|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|
|Most caps||David Ospina (127)|
|Top scorer||Radamel Falcao (36)|
|Home stadium||Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez|
|Current||17 (6 October 2022)|
|Highest||3 (July–August 2013, September 2014 – March 2015, June–August 2016)|
|Lowest||54 (June 2011)|
| Colombia 4–1 Costa Rica |
(Barranquilla, Colombia; 17 February 1926)
| Bahrain 0–6 Colombia |
(Riffa, Bahrain; 26 March 2015)
| Brazil 9–0 Colombia |
(Lima, Peru; 24 March 1957)
|Appearances||6 (first in 1962)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals (2014)|
|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)|
|Appearances||9 (first in 1938)|
|Best result||Champions (1951)|
|FIFA Confederations Cup|
|Appearances||1 (first in 2003)|
|Best result||Fourth place (2003)|
The Colombia national football team (Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Colombia) 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.
Main article: History of the Colombia national football team
The development of football in Colombia are 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.
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).
The following year, 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.
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.
After withdrawal in 1938 and getting banned in 1954 (due to the controversial El Dorado era), 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.
Colombia qualified for the 1962 World Cup, its first-ever FIFA World Cup by eliminating Peru 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.
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.
Prior to the 1980s, the Colombian 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.
Since the mid-1980s, with the influx of drug money into football, a new generation of football stars emerged, with René Higuita, Faustino Asprilla, Carlos Valderrama, Andrés Escobar and Arnoldo Iguarán. 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.
Shortly before the 1987 Copa América, Francisco Maturana was hired. Colombia had a good tournament, winning both of their matches against Bolivia and Paraguay, before losing to Chile in the semi-finals. However, they won the third-place match against Argentina to finish in the top three for the first time in their history.
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 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, with most of the players coming from Atlético Nacional, who Maturana was also managing at the time.
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.
Shortly before the 1993 Copa América, Maturana returned for his second spell as Colombia manager. Colombia began their tournament campaign by topping their group undefeated. 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.
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.
Colombia ended their qualification for the 1998 World Cup in third place with 28 points, two points below first-place Argentina with 30 points. Colombia was assigned to the Group G alongside Tunisia, England and once again, Romania. Romania, like in the 1994 edition, obtained a 1–0 victory in the first match. Colombia's second match was a 1–0 win against Tunisia, with a goal from Léider Preciado. In the last match, however, England won the game 2–0, thereby eliminating Colombia from the tournament.
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.
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 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.
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.
"We can't stop people talking about us, nor should we duck away from positive opinions. This national squad, with a new generation of players, is making history. Nowadays nearly all of us are playing in Europe and I think we've got a wider variety of players and talent than we did at the 1994 World Cup when this pressure was on them too. But we can't afford to get too carried away with what people say. Of course, we want to have a great tournament, but we mustn't let ourselves get weighed down by external pressures."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the last decade where the majority of the games have resulted in draws. Colombia and Argentina have played ten times in the past decade, where Colombia has won once and Argentina twice, and there have been 7 draws.
Colombia also has another small rivalry against Peru, which both fought in the Leticia Incident to control the Amazon region. Peru is often seen as the buildup of Colombia's football successes, as Colombia had eliminated Peru during qualification for the 1962 World Cup to secure its maiden appearance. Matches between the two teams also draw a great level of intensity.
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. 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.
Main article: Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez
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.
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.
Win Draw Loss
|16 January Friendly||Colombia||2–1||Honduras||Fort Lauderdale, United States|
|17:30 UTC−5||Report||Stadium: DRV PNK Stadium|
Referee: David Gómez (Costa Rica)
|28 January 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Colombia||0–1||Peru||Barranquilla, Colombia|
||Stadium: Estadio Metropolitano|
Referee: Jesús Valenzuela (Venezuela)
|1 February 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Argentina||1–0||Colombia||Córdoba, Argentina|
||Report||Stadium: Estadio Mario A. Kempes|
Referee: Raphael Claus (Brazil)
|24 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Colombia||3–0||Bolivia||Barranquilla, Colombia|
|18:30 UTC−5||Report||Stadium: Estadio Metropolitano|
Referee: Facundo Tello (Argentina)
|29 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Venezuela||0–1||Colombia||Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela|
|19:30 UTC−4||Report||Stadium: Polideportivo Cachamay|
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)
|5 June Friendly||Saudi Arabia||0–1||Colombia||Murcia, Spain|
|19:00 UTC+2||Report||Borré 9'||Stadium: Estadio Nueva Condomina|
Referee: Jason Barcelo (Gibraltar)
|24 September Friendly||Colombia||4–1||Guatemala||Harrison, United States|
||Stadium: Red Bull Arena|
Referee: Oscar Moncada (Honduras)
|27 September Friendly||Mexico||2–3||Colombia||Santa Clara, United States|
|18:00 UTC−7||Report||Stadium: Levi's Stadium|
Referee: Nima Saghafi (United States)
|19 November Friendly||Colombia||2–0||Paraguay||Fort Lauderdale, United States|
|20:20 UTC−5||Report||Stadium: DRV PNK Stadium|
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez (United States)
Further information: List of Colombian national football team managers
|Head coach||Néstor Lorenzo|
|Assistant coaches||Fernando Alloco|
|Assistant coaches||Luis Amaranto Perea|
|Goalkeeping coach||Alejandro Otamendi|
|Fitness coaches||Leandro Jorge|
|Fitness coaches 2||Leandro Clocchiatti|
|Match analyst||Francis García Talavera|
|IT and media consultant||Pablo Vásquez Peñaranda|
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|
|GK||David Ospina||31 August 1988||127||0||Al-Nassr|
|GK||José Luis Chunga||11 July 1991||2||0||Alianza Petrolera|
|DF||Davinson Sánchez||12 June 1996||51||1||Tottenham Hotspur|
|DF||Frank Fabra||22 February 1991||26||1||Boca Juniors|
|DF||Johan Mojica||21 August 1992||20||1||Villarreal|
|DF||Daniel Muñoz||25 May 1996||15||0||Genk|
|DF||Carlos Cuesta||9 March 1999||7||0||Genk|
|DF||Jhon Lucumí||26 June 1998||8||0||Bologna|
|DF||Juan David Mosquera||5 September 2002||0||0||Portland Timbers|
|MF||James Rodríguez||12 July 1991||89||25||Olympiacos|
|MF||Wilmar Barrios||16 October 1993||53||1||Zenit Saint Petersburg|
|MF||Jefferson Lerma||25 October 1994||33||1||Bournemouth|
|MF||Juan Fernando Quintero||18 January 1993||32||4||River Plate|
|MF||Jorge Carrascal||25 May 1998||3||0||CSKA Moscow|
|MF||Eduard Atuesta||18 June 1997||2||0||Palmeiras|
|FW||Radamel Falcao||10 February 1986||102||36||Rayo Vallecano|
|FW||Rafael Santos Borré||15 September 1995||20||2||Eintracht Frankfurt|
|FW||Jhon Durán||13 December 2003||3||0||Chicago Fire|
|FW||Diego Valoyes||22 September 1996||3||0||Talleres|
|FW||Jhon Arias||21 September 1997||2||0||Fluminense|
|FW||Santiago Moreno||21 April 2000||1||0||Portland Timbers|
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||2 May 2000||0||0||Atlético Nacional||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|GK||Luis Marquinez||10 April 2003||0||0||Atlético Nacional||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|GK||Joan Parra||10 June 2000||0||0||Envigado||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|GK||William Cuesta||19 February 1993||0||0||Deportes Tolima||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|GK||Juan Chaverra||12 December 1992||0||0||Atlético Bucaramanga||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|GK||Camilo Vargas||9 March 1989||11||0||Atlas||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|GK||Álvaro Montero||29 March 1995||3||0||Millonarios||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|GK||Juan David Valencia||19 March 1993||0||0||Aguilas Doradas||Training Session, 29 August 2022|
|GK||Iván Arboleda||21 April 1996||1||0||Free agent||v. Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022|
|GK||Andrés Mosquera||10 September 1991||1||0||Independiente Medellín||v. Argentina, 1 February 2022|
|GK||Diego Novoa||31 May 1989||0||0||América de Cali||v. Honduras, 16 January 2022|
|DF||Andrés Román||5 October 1995||1||0||Atlético Nacional||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|DF||Carlos Terán||24 September 2000||0||0||Chicago Fire||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|DF||Kevin Mantilla||22 May 2003||0||0||Santa Fe||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|DF||Junior Hernández||5 April 1999||0||0||Deportes Tolima||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|DF||Nicolás Gil||1 April 1997||0||0||Unión Magdalena||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|DF||Andrés Correa||29 January 1994||0||0||La Equidad||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|DF||Carlos Garcés||11 October 2001||0||0||Deportivo Pereira||Training Session, 18 October 2022 INJ|
|DF||Brayan Vera||15 January 1999||0||0||América||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|DF||Daniel Rosero||6 October 1993||0||0||Atlético Junior||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|DF||Walmer Pacheco||16 January 1995||0||0||Atlético Junior||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|DF||Jherson Mosquera||18 September 1999||0||0||Deportivo Pereira||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|DF||Cristian Tovar||6 May 1998||0||0||Deportivo Pasto||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|DF||Stefan Medina||14 June 1992||30||0||Monterrey||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|DF||Andrés Llinás||23 July 1997||2||0||Millonarios||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|DF||Helibelton Palacios||11 June 1993||5||0||Elche||v. Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022|
|DF||William Tesillo||2 February 1990||30||1||León||v. Venezuela, 28 March 2022|
|DF||Óscar Murillo||18 April 1988||23||0||Pachuca||v. Argentina, 1 February 2022|
|DF||Yerry Mina||23 September 1994||39||7||Everton||v. Peru, 28 January 2022 SUS|
|DF||Álvaro Angulo||6 March 1997||1||0||Atlético Nacional||v. Honduras, 16 January 2022|
|DF||Yeimar Gómez||30 June 1992||1||0||Seattle Sounders||v. Honduras, 16 January 2022|
|DF||Homer Martínez||6 October 1997||1||0||Junior||v. Honduras, 16 January 2022|
|DF||Germán Mera||5 March 1990||0||0||Deportivo Cali||v. Honduras, 16 January 2022|
|MF||Sebastián Gómez||6 March 1996||0||0||Atlético Nacional||v. Paraguay, 19 November 2022 INJ|
|MF||Daniel Mantilla||25 October 1996||0||0||Atlético Nacional||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|MF||Esneyder Mena||3 November 1997||0||0||América||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|MF||Juan Portilla||12 September 1998||0||0||América||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|MF||Johan Torres||7 September 2004||0||0||Santa Fe||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|MF||Nelson Deossa||6 February 2002||0||0||Atlético Junior||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|MF||Roberto Hinojosa||2 July 1999||0||0||Unión Magdalena||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|MF||Gustavo Puerta||23 July 2003||0||0||Bogotá||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|MF||Jeison Lucumí||8 April 1995||0||0||Deportes Tolima||Training Session, 18 October 2022 INJ|
|MF||Daniel Ruiz||30 July 2001||0||0||Millonarios||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|MF||Maicol Medina||4 June 1997||0||0||Deportivo Pereira||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|MF||Kevin Castaño||29 September 2000||0||0||Águilas Doradas||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|MF||Kevin Velasco||30 April 1997||1||0||Deportivo Cali||Training Session, 4 October 2022 INJ|
|MF||Juan Cuadrado||26 May 1988||113||10||Juventus||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|MF||Mateus Uribe||21 March 1991||43||5||Porto||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|MF||Yairo Moreno||4 April 1995||16||0||León||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|MF||Steven Alzate||8 September 1998||7||0||Standard Liège||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|MF||Yáser Asprilla||19 November 2003||2||1||Watford||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|MF||Éder Álvarez Balanta||28 February 1993||9||0||Club Brugge||v. Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022|
|MF||Kevin Agudelo||14 November 1998||0||0||Spezia||v. Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022|
|MF||Juan Sebastián Pedroza||8 April 1999||0||0||Al-Batin||v. Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022|
|MF||Gustavo Cuéllar||14 October 1992||24||1||Al-Hilal||v. Venezuela, 28 March 2022|
|MF||Víctor Cantillo||15 October 1993||2||0||Corinthians||v. Venezuela, 28 March 2022|
|MF||Fredy Hinestroza||5 April 1990||2||0||Junior||v. Argentina, 1 February 2022|
|MF||Andrés Colorado||1 December 1998||1||1||São Paulo||v. Honduras, 16 January 2022|
|MF||Yerson Candelo||24 February 1992||1||0||Atlético Nacional||v. Honduras, 16 January 2022|
|MF||Daniel Giraldo||1 July 1992||1||0||Junior||v. Honduras, 16 January 2022|
|MF||Stiven Vega||22 May 1998||1||0||Millonarios||v. Honduras, 16 January 2022|
|FW||Yuber Quiñones||8 October 2002||0||0||Millonarios||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|FW||Ricardo Márquez||9 November 1997||0||0||Unión Magdalena||Training Session, 18 October 2022|
|FW||Andrés Gómez||22 September 2002||0||0||Millonarios||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|FW||Gianfranco Peña||11 July 2000||0||0||América||Training Session, 4 October 2022|
|FW||Leonardo Castro||14 June 1992||0||0||Deportivo Pereira||Training Session, 4 October 2022 INJ|
|FW||Luis Díaz||13 January 1997||37||8||Liverpool||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|FW||Luis Sinisterra||17 June 1999||7||3||Leeds United||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|FW||Óscar Estupiñán||29 October 1996||1||0||Hull City||v. Mexico, 27 September 2022|
|FW||Luis Suárez||2 December 1997||4||0||Marseille||v. Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022|
|FW||Cucho Hernández||20 April 1999||2||2||Columbus Crew||v. Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022|
|FW||Jaminton Campaz||24 May 2000||1||0||Grêmio||v. Saudi Arabia, 5 June 2022|
|FW||Luis Muriel||16 April 1991||45||8||Atalanta||v. Venezuela, 28 March 2022|
|FW||Miguel Borja||26 January 1993||27||8||River Plate||v. Venezuela, 28 March 2022|
|FW||Harold Preciado||1 May 1994||3||0||Santos Laguna||v. Venezuela, 28 March 2022|
|FW||Alfredo Morelos||21 June 1996||11||1||Rangers||v. Bolivia, 24 March 2022|
|FW||Yimmi Chará||2 April 1991||16||1||Portland Timbers||v. Argentina, 1 February 2022|
|FW||Cristian Arango||9 March 1995||1||0||Los Angeles||v. Honduras, 16 January 2022 COV|
INJ Withdrew due to injury
|10||Luis Carlos Perea||78||2||1987–1994|
|1||Radamel Falcao (list)||36||102||0.35||2007–present|
|Antony de Ávila||13||54||0.24||1983–1998|
Main article: Colombia at the FIFA World Cup
|FIFA World Cup record||Qualification record|
|1930||Not a FIFA member||Not a FIFA member|
|1950||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1954||Banned||Did not participate|
|1958||Did not qualify||3rd||4||0||1||3||3||8|
|1966||Did not qualify||3rd||4||1||0||3||4||10|
|1990||Round of 16||14th||4||1||1||2||4||4||Squad||1st1||6||3||2||1||6||3|
|2002||Did not qualify||6th||18||7||6||5||20||15|
|2018||Round of 16||9th||4||2||1||1||6||3||Squad||4th||18||7||6||5||21||19|
|2022||Did not qualify||6th||18||5||8||5||20||19|
|2026||To be determined||To be determined|
Main article: Colombia at the Copa América
Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place
|South American Championship / Copa América record|
|1916||Did not participate|
|1967||Did not qualify|
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|1992||Did not qualify|
|2005||Did not qualify|
Main article: Colombia national football team records and statistics
Below is a result summary of all matches Colombia have played against FIFA recognized teams.
Positive Record Neutral Record Negative Record
|Republic of Ireland||1||0||0||1||0||1||−1||0%|
|Trinidad and Tobago||3||2||0||1||8||4||+4||66.67%|
|United Arab Emirates||1||1||0||0||2||0||+2||100%|
Olympic and Pan American Team
|Pan American Games||0||1||1||2|