Colombia is a South American country bordered by Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. Like most people all over the world, Colombians are mad about football, and it’s no surprise that it’s the most popular sport in the country. Despite the dominance of their neighbors Brazil and Argentina in football especially on the South American continent, Colombia has also emerged as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the round leather game.
Here are some 10 soccer facts about Colombian football and its national team.
1. The British Introduced football to Colombia
British migrant workers brought to set up the Barranquilla railway in 1903 introduced the game to local communities they came across. The game quickly gained popularity and spread as the years passed by. This led to the formation of the first organized Colombian football team Barranquilla FBC.
2. First Official Match
Colombia’s first-ever official football match was played on the 17th of February, 1926 against Costa Rica. It ended 4-0 in favor of Colombia.
3. Biggest Win
Colombia’s biggest international win was recorded against Bahrain on the 26th of March, 2015. They defeated their hosts 6-0 in an international friendly match.
4. Biggest Loss
Colombia has suffered some bad losses, but their worst in history was the 9-0 hammering that Brazil handed to them in Lima, Peru on the 24th of March, 1957.
5. Player with most caps
The player with the most caps is the flamboyant footballer Carlos Valderrama. The former Colombian national team captain recognizable by his expansive hair has played for the national team a record 111 times.
6. Highest goal scorer
Radamel Falcao is the current highest goal scorer for the Colombia national team. The Galatasaray forward has so far scored a record 36 goals.
7. International Trophy
The Colombian senior national team has only won one trophy in their history. This happened in 2001 when they hosted and won the 40th edition of the Copa America.
8. World Cup Appearances
Colombia has qualified for the world cup six times first of which was in 1962 in Chile. Their best finish was a quarter-final loss to hosts Brazil at the 2014 World Cup. They also featured in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
9. Colombia’s League Competition
The Categoria Primera A is the premier league competition in the country. The league competition is contested by 20 teams. The record winners are Atletico Nacional with 16 titles. The current defending champions are America de Cali.
10. First Colombian National Team Coach
The first person to coach, the national team of Colombia, was Alfonso Novoa whose tenure lasted just 13 days between the 10th of February to the 23rd of February, 1938.
11. The Nickname of the Colombian Women’s National Team
The nickname of the Colombian Women’s National team is Las Chicas Superpoderosas (The Powerpuff Girls). In 2015, Colombia became the first Spanish-speaking country whose women’s team advanced beyond the group stage in a World Cup.