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Why is Colombian Soccer in Fashion?

Why is Colombian Soccer in Fashion?

Posted by Sara Bello on January 14, 2015

Colombia has been recognized in the soccer realm since the 1990 decade, but it is presently gaining momentum as a world-class soccer power. Undoubtedly, the World Cup held in Brazil fostered the work that has been carried out for years, not only in Colombia’s senior team. Nowadays, Colombia stands in the third position of FIFA ranking, right behind Germany and Argentina, the two final teams during the past World Cup. This is the best rank it has achieved in the history of the International Federation.

In terms of clubs, 2014 has also been an important year; a Colombian team is labeled the finest South American club according to the International Federation of Soccer History and Statistics: Atlético Nacional, number two in the South American Cup. In 2013 Independiente Santa Fe, semifinalist in Copa Libertadores de America, boosted the reputation of Colombia.

But this professionalism and recognition not only refers to Colombian men, female players have obtained unimaginable results for the coffee-growing country. A Colombian woman was handpicked as the best player in the 2014 Female America Cup: Yoreli Rincón, the captain of the runner-up team in America.

Furthermore, the female team came back from Ecuador with the qualification to FIFA’s 2015 Canada Female World Cup, 2016 Rio Olympic Games and Toronto 2015 Pan-American Games; a new triple crown for Colombia, with its fifth participation in the Female World Cup.

With this comprehensive frame of reference we can look for the main causes of the outstanding role that is currently played by Colombia in the world soccer universe.

Human mind is one of the key elements related to this significant shift: both female and male Colombian soccer players have changed a chip in their heads. They have put old complexes aside and now believe in themselves, they think that they are not inferior because they haven’t won a title before, after all there are 11 players facing another 11, they are not just colors. This path has been paved for years by remarkable sportsmen, such as Radamel Falcao García, who has been compared to the best soccer players on the face of Earth, that’s the case of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He has competed and presently plays at the highest level, now with Manchester United. Falcao is the unquestionable leader of a prodigious generation of soccer players, which is also made up of authentic world stars like Zúñiga, Bacca, Yepes, Teófilo Gutierrez, Cuadrado or James Rodriguez, the new sensation with Real Madrid. Colombia had never before given the world such a top-of-the-line constellation of stars.

The talent that flows through the veins, of course, is very important when it comes to standing out in the soccer world, and the finest representative of this reality is that 23-year-old kid that made people forget about Messi and Neymar for some days in Brazil. That was pretty-well expressed by one of the best soccer players in history, El Diego: "We are all talking about the World Cup of Messi and Neymar and then this James Rodríguez comes up and makes headlines.”

Both talent and mind had been there for decades, but the balance has probably been represented by that effect that sometimes made our soccer players lose their north. Not considering yourself inferior to other people is vital both in life and sport, but overestimating yourself is even worst. When I point this out, the first thing that comes to my mind is the famous “5 - 0” Colombia vs. Argentina at El Monumental... a great achievement that fell into oblivion after the failure in United States 1994.

Colombian workers are usually praised due to their professionalism, which stands out wherever you go, that special dedication to do whatever they do with their heart. That makes the difference when you go abroad. The excellent working style that characterizes the Colombian society makes scandals fade away and sheds light on their fine development. In that golden age, the 1990s, only 9 percent of Colombian players were overseas, while in the team that made history by climbing to the Quarter Finals in 2014 Brazil, 87 percent of the players develop their careers out of Colombia.

Dance is one of the aspects that characterize the Colombian people, and I don’t mean just dancing with some musical genre, but spreading the joy that is always powerful, despite of sadness. That “Ras Tas Tas” transcended Belo Horizonte, Cuiabá, Brasilia... even El Castelao and reached out to Santiago Bernabéu, thanks to a matchless dance company headed by Argentinean José Néstor Pékerman, which even heated up the blood of those who never thought about dancing.

There are many reasons why Colombia is currently shinning in the soccer universe. There is still a lot to do, of course, but Colombian sportswomen and sportsmen are gradually working their way up in different disciplines and countries, since it’s not only about soccer. The America Cup, to take place in Chile in June, stands as the next challenge and Brazil is going to be on the way, a game with rematch aroma. We are getting used to listening to our national anthem in international podiums and raising our tricolor flag.

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