón scoring one of his goals against Argentina during the historic 0–5 at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires

1994 World Cup

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. Expectations of the team were high, some even naming them as favorites to win the tournament, as they had only lost one official match from July 1992 going into the World Cup. Colombia was assigned to 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 and manager Maturana. 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 in Colombia a few days after the own goal, and this traumatic incident would lead to the demise of Colombia's first Golden Generation.

1995 Copa América

For the following Copa América in Uruguay, Hernán Darío Gómez was the coach in charge of the national team. As with the last tournament, Carlos Valderrama was appointed as captain for his country. In the opening match, Colombia drew 1–1 against Peru with goals from Faustino Asprilla and Roberto Palacios. Colombia won their following match against Ecuador with Rincón providing the sole goal. However, the team lost 3–0 against Brazil in the closing game. Despite the loss, Colombia qualified for the quarter-finals after finishing second behind Brazil. The team beat Paraguay in the quarter-finals in a penalty shoot-out which ended 5–4 after a 1–1 draw; Colombia eventually fell against Uruguay in the semi-finals. Conclusively, the team achieved a third-place finish after beating the United States 4–1 for the third-place match.

1997 Copa América

Colombia was placed in Group C with Brazil, Mexico, and Costa Rica on the direction of coach Maturana. The squad lost against Mexico 1–2 to start the competition. In the subsequent game against Costa Rica, which Colombia won 4–1, they improved. Colombia qualified with a third-place finish despite losing their most recent game against Brazil. However, they were defeated by the host Bolivia in the quarterfinals, which brought their tournament to an end. Neider Morantes led Colombia in scoring in the competition with two goals against Costa Rica.

1998 World Cup

Under the command of Hernán Darío Gómez, Colombia ended with 28 points at the end of the qualifying round for the 1998 World Cup in France. Colombia finished in third position, two points behind Argentina, who had 30 points. Group G was given to Colombia, Tunisia, England, and once more, Romania. Similar to the 1994 version, Romania won the opening game 1–0 with a goal from Adrian Ilie. Furthermore, Léider Preciado's goal in the 82nd minute gave Colombia a 1–0 victory over Tunisia in the team's second game. However, England defeated Colombia 2–0 with goals from Darren Anderton and a free-kick goal from David Beckham in the last game to end their tournament hopes. Colombia ultimately finished third in their group behind Romania and England.

1999 Copa América

Coach Javier lvarez Arteaga oversaw Colombia's participation at the 1999 Copa América in Paraguay. The team was placed in a challenging group with Argentina, Uruguay, and Ecuador. Víctor Bonilla's lone goal gave his squad a 1–0 victory over Uruguay to kick off the competition. Colombia defeated Argentina 3–0 in their subsequent encounter thanks to goals from Iván Córdoba, Edwin Congo, and Johnnier Montaño. Argentine player Martin Palermo's performance in the game, in which he notoriously missed three consecutive penalties, also left a lasting impression. For the last group-stage match against Ecuador, Morantes and Hámilton Ricard provided Colombia with two goals to beat Ecuador 2–1. The squad finished first in their group after winning all of their games. However, the team's tournament fell short after a 3–2 loss against Chile in the quarter-finals. Colombia's top scorer at the tournament this time was Víctor Bonilla.

First Copa América title and eventual decline (2000–2010)

Ivan Cordoba - Inter Mailand (1)
Iván Córdoba captained the Colombia squad that won the 2001 Copa América, and also provided the sole goal in the final against Mexico

Gold Cup runner-ups and Copa América champions

Prior to the Copa América to be hosted in Colombia in 2001, the national team was invited to participate at the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup hosted in the United States. The team managed to advance to the final of the tournament after eliminating the host United States on penalties in the quarterfinals, and beating Peru 2–1 in the semi-finals. The team would match up against Canada in the final, however, Colombia failed to lift the trophy after losing 2–0 with goals from Jason de Vos and Carlo Corazzin.

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. 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. 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. Colombian striker Víctor Aristizábal finished as the tournament's top scorer, with six goals, and the team won the fair play award as well.

The end of the Golden Era and three consecutive World Cup absences

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. This was the first time that Colombia had failed to qualify for a World Cup since the team's three consecutive qualifications that began in 1990.

Although the Colombian Golden Generation was exhibiting its 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 vs England
Colombia playing a friendly match against England in East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States (2005)

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, the team was eventually eliminated by Panama, who Colombia had already lost to in the group stage. Many people thought Colombia would be one of the tournament favorites, and another failure was shown after not making the final.

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.

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.

For the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, Colombia exeprienced a similar situation to their previous qualification campaign and failed to qualify by a point despite winning their final match against Paraguay. Thus, Colombia had failed to qualify for the World Cup for the third time a row. 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.

The Pékerman Era: revival and a new Golden Generation (2011–2018)

Colombia team uruguay montevideo
Colombia line-up against Uruguay at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo 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 September 2011, the Colombian side gained Leonel Álvarez as the new coach following the resignation of Hernán Darío Gómez, but he was sacked after three games with disappointing results, which led to the hiring of José Pékerman in January 2012. Pékerman's first match was a 2–0 win over Mexico in Miami, and his first official match was a 1–0 victory against Peru in June. 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 climbed to 9th place, up 13 places. At the end of the year, the team were in 5th.

Under Pékerman, the squad would break a personal qualifying best record by finishing in second with 30 points, and raise their 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. Although World Cup qualification was already secured, Colombia ended their qualifying campaign with a 2–1 victory against Paraguay in Asunción, with two goals from captain and defender Mario Yepes. Celebrations broke throughout the nation, as many neutrals hailed Colombia as a dark-horse towards being a World Cup contender. 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. Throughout the qualification process, Colombia only conceded 12 goals, which was the second-best defensive record behind Argentina.

Brazil and Colombia match at the FIFA World Cup 2014-07-04 (12)
Colombia against Brazil at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

2014 World Cup

Colombia topped off their return in the 2014 World Cup after a 16-year absence by defeating Greece 3–0. Colombia then edged a 2–1 victory over the Ivory Coast to dispute Group C's top spot days later. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

2015 Copa América and Copa América Centenario

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.

Colombia began their 2016 Copa América Centenario 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. In the final group game however, they fell to Costa Rica 2–3 and finished second in the group following a completely rotated squad. 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 Cup

FWC 2018 - Round of 16 - COL v ENG - Photo 048
Yerry Mina scoring Colombia's equalizing goal against England at the 2018 World Cup

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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Match referee Mark Geiger proved to be controversial, with criticism from both sets of teams. Colombia captain Radamel Falcao and manager José Pékerman both accused Geiger of favouring the England team during the match. 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". 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." 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."

Post-Pékerman Era (2019–present)

China PR & Iran pre-match conference 6
Former Real Madrid manager Carlos Queiroz served as Colombia's coach from 2019 to 2020

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.

2019 Copa América

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. Days later, they would face a very defensive Asian Cup champions and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar with a 1–0 victory to become the first team in the group stages to advance to the next round. 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. Colombia also became the only team since the 2001 edition to advance out of the group stage with a 100% perfect run. 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 América

In the 2021 Copa América, Colombia started with a 1–0 victory against Ecuador. Days later, they faced Venezuela, where the match ended with a 0–0 draw. 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. 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. 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. 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. In the semifinals, Colombia contested with Argentina, where they drew 1–1. Argentina won 3–2 in the penalty shoot-out. Colombia managed to win the match for third place against Peru, with the score 3–2, 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.

2022 World Cup qualifiers

Colombia began the 2022 World Cup qualifiers with hope to make it third in a row for the second time, and Colombia appeared to be on the right path where they beat neighbor Venezuela and held Chile. However, when matches resumed following COVID-19 pandemic, Colombia's performance slipped disastrously, with a 0–3 home loss to Uruguay (its worst ever home loss for 82 years) before being shockingly thrashed 1–6 by Ecuador, marking the end of Carlos Queiroz's reign as Colombia's coach in December 2020.

On 14 January 2021, the Colombian Football Federation announced Reinaldo Rueda's return to the national team. He made his returning debut in the match against Peru for the second time in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, having faced the same opponent in the same qualification as coach of Chile. After a break, Colombia managed to defeat Peru again, this time with a 3–0 victory in Lima. Colombia then picked up points in all of four of their next qualifying matches, including a 2–2 draw against Argentina, a 1–1 draw against Bolivia at Estadio Hernando Siles in low oxygen conditions, and a convincing 3–1 win against Chile. However, after the game with Chile, Colombia fell into a goal drought, drawing 0–0 with Uruguay, Brazil and Ecuador consecutively, before losing 1–0 away to Brazil. Colombia again drew goalless with Paraguay, and lost at home 1–0 against Peru, which greatly diminished their hopes for qualifying to the World Cup, since they would have to depend on other results to qualify. Another 1–0 loss to Argentina extended their drought to seven official matches without scoring. In the next two matchdays Colombia finally secured goals, winning 3–0 against Bolivia, and 1–0 against Venezuela on the final matchday. However, due to other results, mainly Paraguay's defeat to Peru, Colombia finished in sixth place and failed to qualify for the World Cup. Rueda left his post as the Colombian team manager shortly after.

Rivalries

Venezuela

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.

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."

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.

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. After the wane of Valderrama's generation, the rivalry became one-sided again until recent years, when the majority of the games started resulting in draws. Colombia and Argentina faced each other in ten matches during the past years, with Colombia winning once and Argentina twice, and 7 matches ending in draws. Tensions flourished again in 2021 after the semi final match of the 2021 Copa America, a match which ended in a defeat for Colombia after the penalty shootout when Emiliano Martínez, the Argentinean goalkeeper, utilized provocative gestures and phrases to distract the Colombian players, which were broadcast on live television. The episode sparked widespread controversy and reject from the Colombian side while it was praised from the Argentinian one, adding up to the already heated relationship of the teams.

Brazil

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; 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 after the Brazilian side suffered defeat, as well during the quarter-final match of the football tournament of the 2016 Summer Olympics between the two teams. 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; Nonetheless, it remains a competitive rivalry between the two which often sparks heated episodes among players of both teams.

Ecuador

Although the head-to-head record showcases a one-sided advantage for Colombia, the increase of the footballing level in the neighboring nation of Ecuador during recent years has ended in close matches between the two teams. After Colombia was unable to obtain more than one point from six possible during the 2022 qualifiers (when the side often obtained four or six points from the encounters), including a historic 6–1 defeat against Ecuador in 2020, media began calling the match the new classic of the region, citing its potential for continuing to bring close matches with no clear favorites added to a new competitive atmosphere between both teams.

Home stadium

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 image

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 sponsorship

Kit supplier Period
West Germany Adidas 1980–1987
West Germany Puma 1987
West Germany Adidas 1988–1990
Spain Kelme 1991
Colombia Comba 1992
England Umbro 1992–1998
United States Reebok 1998–2002
Italy Lotto 2002–2010
Germany Adidas 2011–present

Results and fixtures

      Win       Draw       Loss

2022

2023

Coaching staff

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

Players

Current squad

The following 21 players were called up for the friendly match against Paraguay on 19 November 2022.

Caps and goals updated as of 19 November 2022, after the match against Paraguay.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK David Ospina (captain) (1988-08-31) 31 August 1988 (age 35) 127 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Nassr
12 1GK José Luis Chunga (1991-07-11) 11 July 1991 (age 32) 2 0 Colombia Alianza Petrolera

3 2DF Jhon Lucumí (1998-06-26) 26 June 1998 (age 25) 8 0 Italy Bologna
4 2DF Carlos Cuesta (1999-03-09) 9 March 1999 (age 24) 7 0 Belgium Genk
6 2DF Juan David Mosquera (2002-09-05) 5 September 2002 (age 21) 0 0 United States Portland Timbers
17 2DF Johan Mojica (1992-08-21) 21 August 1992 (age 31) 20 1 Spain Villarreal
18 2DF Frank Fabra (1991-02-22) 22 February 1991 (age 33) 26 1 Argentina Boca Juniors
21 2DF Daniel Muñoz (1996-05-25) 25 May 1996 (age 27) 15 0 Belgium Genk
23 2DF Davinson Sánchez (1996-06-12) 12 June 1996 (age 27) 51 1 England Tottenham Hotspur

5 3MF Wilmar Barrios (1993-10-16) 16 October 1993 (age 30) 53 1 Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg
8 3MF Jorge Carrascal (1998-05-25) 25 May 1998 (age 25) 3 0 Russia CSKA Moscow
10 3MF James Rodríguez (1991-07-12) 12 July 1991 (age 32) 89 25 Greece Olympiacos
15 3MF Eduard Atuesta (1997-06-18) 18 June 1997 (age 26) 2 0 Brazil Palmeiras
16 3MF Jefferson Lerma (1994-10-25) 25 October 1994 (age 29) 33 1 England Bournemouth
20 3MF Juan Fernando Quintero (1993-01-18) 18 January 1993 (age 31) 32 4 Argentina River Plate

7 4FW Diego Valoyes (1996-09-22) 22 September 1996 (age 27) 3 0 Argentina Talleres
9 4FW Radamel Falcao (1986-02-10) 10 February 1986 (age 38) 102 36 Spain Rayo Vallecano
11 4FW Jhon Arias (1997-09-21) 21 September 1997 (age 26) 2 0 Brazil Fluminense
13 4FW Santiago Moreno (2000-04-21) 21 April 2000 (age 23) 1 0 United States Portland Timbers
14 4FW Jhon Durán (2003-12-13) 13 December 2003 (age 20) 3 0 United States Chicago Fire
19 4FW Rafael Santos Borré (1995-09-15) 15 September 1995 (age 28) 20 2 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt

Recent call-ups

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 Kevin Mier (2000-05-02) 2 May 2000 (age 23) 0 0 Colombia Atlético Nacional Training Session, 18 October 2022
GK Luis Marquinez (2003-04-10) 10 April 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Colombia Atlético Nacional Training Session, 18 October 2022
GK Joan Parra (2000-06-10) 10 June 2000 (age 23) 0 0 Colombia Envigado Training Session, 18 October 2022
GK William Cuesta (1993-02-19) 19 February 1993 (age 31) 0 0 Colombia Deportes Tolima Training Session, 4 October 2022
GK Juan Chaverra (1992-12-12) 12 December 1992 (age 31) 0 0 Colombia Atlético Bucaramanga Training Session, 4 October 2022
GK Camilo Vargas (1989-03-09) 9 March 1989 (age 34) 11 0 Mexico Atlas v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
GK Álvaro Montero (1995-03-29) 29 March 1995 (age 28) 3 0 Colombia Millonarios v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
GK Juan David Valencia (1993-03-19) 19 March 1993 (age 30) 0 0 Colombia Aguilas Doradas Training Session, 29 August 2022
GK Iván Arboleda (1996-04-21) 21 April 1996 (age 27) 1 0 Free agent v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022
GK Andrés Mosquera (1991-09-10) 10 September 1991 (age 32) 1 0 Colombia Independiente Medellín v.  Argentina, 1 February 2022
GK Diego Novoa (1989-05-31) 31 May 1989 (age 34) 0 0 Colombia América de Cali v.  Honduras, 16 January 2022

DF Andrés Román (1995-10-05) 5 October 1995 (age 28) 1 0 Colombia Atlético Nacional Training Session, 18 October 2022
DF Carlos Terán (2000-09-24) 24 September 2000 (age 23) 0 0 United States Chicago Fire Training Session, 18 October 2022
DF Kevin Mantilla (2003-05-22) 22 May 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Colombia Santa Fe Training Session, 18 October 2022
DF Junior Hernández (1999-04-05) 5 April 1999 (age 24) 0 0 Colombia Deportes Tolima Training Session, 18 October 2022
DF Nicolás Gil (1997-04-01) 1 April 1997 (age 26) 0 0 Colombia Unión Magdalena Training Session, 18 October 2022
DF Andrés Correa (1994-01-29) 29 January 1994 (age 30) 0 0 Colombia La Equidad Training Session, 18 October 2022
DF Carlos Garcés (2001-10-11) 11 October 2001 (age 22) 0 0 Colombia Deportivo Pereira Training Session, 18 October 2022 INJ
DF Brayan Vera (1999-01-15) 15 January 1999 (age 25) 0 0 Colombia América Training Session, 4 October 2022
DF Daniel Rosero (1993-10-06) 6 October 1993 (age 30) 0 0 Colombia Atlético Junior Training Session, 4 October 2022
DF Walmer Pacheco (1995-01-16) 16 January 1995 (age 29) 0 0 Colombia Atlético Junior Training Session, 4 October 2022
DF Jherson Mosquera (1999-09-18) 18 September 1999 (age 24) 0 0 Colombia Deportivo Pereira Training Session, 4 October 2022
DF Cristian Tovar (1998-05-06) 6 May 1998 (age 25) 0 0 Colombia Deportivo Pasto Training Session, 4 October 2022
DF Stefan Medina (1992-06-14) 14 June 1992 (age 31) 30 0 Mexico Monterrey v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
DF Andrés Llinás (1997-07-23) 23 July 1997 (age 26) 2 0 Colombia Millonarios v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
DF Helibelton Palacios (1993-06-11) 11 June 1993 (age 30) 5 0 Spain Elche v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022
DF William Tesillo (1990-02-02) 2 February 1990 (age 34) 30 1 Mexico León v.  Venezuela, 28 March 2022
DF Óscar Murillo (1988-04-18) 18 April 1988 (age 35) 23 0 Mexico Pachuca v.  Argentina, 1 February 2022
DF Yerry Mina (1994-09-23) 23 September 1994 (age 29) 39 7 England Everton v.  Peru, 28 January 2022 SUS
DF Álvaro Angulo (1997-03-06) 6 March 1997 (age 26) 1 0 Colombia Atlético Nacional v.  Honduras, 16 January 2022
DF Yeimar Gómez (1992-06-30) 30 June 1992 (age 31) 1 0 United States Seattle Sounders v.  Honduras, 16 January 2022
DF Homer Martínez (1997-10-06) 6 October 1997 (age 26) 1 0 Colombia Junior v.  Honduras, 16 January 2022
DF Germán Mera (1990-03-05) 5 March 1990 (age 33) 0 0 Colombia Deportivo Cali v.  Honduras, 16 January 2022

MF Sebastián Gómez (1996-03-06) 6 March 1996 (age 27) 0 0 Colombia Atlético Nacional v.  Paraguay, 19 November 2022 INJ
MF Daniel Mantilla (1996-10-25) 25 October 1996 (age 27) 0 0 Colombia Atlético Nacional Training Session, 18 October 2022
MF Esneyder Mena (1997-11-03) 3 November 1997 (age 26) 0 0 Colombia América Training Session, 18 October 2022
MF Juan Portilla (1998-09-12) 12 September 1998 (age 25) 0 0 Colombia América Training Session, 18 October 2022
MF Johan Torres (2004-09-07) 7 September 2004 (age 19) 0 0 Colombia Santa Fe Training Session, 18 October 2022
MF Nelson Deossa (2002-02-06) 6 February 2002 (age 22) 0 0 Colombia Atlético Junior Training Session, 18 October 2022
MF Roberto Hinojosa (1999-07-02) 2 July 1999 (age 24) 0 0 Colombia Unión Magdalena Training Session, 18 October 2022
MF Gustavo Puerta (2003-07-23) 23 July 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Colombia Bogotá Training Session, 18 October 2022
MF Jeison Lucumí (1995-04-08) 8 April 1995 (age 28) 0 0 Colombia Deportes Tolima Training Session, 18 October 2022 INJ
MF Daniel Ruiz (2001-07-30) 30 July 2001 (age 22) 0 0 Colombia Millonarios Training Session, 4 October 2022
MF Maicol Medina (1997-06-04) 4 June 1997 (age 26) 0 0 Colombia Deportivo Pereira Training Session, 4 October 2022
MF Kevin Castaño (2000-09-29) 29 September 2000 (age 23) 0 0 Colombia Águilas Doradas Training Session, 4 October 2022
MF Kevin Velasco (1997-04-30) 30 April 1997 (age 26) 1 0 Colombia Deportivo Cali Training Session, 4 October 2022 INJ
MF Juan Cuadrado (1988-05-26) 26 May 1988 (age 35) 113 10 Italy Juventus v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
MF Mateus Uribe (1991-03-21) 21 March 1991 (age 32) 43 5 Portugal Porto v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
MF Yairo Moreno (1995-04-04) 4 April 1995 (age 28) 16 0 Mexico León v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
MF Steven Alzate (1998-09-08) 8 September 1998 (age 25) 7 0 Belgium Standard Liège v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
MF Yáser Asprilla (2003-11-19) 19 November 2003 (age 20) 2 1 England Watford v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
MF Éder Álvarez Balanta (1993-02-28) 28 February 1993 (age 31) 9 0 Belgium Club Brugge v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022
MF Kevin Agudelo (1998-11-14) 14 November 1998 (age 25) 0 0 Italy Spezia v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022
MF Juan Sebastián Pedroza (1999-04-08) 8 April 1999 (age 24) 0 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Batin v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022
MF Gustavo Cuéllar (1992-10-14) 14 October 1992 (age 31) 24 1 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal v.  Venezuela, 28 March 2022
MF Víctor Cantillo (1993-10-15) 15 October 1993 (age 30) 2 0 Brazil Corinthians v.  Venezuela, 28 March 2022
MF Fredy Hinestroza (1990-04-05) 5 April 1990 (age 33) 2 0 Colombia Junior v.  Argentina, 1 February 2022
MF Andrés Colorado (1998-12-01) 1 December 1998 (age 25) 1 1 Brazil São Paulo v.  Honduras, 16 January 2022
MF Yerson Candelo (1992-02-24) 24 February 1992 (age 32) 1 0 Colombia Atlético Nacional v.  Honduras, 16 January 2022
MF Daniel Giraldo (1992-07-01) 1 July 1992 (age 31) 1 0 Colombia Junior v.  Honduras, 16 January 2022
MF Stiven Vega (1998-05-22) 22 May 1998 (age 25) 1 0 Colombia Millonarios v.  Honduras, 16 January 2022

FW Yuber Quiñones (2002-10-08) 8 October 2002 (age 21) 0 0 Colombia Millonarios Training Session, 18 October 2022
FW Ricardo Márquez (1997-11-09) 9 November 1997 (age 26) 0 0 Colombia Unión Magdalena Training Session, 18 October 2022
FW Andrés Gómez (2002-09-22) 22 September 2002 (age 21) 0 0 Colombia Millonarios Training Session, 4 October 2022
FW Gianfranco Peña (2000-07-11) 11 July 2000 (age 23) 0 0 Colombia América Training Session, 4 October 2022
FW Leonardo Castro (1992-06-14) 14 June 1992 (age 31) 0 0 Colombia Deportivo Pereira Training Session, 4 October 2022 INJ
FW Luis Díaz (1997-01-13) 13 January 1997 (age 27) 37 8 England Liverpool v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
FW Luis Sinisterra (1999-06-17) 17 June 1999 (age 24) 7 3 England Leeds United v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
FW Óscar Estupiñán (1996-10-29) 29 October 1996 (age 27) 1 0 England Hull City v.  Mexico, 27 September 2022
FW Luis Suárez (1997-12-02) 2 December 1997 (age 26) 4 0 France Marseille v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022
FW Cucho Hernández (1999-04-20) 20 April 1999 (age 24) 2 2 United States Columbus Crew v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022
FW Jaminton Campaz (2000-05-24) 24 May 2000 (age 23) 1 0 Brazil Grêmio v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022
FW Luis Muriel (1991-04-16) 16 April 1991 (age 32) 45 8 Italy Atalanta v.  Venezuela, 28 March 2022
FW Miguel Borja (1993-01-26) 26 January 1993 (age 31) 27 8 Argentina River Plate v.  Venezuela, 28 March 2022
FW Harold Preciado (1994-05-01) 1 May 1994 (age 29) 3 0 Mexico Santos Laguna v.  Venezuela, 28 March 2022
FW Alfredo Morelos (1996-06-21) 21 June 1996 (age 27) 11 1 Scotland Rangers v.  Bolivia, 24 March 2022
FW Yimmi Chará (1991-04-02) 2 April 1991 (age 32) 16 1 United States Portland Timbers v.  Argentina, 1 February 2022
FW Cristian Arango (1995-03-09) 9 March 1995 (age 28) 1 0 United States Los Angeles v.  Honduras, 16 January 2022 COV

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

Individual records

Players in bold are still active with Colombia.

Most capped players

FWC 2018 - Round of 16 - COL v ENG - Photo 003 (cropped)
David Ospina is Colombia's most-capped player with 126 international appearances.
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 David Ospina 127 0 2007–present
2 Juan Cuadrado 113 10 2010–present
3 Carlos Valderrama 111 11 1985–1998
4 Radamel Falcao 102 36 2007–present
Mario Yepes 102 6 1999–2014
6 Leonel Álvarez 101 1 1985–1997
7 James Rodríguez 89 25 2011–present
8 Carlos Sánchez 88 0 2007–2018
9 Freddy Rincón 84 17 1990–2001
10 Luis Carlos Perea 78 2 1987–1994

Most capped goalkeepers

Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 David Ospina 127 0 2007–present
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 goalscorers

Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao is Colombia's all-time top scorer with 36 goals.
Rank Player Goals Caps Average Career
1 Radamel Falcao (list) 36 102 0.35 2007–present
2 Arnoldo Iguarán 25 68 0.37 1979–1993
James Rodríguez 25 89 0.28 2011–present
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 record

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
Italy 1934
France 1938 Withdrew Withdrew
Brazil 1950 Did not enter Did not enter
Switzerland 1954 Banned Did not participate
Sweden 1958 Did not qualify 3rd 4 0 1 3 3 8
Chile 1962 Group stage 14th 3 0 1 2 5 11 Squad 1st 2 1 1 0 2 1
England 1966 Did not qualify 3rd 4 1 0 3 4 10
Mexico 1970 3rd 6 1 1 4 7 12
West Germany 1974 2nd 4 1 3 0 3 2
Argentina 1978 3rd 4 0 2 2 1 8
Spain 1982 3rd 4 0 2 2 4 7
Mexico 1986 3rd 8 3 2 3 8 10
Italy 1990 Round of 16 14th 4 1 1 2 4 4 Squad 1st 6 3 2 1 6 3
United States 1994 Group stage 19th 3 1 0 2 4 5 Squad 1st 6 4 2 0 13 2
France 1998 21st 3 1 0 2 1 3 Squad 3rd 16 8 4 4 23 15
South Korea Japan 2002 Did not qualify 6th 18 7 6 5 20 15
Germany 2006 6th 18 6 6 6 24 16
South Africa 2010 7th 18 6 5 7 14 18
Brazil 2014 Quarter-finals 5th 5 4 0 1 12 4 Squad 2nd 16 9 3 4 27 13
Russia 2018 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 6 3 Squad 4th 18 7 6 5 21 19
Qatar 2022 Did not qualify 6th 18 5 8 5 20 19
Canada Mexico United States 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 América

     Champions       Runners-up       Third place       Fourth place  

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

FIFA Confederations Cup

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad
Saudi Arabia 1992 Did not qualify
Saudi Arabia 1995
Saudi Arabia 1997
Mexico 1999
South Korea Japan 2001
France 2003 Fourth place 4th 5 2 0 3 5 5 Squad
Germany 2005 Did not qualify
South Africa 2009
Brazil 2013
Russia 2017
Total Fourth place 1/10 5 2 0 3 5 5

Head-to-head record

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

      Positive Record       Neutral Record       Negative Record

Honours

Competition 1 2 3 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 also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Colombia para niños

  • Colombia Olympic football team
  • Colombia national under-20 football team
  • Colombia national under-17 football team
  • Colombia national under-15 football team
  • Colombia national futsal team
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African-American Astronauts:
Victor J. Glover
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Bernard A. Harris Jr.
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Colombia national football team Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.