(The Coffee Growers)
|Association||Colombian Football Federation|
|Head coach||Jose Pekerman|
|Most caps||Carlos Valderrama (111)|
|Top scorer||Arnoldo Iguarán (25)|
|Home stadium||Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez|
|Highest FIFA ranking||4 (December 1996, April 2002 – May 2002)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||28 (June 2011)|
|Highest Elo ranking||5 (January - June 1994)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||93 (August 1965)|
| Mexico 3–1 Colombia
(Panama City, Panama; 10 February 1938)
Colombia 7-1 Guyana
(Bogota, Colombia; 28 May 2012)
Argentina 0–5 Colombia
(Buenos Aires, Argentina; 5 September 1993)
Colombia 5–0 Uruguay
(Barranquilla, Colombia; 6 June 2004)
Colombia 5–0 Peru
(Barranquilla, Colombia; 4 June 2005)
Colombia 5–0 Bolivia
(Barranquilla, Colombia; 22 March 2013)
| Brazil 9–0 Colombia
(Lima, Peru; 24 March 1957)
|Appearances||4 (First in 1962)|
|Best result||Round of 16, 1990|
|Appearances||18 (First in 1945)|
|Best result||Winners, 2001|
|CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|Appearances||3 (First in 2000)|
|Best result||Runners-Up, 2000|
|Appearances||1 (First in 2003)|
|Best result||4th, 2003|
The Colombian National Football Team represents Colombia in international football competitions and is controlled by the Colombian Football Federation. It is a member of the CONMEBOL. The highest rank it ever reached in FIFA World Rankings was 4th in 1996. It is currently ranked 6 in FIFA World Rankings and 10th in Elo World Rankings.
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. The goalkeeper René Higuita achieved fame from his eccentric scorpion kick clearance against England at Wembley in 1995. At the 2001 Copa America, Óscar Córdoba became the first and only goal keeper in history to keep a perfect clean in a Copa America. Other stars from this team included Carlos Valderrama and Faustino Asprilla. During this era Colombia qualified for the 1990, 1994, and 1998 editions of the World Cup, only reaching the second round in 1990.
Colombia suffered over three World Cup cycles between 2002 to 2010, failing to be as strong as it had been in the 1990s; unable to qualify for the FIFA World Cup since 1998. Colombia has had problems throughout this era living up to the legacy of the older generations that rose the team's reputation. This began during aftermath corruption in Colombia following the death of Pablo Escobar that led to the murder of defender Andrés Escobar (no relation to Pablo Escobar) for an own-goal at the 1994 World Cup. The aftermath had caused many star players to quit thus beginning the 'destruction' of the national team as well as ending the golden era for Colombian Football after the 1994 edition of the FIFA World Cup.
However, in recent times during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Colombia has played with a new talented golden generation, bringing its current rank to 6th place in the FIFA world rankings. Returning in the top 10 for the first time since 2002, nearly 10 years around the end of the previous golden era and into the top 5 in the end of 2012 for the first time since 2004.
Since the mid-1980s, the Colombian National team has been a stronghold fighting the negative stereotypes towards the country's reputation. This has also made the sport very popular and made the national team a sign of nationalism, pride, and passion for many Colombians world wide. Thus, Colombia is known for having a very passionate fan base in both national and international games world wide. 
They were the champions of the 2001 Copa América, which they hosted and set a new record of being undefeated, conceding no goals and winning each match. Prior to that success they were runners-up to Peru in the 1975 Copa América. Interestingly, 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 with the second being in 2012. The team are nicknamed Los Cafeteros due to the coffee production in their country.
Colombia won the Central American Cup in 1946, a cup they would win again in 1970. They first entered World Cup qualifying in the 1958 qualifiers, but were unsuccessful. Colombia drew with Uruguay in Bogotá 1–1, but lost in Montevideo 1–0. Later, Colombia narrowly lost against Paraguay 3–2 in Bogotá and later in Asunción 3–0, leaving the team at the bottom of CONMEBOL Group Three with one point.
|30 April 1961||Colombia||1 – 0||Peru||Bogotá, Colombia|
|Gonzalez||Referee: Praddaude (Argentina)
|7 May 1961||Peru||1 – 1||Colombia||Lima, Peru|
|Delgado 3'||Aceros||Referee: Marino (Uruguay)
At Chile 1962, Colombia lost 2–1 to South American champions Uruguay in their opening match. They then drew 4–4 with the reigning European champions Soviet Union in one of biggest shocks at Chile 1962. It should be noted that in this game, Colombia scored four goals against Soviet goalkeepr Lev Yashin, widely considered the best goalkeeper in football history. Also in that game, Marcos Coll scored the only Olympic goal in World Cup history. Additionally, in coming back from three goals down to draw the match, the Colombians completed the biggest comeback to draw in World Cup history. Unfortunately, their campaign ended with a 5–0 defeat to Euro 1960 runners-up Yugoslavia, so they went out in the group stage.
Colombia entered the 1966 qualifiers and finished bottom of their group behind Chile and Ecuador. The 1970 qualifiers proved to be little better. Shortly before the 1970 World Cup Colombia played a friendly against England losing 4–0, in a game which was overshadowed by the Bogotá Bracelet incident. In the 1974 qualifiers, Colombia finished behind Uruguay only on goal difference. In the 1975 Copa América, Colombia finished runners-up, losing to Peru 2–0.
For the 1990 World Cup, 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 Intercontinental 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 Israel 0–0.
At Italia '90, Colombia defeated United Arab Emirates 2–0, lost to Yugoslavia 1–0, and earned their place in the Round of Sixteen after a dramatic 1–1 draw with West Germany, which would later win the Cup. Group D
|United Arab Emirates||0||3||0||0||3||2||11||−9|
During their Round of Sixteen match against Cameroon, the game went into extra time after a 0–0 draw. In an unfortunate moment, goalkeeper René Higuita failed to protect the ball 35 yards (32 m) from the goal line, enabling Cameroon striker Roger Milla to snatch it from him, and score Cameroon's decisive second goal. Milla struck twice, giving Cameroon a 2–0 lead in extra time. Colombia would score in the 115th minute, but were unable to get an equalizer.
Qualification — CONMEBOL Group One
Colombia qualified. Argentina advanced to the CONMEBOL / CONCACAF / OFC Intercontinental Play-off.
Colombia finished top of their qualifying group without having lost a match, which included a historic 5–0 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires. Expectations of the team were high, some even naming them as favourites to win the tournament.
The match between Colombia and Romania was the first game for either side in the group phase. Romania took the lead in the 16th minute with their first attack of the match when Raducioiu took on three defenders before firing home a low shot. On the half hour mark, Hagi made it 2–0 when he noticed Córdoba out of position and dipped a cross over his head into the net. Valencia pulled a goal back for the Colombians in the 43rd minute when he headed in a corner from Perez. In the second half, Raducioiu put the result beyond doubt with his second goal in the final few minutes.
The team went into their second group game against the United States knowing they had to win to have any chance of progressing. On the 35th minute Andrés Escobar attempted to cut out a cross but accidentally deflected the ball into his own net. Earnie Stewart took the US two goals in front after scoring in the 56th minute. Valencia scored a consolation goal for Colombia in the closing minutes of the match. They did win their final group match 2–0 over Switzerland, but it was not enough to help them progress
Colombia began their qualification rounds in South America well and ended in third place with 28 points, 2 points below Argentina who was in 1st place with 30 points. They ended in Group G with Tunisia, England, and Romania.
Qualification For France 98: A total of 10 CONMEBOL teams entered the competition. The South American zone was allocated 5 places (out of 32) in the final tournament. Brazil, the defending champions, qualified automatically, leaving 4 spots open for competition between 9 teams.
Argentina, Paraguay, Colombia and Chile qualified.
In their opening match, Adrian Ilie of Valencia CF gave Romania a 1–0 victory over Colombia after he placed a magnificent chip shot in the 44th minute from some 15 yards (14 m) that sailed over goalkeeper Farid Mondragón into the net.
|15 June 1998
|Romania||1 – 0||Colombia||Stade de Gerland, Lyon
Referee: Lim Kee Chong (Mauritius)
Colombia's second match was against Tunisia. Colombia's Leider Preciado struck seven minutes from the end to give a 1-0 win.
|22 June 1998
|Colombia||1 – 0||Tunisia||Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Referee: Bernd Heynemann (Germany)
Although England needed only a draw to guarantee a place in the Final 16, Darren Anderton drove home a fiercely-struck angled drive in the 20th minute. David Beckham curled in a 30-yard (27 m) free kick nine minutes later and England won the game 2-0. Colombia was thus eliminated.
|26 June 1998
|Colombia||0 – 2||England||Stade Félix-Bollaert, Lens
Referee: Arturo Brizio Carter (Mexico)
Colombia's exit at France '98 marked the end of an era, as many expected, but one last moment of glory came at Copa América 2001.
The Copa América in 2001 was held in Colombia, from 11 to 29 July. It was organised by CONMEBOL, South America's football governing body. Prior to the tournament, three meetings were held by CONMEBOL authorities who were concerned about potential security issues in Colombia, for what Venezuela offered to host the competition. At the last minute, CONMEBOL decided to return the organization to Colombia, and the tournament was held on schedule. Complaining for the sudden decision, and claiming that Argentine players had received death threats from terrorist groups, the Argentine Football Association decided to withdraw from the competition. Because Canada and Argentina withdrew, on July 6 and July 10 respectively, Honduras and Costa Rica were invited. There were no terrorist incidents within the competition. Colombia was placed in Group A with Venezuela, Chile, and Ecuador, and they finished on top of the group with nine points
|Colombia||3–0||Peru||Estadio Centenario, Armenia
Referee: Gilberto Alcalá (Mexico)
|Aristizábal 50' 69'
|Colombia||2–0||Honduras||Estadio Palogrande, Manizales
Referee: Mario Sánchez (Chile)
|Colombia||1–0||Mexico||Estadio El Campín, Bogotá
Referee: Ubaldo Aquino (Paraguay)
|I. Córdoba 65'||(0–0)|
Hosts Colombia won their first Copa América title by beating Mexico in Bogotá. Their captain Iván Córdoba scored the decisive goal early in the second half with a header from a free kick. It was a fairytale success for Colombia after the decision to go ahead with the tournament after it had initially been cancelled. Even the fact that Argentina, regarded by most observers as the strongest side in the region, elected not to take part and that most countries fielded weakened teams failed to dampen the celebrations in Bogotá. It was also noted the following year that Brazil was then considered to be the strongest in the region at the time following their 2002 FIFA World Cup victory thus making the event 'legit'. This is also credited to the fact that Argentina failed to make it out of the group stage at the 2002 World Cup.
For Korea/Japan 2002, hopes were high for Colombia, but a weak attack and internal turmoil crushed their hopes. Colombia only managed to place sixth in the qualification round. Uruguay and Colombia had both 27 points but due to goal difference, Uruguay advanced to the play-offs with Australia.
The 2005 CONCACAF Copa de Oro, or Gold Cup, was played in July 2005 in the United States. Colombia and South Africa were invited guests. Colombia was placed in Group A with Panama, Honduras, and Trinidad and Tobago. There were 3 Groups with 4 teams each, which meant that all 3 first place and second place finishers would advance to the quarter finals and so would the best two third place finishers
Group Stage: Panama: 1–0 : Colombia
Colombia's opening match was against Panama where they lost 1–0. Tejada, who plays for Colombian club Millonarios, netted the game's lone score in the 70th minute.
Group Stage: Honduras: 2–1 : Colombia
The next match was against Honduras where they lost again 2–1. Two late goals gave Honduras the advantage as the catrachos defeated Colombia 2–1 in Group A action of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup The win is the first for Honduras in the tournament since 2000, when they also defeated Colombia.
Group Stage: Trinidad and Tobago: 0–2 : Colombia
The third match was against Trinidad and Tobago where they won a 2–0 victory.
Quarterfinals: Colombia: 2–1 : Mexico
Colombia reached the quarterfinals to face Mexico. Colombia beat Mexico 2–1 as an unexpected goal from Abel Aguilar helped the South American squad advance to the semifinals.
Semifinals: Panama: 3–2 : Colombia
Colombia reached the semifinals only to be defeated by Panama, the underdogs of the tournament. Panama clipped Colombia 3–2 in front of more than 40,000 people at Giants Stadium.
2006 FIFA World Cup -Germany was an important moment for Colombia, having failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. Head coach Francisco Maturana led the team through 4 FIFA qualifiers and was fired after losing to Brazil 2–1 in Barranquilla, getting thrashed 4–0 by a weak Bolivia and suffering a shocking 1–0 defeat at home to Venezuela. Following a 1–1 tie with Argentina he was fired and Reinaldo Rueda was placed as the new coach. Colombia seemed to have improved and defeated Peru and Uruguay 5–0 during qualifying, managed a 3–0 victory over arch-rivals Ecuador, and tied with Brazil 0–0 in São Paulo. Towards the end Colombia (21 pts), Chile (21pts), and Uruguay (22 pts) had a chance to target the playoffs with Australia. Colombia (21 pts) traveled to Asunción hoping for three points against Paraguay (28), who sealed their place in Germany while Chile battled against Ecuador and Uruguay against Argentina. As in the 2002 qualifiers, the last match of Argentina was against Uruguay, and in both occasions Uruguay needed a favourable result to reach 5th place in order to make the playoffs to earn a place in the World Cup. Even though Colombia won its match against Paraguay, Uruguay also won the match against Argentina, again reaching the position to play the playoff for the last ticket to Germany. Both Argentina and Paraguay had already qualified. Colombia ended with 24 pts, once again behind Uruguay with 25 pts.
|July 16||Colombia||7||-||0||Netherlands Antilles||at||Cartagena, Colombia|
|July 20||Colombia||2||-||3||Panama||at||Cartagena, Colombia|
After Copa América 2007, the Colombian national football team boomed with recent success in the South American 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. After embarrassing losses against Paraguay, and Argentina in the Copa América, many Colombians nonetheless anticipated a successful run for 2010 FIFA World Cup classification. In the first match of the qualifying round, Colombia, defying expectations that they would lose to Brazil, drew 0–0 with Brazil at home. Not long after that, Colombia surprisingly tied 0–0 again with Bolivia national football team, but many argue that this was largely due to the fact that the altitude of La Paz contributes to usual losses or ties for non-Bolivian teams. However, Colombia would find their very first win after defeating a weak Venezuela national football team 1–0, with a stupendous free kick courtesy of Rubén Darío Bustos. In their next game, Colombia would defy expectations again by beating Argentina, at the time ranked first in the world. On November 17, 2007, In Bogotá against Argentina, Lionel Messi beat the defense before scoring past goalkeeper Agustín Julio. Colombia turned the game around in the second half, however, when Rubén Darío Bustos got his second free kick goal of the qualifying campaign, and not long after that, Dayro Moreno scored his first international goal for Colombia. Colombia won the match 2–1, obtaining 4th place in the world cup qualifiers. On June 14, 2008 Colombia tied Peru 1–1 moving Colombia up to 3rd place in the world cup qualifiers after a Brazilian loss to Paraguay. Another 0–0 between Ecuador and Colombia in Quito was on June 18, 2008 and Colombia remain at 3rd place and as the only undefeated country in the qualification after Bolivia won Paraguay 4–2. Successive defeats to Uruguay and Paraguay at home, and a thrashing away to Chile, however, left Colombia in an extremely dangerous position knocking them out of the top five and forcing them to set their sights on the fifth play-off spot only. As of September 25, 2009, they are eighth after a 3–1 defeat at the hands of Uruguay in Montevideo. On October 10, 2009, Colombia lost 4–2 in Colombia against Chile, losing any possibility of assisting to 2010 World Cup. After that, on October 14, 2009, they played their last qualification match against Paraguay, in Asunción, Paraguay, beating 2–0 and finishing in 7th place in the table standings with 23 points, one point behind Uruguay, who went on to compete in the play-offs, and eventually play in the World Cup
Colombia failed to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, mainly because their constant change of formations and struggles to score goals in the last games of the qualification. They played an Exhibition Match against South Africa a month before the World Cup started, which they lost 2–1. The game was the first soccer match played in the recently-built Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. All three goals of the match were scored by penalty kicks, and the match was highly criticized because both of the South Africa penalty kicks did not seem to be fouls at all, and because of the reported partiality of the referee towards the South Africa team. Another Exhibition Match was played in England against Nigeria, a match that ended in a 1–1 draw. Both matches were the first ones that coach Hernán Darío Gómez directed after his designation and return to Colombia's coaching. With a 2–0 win over Venezuela, and a 1–0 win against Ecuador, they wanted success over USA (which ended 0–0). In between all that they lost to Mexico 1–0. Los Cafeteros tied with Peru 1–1 but loss in an action packed duel against champions Spain 1–0. They successfully defeated Ecuador again 2–0 but suffered a 2–0 defeat to Chile in March even after many goal attempts. Colombia had beaten Hounduras 2-0 after two spectacular goals from Teo, although many fans complain games such as this one aren't testing their full potential. In Ft. Lauderdale, Colombia beat Jamaica 2-0 with Jackson Martinez and Teo scoring to test Leonel Álvarez's side as a coach.
In Copa América 2011, Colombia showed great skill beating Costa Rica 1-0 goal given by Adrian Ramos thanks to an assist by Fredy Guarin. Colombia with an epic match against Argentina dominating the game almost entirely although suffered by their weakness in goal scoring thus ending 0-0. Finally, they crushed Bolivia 2-0 both goals by Radamel Falcao one by penalty. This resulted in shocking the host nation Argentina, who were favorites to win the group. After that they confronted Peru with high expectations. Before extra time, Falcao was given a penalty only to miss by a wide shot and forcing into extra time. Colombia lost 2-0 after a mistake by defense as Mario Yepes had accidentally tripped goal keeper Neco Martínez who conceded no goals up to this point allowing Peruvian player Carlos Lobatón a clear shot. Martinez later had mistakenly kicked the ball to Juan Manuel Vargas who sealed the victory for Peru.
|July 2, 2011
|Colombia||1–0||Costa Rica||Estadio 23 de Agosto, Jujuy
Referee: Enrique Osses (Chile)
|A. Ramos 45'||Report|
|July 6, 2011
|Argentina||0–0||Colombia||Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López, Santa Fe
Referee: Sálvio Fagundes (Brazil)
|July 10, 2011
|Colombia||2–0||Bolivia||Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López, Santa Fe
Referee: Francisco Chacón (Mexico)
|Falcao 14', 28' (pen.)||Report|
|July 16, 2011
|Colombia||0–2||Peru||Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes, Córdoba
Referee: Francisco Chacón (Mexico)
The Colombian side has started very well in their FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifications by beating Bolivia 2-1 in La Paz and a difficult match versus Venezuela that ended 1-1 in Barranquilla, Colombia. Colombia then lost to Argentina 1-2 after losing both star players Falcao and Guarin due to injuries. After lack of support, Leonel Álvarez was sacked only barely 3 months tying and losing for the first time which was largely criticized by many Colombians, particularly Colombian legend Carlos Valderrama, for firing him prematurely. By the beginning of 2012, Jose Pekerman became the new coach of the national team. In early 2012, Colombia showed great skill defeating 2011 Golden Cup winners Mexico 2-0 in what was Pekerman's friendly taking control of the game almost entirely.
However Pekerman experimented with a new system barely granting Colombia a 1-0 over Peru. This bad system led to a shocking 1-1 loss to Ecuador, sending Colombia out of the qualifying range. However, Colombia bounced back with an international shock crushing Copa America winners Uruguay in a 4-0 win, ending their undefeated streak since the 2010 world cup. Many people complained that Barranquilla's heat was the cause of such a big win; Los Cafeteros though showed their skill by beating Chile from a goal down 1-3 in another shock, this time in an away victory. Colombia won a comfortable 2-0 home victory against Paraguay during the qualifiers, ending the first half of the CONMEBOL qualification. A few days later, Pekerman removed some of their star players for a friendly experiment with Cameroon winning another home victory in a 3-0 result. In an epic duel with 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil, Colombia scored first in a game that ended 1-1.
For their first match of 2013, Pekerman had another successful experiment in a 4-1 win against Guatemala using most of his subs before allowing the normal starters to play. Continuing the 2nd half the CONMEBOL qualifiers, Colombia enjoyed a comfortable 5-0 win over Bolivia. However, Colombia suffered days later in a shocking 1-0 loss to Venezuela at an away game, where head coach Jose Pekerman proposed a different formation (4-4-1-1). A hard fought match, Colombia struggled hook, line and sinker to win the three points a victory would have bestowed on them. Their clearest chance to equalize came in the 78th minute, with a cross from Carlos Bacca to Falcao in the goal, which resulted into a powerful strike that hit the crossbar. In the last minutes, Pekerman went all or nothing and kept only two denfenders.. The relentless effort made, nevertheless, was not enough for Colombia to turn the score around, which led them to lose their place for second in the qualifiers, sadly.
|February 6, 2013||Miami, United States||Guatemala||4–1||F||Martínez 23' Martínez 33' Aguilar 56' Muriel 81'|
|March 22, 2013||Barranquilla, Colombia||Bolivia||5–0||WCQ||Torres 20' Valdés 50' Gutiérrez 62' Falcao 86' Armero 90'+3'|
|March 26, 2013||Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela||Venezuela||0–1||WCQ|
|June 7, 2013||Argentina||Argentina||WCQ|
|June 11, 2013||Colombia||Peru||WCQ|
|June 16, 2013||Bogota, Colombia||England||F|
|August 14, 2013||Neiva, Colombia||Costa Rica||F|
|September 6, 2013||Colombia||Ecuador||WCQ|
|September 10, 2013||Uruguay||Uruguay||WCQ|
|September 21, 2013||Bogota, Colombia||Brazil||F|
|October 11, 2013||Colombia||Chile||WCQ|
|October 15, 2013||Paraguay||Paraguay||WCQ|
|March 11, 2014||Colombia||Italy||F|
|March 16, 2014||Colombia||Japan||F|
KEY: F = Friendly
With political issues with history/culture related nations Ecuador and Venezuela, Colombia has always taken interest. While Colombia has natural rival matches with neighbors Ecuador and Venezuela, the matches aren't as popular as the rival matches against Argentina.
The historical victory for Colombia in 1993 beating host Argentina in the 1993 World Cup qualifiers was the very first time Argentina lost in its home stadium Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti during a qualifying match for a world cup. An impressive 5–0 victory, many figures such as Diego Maradona expected Argentina to 'crush' Colombia entirely. Especially when Argentina were previous 2 time FIFA World Cup winners. Thus, it caused a huge upset and start of a respective rivalries. Unlike other rivalries full of hostility, the Colombian-Argentinean rivalry is more based on 'respect' than a 'hated' relationship always attracting great interest between both nations. Noted by the applauding Argentinean crowd after Colombia's 5-0 victory proving the respect for Colombia. Thus the Colombian-Argentinean rivalry has been considered 'unique' and 'special'.
The following 26 players were called for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Bolivia at March 22 and Venezuela on March 26, 2013.
Caps and goals updated as March 26, 2013.
Recent call-ups 
The following players have been recently called up in the last 12 months.
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