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Independiente Medellín
Escudo del Deportivo Independiente Medellín.png
Full name Deportivo Independiente Medellín
Nickname(s) El Rojo Paisa (The Paisa Red),
El Poderoso de la Montaña (The Mighty of the Mountain),
El Decano (The Dean),
El Equipo del Pueblo (The People's Team),
El Rey de Corazones (The King of Hearts),
Short name DIM
Founded 14 November 1913; 110 years ago (1913-11-14) as Medellin Foot Ball Club
Ground Estadio Atanasio Girardot
Medellín, Colombia
Ground Capacity 40,943
Chairman Daniel Ossa
Manager David González
League Categoría Primera A
2022 Primera A, 2nd of 20

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.

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 years

Independiente Medellín was founded on 14 November 1913 under the name of Medellín Foot Ball Club by siblings Alberto, Luis, and Rafael Uribe Piedrahíta. 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.

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.

First three titles

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. 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.

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.

1993 runner-up

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.

1999–2009: End of title drought and glory days

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.

Independiente Medellin
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. 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.

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.

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.

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 on their way to the round of 16, where they faced Banfield and lost 5–0 on aggregate.

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), 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 title

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.

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.


Clasico 2016-1
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. 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.

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
  • Copa Colombia:
Winners (3): 1981, 2019, 2020
Runners-up (2): 1955–56, 2017
  • Superliga Colombiana:
Runners-up (1): 2017


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

Friendly tournaments

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

Performance in CONMEBOL competitions

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
  • Copa Conmebol: 1 appearance
1995: First Round


Current squad

No. Position Player
1 Colombia GK Andrés Mosquera
2 Colombia DF Germán Gutiérrez
3 Colombia DF Víctor Moreno
4 Colombia DF Didier Bueno
5 Colombia DF Andrés Cadavid
6 Colombia MF David Loaiza
7 Colombia MF Christian Marrugo
8 Argentina MF Adrián Arregui (captain)
9 Argentina FW Luciano Pons
10 Colombia MF Andrés Ricaurte
12 Colombia GK Luis Vásquez
13 Colombia MF Jean Pineda
14 Venezuela FW José Manuel Hernández (on loan from Envigado)
No. Position Player
15 Colombia MF Daniel Torres
16 Colombia MF Vladimir Hernández
17 Colombia MF Felipe Pardo
18 Colombia MF Yesid Díaz
20 Colombia MF Miguel Monsalve
21 Colombia DF Juan Guillermo Arboleda
23 Uruguay MF Óscar Méndez
24 Armenia DF Jordy Monroy
26 Colombia DF Yulián Gómez
27 Colombia FW Diber Cambindo (on loan from Deportes Quindío)
28 Colombia DF Jorge Segura (on loan from Watford)
32 Colombia GK Weimar Asprilla

Out on loan

No. Position Player
Colombia GK Yimmy Gómez (at Fortaleza C.E.I.F.)
Colombia DF Jaime Giraldo (at Atlético Bucaramanga)
Colombia DF Juan Camilo Moreno (at Real Cartagena)
Colombia MF José Estupiñán (at La Equidad)
Colombia MF Juan Pablo Gallego (at Aldosivi)
Colombia MF Bryan Castrillón (at Unión de Santa Fe)
Colombia MF Kevin Londoño (at Alianza Petrolera)
No. Position Player
Uruguay MF Matías Mier (at Santa Fe)
Colombia MF William Parra (at Deportes Tolima)
Paraguay MF Walter Rodríguez (at 12 de Octubre)
Colombia FW Juan Manuel Cuesta (at Internacional)
Colombia FW Diego Herazo (at Millonarios)
Colombia FW Steven Rodríguez (at Sri Pahang FC)

Club statistics

Top scorers

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

Most appearances

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


  • Paraguay Delfín Benítez Cáceres (1954–57)
  • Argentina José Manuel Moreno (1957)
  • Argentina René Seghini (1957–58)
  • Argentina Pedro Roque Retamozo (interim) (1958)
  • Argentina René Seghini (1958–59)
  • Argentina Fernando Paternoster (1960)
  • Colombia Efraín Sánchez (1960)
  • Argentina José Manuel Moreno (1960–62)
  • Colombia Carlos Alberto Díaz (1962)
  • Colombia Efraín Sánchez (1962–63)
  • Argentina José Vicente Grecco (1963)
  • Colombia Luis López García (1963–64)
  • Argentina José Vicente Grecco (1964–66)
  • Chile Francisco Hormazábal (1966–67)
  • Colombia Leonel Vargas (interim) (1967)
  • Colombia Rodrigo Fonnegra (1968–70)
  • Argentina Héctor Molina (interim) (1969)
  • Colombia Humberto Álvarez (interim) (1969)
  • Argentina Ricardo Ramaciotti (1972)
  • Chile Francisco Hormazábal (1972–74)
  • Colombia Humberto Ortiz (1974–75)
  • Argentina José Vicente Grecco (1975)
  • Argentina Juan José Pizzuti (1975–76)
  • Colombia Justo Lopera (1976)
  • Argentina Edilberto Righi & Pedro Soma (1976–77)
  • Colombia Darío Velez (interim) (1977)
  • Colombia Efraín Sánchez (1977–78)
  • Colombia Bernardo Valencia (interim) (1978–79)
  • Argentina Néstor Togneri (1978–79)
  • Colombia Bernando Valencia (1979)
  • Colombia Víctor Rodríguez (1980)
  • Argentina Ricardo Ramaciotti (1980)
  • Colombia Leonel Montoya (1981)
  • Argentina Jorge Olmedo (1982)
  • Uruguay Colombia Julio Comesaña (1982–86)
  • Colombia Carlos Miguel Diaz (interim) (1983)
  • Colombia Bernando Valencia (1986)
  • Argentina Ricardo Ramaciotti (1986–87)
  • Colombia German Aceros (1987–88)
  • Colombia Gonzalo Montoya (interim) (1988)
  • Colombia Hugo Gallego (1988)
  • Colombia Jaime Rodríguez (1989–91)
  • Uruguay Colombia Julio Comesaña (1992)
  • Colombia Hugo Gallego (1992)
  • Colombia Nelson Gallego (1992)
  • Colombia Luis Augusto García (1993–95)
  • Uruguay Juan Mujica (1994)
  • Colombia Nolberto Molina (1995)
  • Colombia Jairo Rios (1995–96)
  • Colombia Carlos Restrepo (1996–97)
  • Colombia Víctor Luna (1997)
  • Croatia Zlatko Petričević (1997)
  • Colombia Fernando Castro (1998–98)
  • Colombia Óscar Aristizábal (1998–99)
  • Uruguay Colombia Julio Comesaña (2000)
  • Colombia Víctor Luna (2000)
  • Colombia Juan José Peláez (2000–02)
  • Colombia Álvaro Escobar (interim) (2000–01)
  • Colombia Reynaldo Rueda (2002)
  • Colombia Víctor Luna (2002–03)
  • Colombia Jaime Rodríguez (2003–04)
  • Colombia Pedro Sarmiento (1 July 2004 – 30 June 2005)
  • Colombia Javier Álvarez (2005–06)
  • Colombia Édgar Carvajal (interim) (2006)
  • Colombia Víctor Luna (2006–07)
  • Colombia Juan José Peláez (2007–08)
  • Colombia Santiago Escobar (1 December 2008 – 19 May 2009)
  • Colombia Leonel Álvarez (19 May 2009 – 25 May 2010)
  • Colombia Édgar Carvajal (1 May 2010 – 31 March 2011)
  • Colombia Víctor Luna (1 April 2011 – 22 May 2011)
  • Colombia Guillermo Berrío (30 April 2011 – 13 February 2012)
  • Colombia Hernán Darío Gómez (13 February 2012 – 19 April 2013)
  • Colombia Pedro Sarmiento (3 September 2013 – 21 February 2014)
  • Colombia Hernán Torres (21 February 2014 – May 2015)
  • Colombia Leonel Álvarez (May 2015 – December 2016)
  • Argentina Luis Zubeldía (December 2016 – June 2017)
  • Colombia Juan José Peláez (June 2017 – October 2017)
  • Spain Ismael Rescalvo (December 2017 – June 2018)
  • Ecuador United States Octavio Zambrano (June 2018 – April 2019)
  • Colombia Alexis Mendoza (May 2019 – September 2019)
  • Paraguay Aldo Bobadilla (September 2019 – September 2020)
  • Colombia Hernán Darío Gómez (December 2020 – September 2021)
  • Uruguay Colombia Julio Comesaña (September 2021 – June 2022)
  • Colombia David González (June 2022 – present)


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

  • José Luis Restrepo Jaramillo (1913–1928)
  • Luis Eduardo Ramírez (1929–1933)
  • Jesus Maria Burgos (1933–1938)
  • Bernardo Munera A. (1940–1947)
  • Federico Kahn (1948)
  • Alejandro Cano (1948–1951)
  • Ignacio Gómez (1953–1954)
  • Javier Arriola (1954–1958)
  • Alfonso Arriola (1959–1970)
  • 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)
  • Jorge Castillo (1995–1997)
  • Mario de Jesus Valderrama (1998–2000)
  • Javier Velásquez (2001–2005)
  • Juan Guillermo Montoya (2005–2006)
  • John Cardona Arteaga (2006)
  • Carlos Alberto Palacio Acosta (2006–2008)
  • Jorge Alberto Osorio (2008–2012)
  • Julio Roberto Gómez 2012–2013
  • Carlos Mario Mejía (2013–2014)
  • Eduardo Silva Meluk (2014–2018)
  • Michael Gil Gómez (2019)
  • Jairo Vélez (2020)
  • Daniel Ossa Giraldo (2021–present)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Deportivo Independiente Medellín para niños

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