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Famous Colombian soccer players of all time

Wednesday04 November 2020 | 8:30
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Football has always been one of the most popular sports in Colombia and in this article we are going to present a list of the famous Colombian soccer players of all time!

Football has always been popular in South America, and throughout the history of continental football, it has always nurtured pure talent.

Colombia is no exception in this continent, and having many talented players and passionate fans, it has a lot to say about football.

In the following, we will present a list of best Colombian soccer players of all time in our opinion, and share the personal and professional backgrounds of each of these famous Colombian footballers ever.

Famous Colombian soccer players of all time

When we want to choose the best players in the history of a country's football, we have several options, each of which is level one and excellent. While apologizing for not being able to name all these popular, proud and famous Colombian football players ever in this short article, this is a brief overview of the personal and professional characteristics of the best Colombian football players of all time in our opinion!

#1 Carlos Valderrama

  • Full name:

    Carlos Alberto Valderrama Palacio

  • Date of birth:

    2 September 1961 (age 59)

  • Place of birth:

    Santa Marta, Colombia

  • Height:

    1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Playing position(s):

    Midfielder

Senior career:

Unión Magdalena,

Millonarios

, Deportivo Cali, Montpellier, Real Valladolid,

Independiente Medellín

, Atlético Junior, Tampa Bay Mutiny, Deportivo Cali (loan), Miami Fusion, Tampa Bay Mutiny, Colorado Rapids

National team:

1985–1998;

Colombia

The first player of the list of the

best colombian soccer players of all time

in our opinion is Carlos Valderrama.

Tactical intelligence, positioning, reading the opponent's game and his efficient movements enable him to always find a suitable space to receive and send the ball, and he always preferred to help his teammates to an individual attack on the opponent's goal.

Among the honors of this brilliant player we can mention Coupe de France in 1990 with Montpellier, Colombian Championship in 1993 and 1995 with Atletico Junior, and MLS Supporters' Shield in 1996 with Tampa Bay Mutiny.

And from the individual point of view, being part of South American Team of the Year (3), MLS All-Star of the Year (1), World Soccer's 100 Greatest Footballers of All Time in 1999, MLS All-Time Best XI as Midfielder, and FIFA 100, he was South American Footballer of the Year (2) and Colombian Player of the Century in 1999.

He was also Copa América MVP (Most Valuable Player) (1) and Major League Soccer MVP (1), and was named Golden Foot as football legend in 2013.

The next player in the list of

famous Colombian soccer players of all time

in our opinion is Willington Ortiz.

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#2 Willington Ortiz

  • Full name:

    Willington Alfonso Ortiz Palacio

  • Date of birth:

    March 26, 1952 (age 68)

  • Place of birth:

    Tumaco, Colombia

  • Playing position(s):

    Midfielder

  • National team:

    1973–1985; Colombia

Senior career:

Millonarios,

Deportivo Cali

, América de Cali

The second player in the list of the

famous Colombian footballers ever

in our opinion is Willington Ortiz.

He played 49 times for the Colombia national team scoring 12 goals and is the top Colombian player in the IFFHS's rank of South American Player of the Century.

His unique style of play, stunning speed and impeccable drills often set the stage for dangerous attacks for his team, and in some cases he himself scored in the end.

His club honors include two Colombian league titles with Millonarios and four Colombian league titles with América de Cali, and one Copa America runner-up in 1975 with Colombian national team. 

The next player in the list of

famous Colombian soccer players of all time

in our opinion is Freddy Rincon.

#3 Freddy Rincon

  • Full name:

    Freddy Eusebio Rincón Valencia

  • Date of birth:

    14 August 1966 (age 54)

  • Place of birth:

    Buenaventura, Colombia

  • Height:

    1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)

  • Playing position(s):

    Midfielder

  • National team:

    1990–2001; Colombia

Senior career:

Atlético Buenaventura, Santa Fe, América de Cali, Palmeiras, Napoli (loan),

Real Madrid

, Palmeiras (loan), Corinthians, Santos, Cruzeiro, Corinthians,

The next player in the list of

best Colombian footballers in history

in our opinion is Freddy Rincon.

This versatile midfielder was able to play on the left side of the center, but the best position for him was the attacking midfielder, because with his good physical strength and technical skills he was able to score points for his team, like the draw he got in 1990 against the German national team, led Colombia to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Italy.

Some of his honors are Categoría Primera A in 1990 and 1992 with América de Cali, Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and Campeonato Paulista both in 1994 with Palmeiras, and Brasileirão in 1998 and 1999, Campeonato Paulista in 1999, and FIFA Club World Cup in 2000 with Corinthians.

And from the individual point of view, he won Bola de Prata in 1999.

The next player in the list of

famous Colombian soccer players of all time

in our opinion is Radamel Falcao.

#4 Radamel Falcao

  • Full name:

    Radamel Falcao García Zárate

  • Date of birth:

    10 February 1986 (age 34)

  • Place of birth:

    Santa Marta, Colombia

  • Height:

    1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Playing position(s):

    Forward

  • Current team:

    Galatasaray

  • National team:

    2007–; Colombia

Senior career:

River Plate, Porto,

Atlético Madrid

, Monaco, Manchester United (loan), Chelsea (loan), Galatasaray

The next player in the list of the

famous Colombian football players ever

in our opinion is Radamel Falcao.

This brilliant forward now captains Colombia national team and is the Colombia all-time top scorer with 35 goals in international competitions.

Nicknamed "El Tigre" ("The Tiger") and "King of the Europa League", and although he often plays as a traditional "No. 9" and has fewer chances than a regular goal scorer, Falcao is known as an innate goal scorer who is known for scoring from impossible positions.

His honors include Argentine Primera División (1) with River Plate, Primeira Liga (1), Taça de Portugal (2), Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira (2), and UEFA Europa League(1) with Porto, Copa del Rey (1), UEFA Europa League (1), and UEFA Super Cup (1) with Atlético Madrid, and Ligue 1 title (1) with Monaco.

And from the individual point of view, he is UEFA Europa League Top Scorer (2), Globe Best Footballer (1), and Coupe de la Ligue Top scorer (1). Being part of South American Team of the Year (1) and FIFA FIFPro World11 (1), he has won Portuguese Golden Ball (1).

The next player in the list of

famous Colombian soccer players of all time

in our opinion is Rene Higuita.

#5 Rene Higuita

  • Full name:

    José René Higuita Zapata

  • Date of birth:

    27 August 1966 (age 54)

  • Place of birth:

    Medellín, Colombia

  • Height:

    1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Playing position(s):

    Goalkeeper

  • Current team:

    Atlético Nacional (goalkeeper coach)

  • Senior career:

    Millonarios, Atlético Nacional, Real Valladolid, Atlético Nacional, Veracruz, Independiente Medellín, Real Cartagena, Atlético Junior, Deportivo Pereira, Aucas, Guaros FC, Deportivo Rionegro, Deportivo Pereira

  • National team:

    1987–1999; Colombia

The next player of the list of

best Colombian football players of all time

in our opinion is Rene Higuita.

Nicknamed El Loco ("The Madman") for his high-risk 'sweeper-keeper' playing style and his flair for the dramatic, he founded a new style of play in which the goalkeeper takes more responsibility than guarding the goal. This style of play inspired the next generation of goalkeepers.

Among his honors we can mention Copa Libertadores (1), Copa Interamericana (1), Intercontinental Cup Runner-up (1), and Colombian League (2) with Atlético Nacional, and FIFA World Cup Round of 16 (1), and Copa América Third place (3) with Colombia national team.

And from the individual point of view, being part of South American Team of the Year (2), he has won the Golden Foot Legends Award in 2009.

The next player in the list of famous Colombian soccer players of all time in our opinion is Arnoldo Iguaran.

#6 Arnoldo Iguaran

  • Full name:

    Arnoldo Alberto Iguarán Zúñiga

  • Date of birth:

    18 January 1957 (age 63)

  • Place of birth:

    Riohacha, Colombia

  • Height:

    1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Playing position(s):

    Striker

  • Senior career:

    Cúcuta Deportivo, Deportivo Táchira, Deportes Tolima, Independiente Santa Fe, Millonarios, Atlético Junior, Millonarios

  • National team:

    1979–1993; Colombia

The next player in the list of top colombian soccer players of all time in our opinion is Arnoldo Iguaran, also known as El Guajiro.

He previously held the goalscoring record with 25 goals in 68 games between 1979 and 1993, until it was tied by Radamel Falcao in 2015.

One of the most memorable moments of his career was the 1991 Copa América final. In this game, the Colombian national team won from Brazil national team with a result of 2-0 and the second goal was scored by Iguaran in the 66th minute of the game.

Some of his honors are Venezuelan Primera División in 1981 with Deportivo Táchira, and Categoría Primera A in 1987 and 1988 with Millonarios F.C., and from the individual point of view, he won the Golden Boot Award of Copa America in 1987.

The next place in the list of famous Colombian soccer players of all time in our opinion belongs to Faustino Asprilla.

#7 Faustino Asprilla

  • Full name:

    Faustino Hernán Asprilla Hinestroza

  • Date of birth:

    10 November 1969 (age 50)

  • Place of birth:

    Tuluá, Colombia

  • Height:

    1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Playing position(s):

    Forward / Attacking midfielder

  • Senior career:

    Cúcuta Deportivo, Atlético Nacional, Parma, Newcastle United, Palmeiras, Fluminense,

  • Atlante, Atlético Nacional, Universidad de Chile, Estudiantes La Plata, Cortuluá

  • National team:

    1993–2001; Colombia

The next player in the list of best Colombian soccer players of all time in our opinion is Faustino Asprilla.

Nicknamed "il polipo" ("the octopus," in Italian)  and "cobra", Asperilla was a versatile striker who had the ability to play as a forward, as a striker, as a centre-forward, as a second striker, or even as a creative, playmaking attacking midfielder in the number ten role.

He was a fast and skilled player known for his ingenuity, creativity, technique, strength and scoring spectacular goals with both feet.

His honors include Categoría Primera A (1) and Copa Interamericana (1) with Atlético Nacional,

Coppa Italia (1), European Cup Winners' Cup (1), European Super Cup (1) and UEFA Cup (2) with Parma, and Rio-São Paulo Tournament (1) and Brazilian Champions Cup (1) with Palmeiras.

The next player in the list of famous Colombian soccer players of all time in our opinion is Mario Yepes.

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#8 Mario Yepes

  • Full name:

    Mario Alberto Yepes Díaz

  • Date of birth:

    13 January 1976 (age 44)

  • Place of birth:

    Cali, Colombia

  • Height:

    1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)

  • Playing position(s):

    Centre back

  • Senior career:

    Cortuluá, Deportivo Cali, River Plate, Nantes, Paris Saint-Germain, Chievo, Milan, Atalanta, San Lorenzo

  • National team:

    1999–2014; Colombia

The next player in the list of famous Colombian footballers ever in our opinion is Mario Yepes.

He was captain of the Colombia national team, and 3rd player in history with more appearances in national team. Having spent much of his career in the French Ligue 1 and Italian Serie A, he was a reliable and flexible center-back who also excelled in the air with his tall stature.

Among his honors we can mention Categoría Primera A (1) with Deportivo Cali, Argentine Primera División: Apertura (1) and Clausura (1) with River Plate, Coupe de France (1), and Coupe de la Ligue (1) with Paris Saint-Germain, Serie A title (1), and Supercoppa Italiana (1) with A.C. Milan, and Copa América in 2001 with Colombia national team.

The next player in the list of top Colombian soccer players of all time in our opinion is Faryd Mondragon.

#9 Faryd Mondragon

  • Full name:

    Faryd Camilo Mondragón Alí

  • Date of birth:

    21 June 1971 (age 49)

  • Place of birth:

    Cali, Colombia

  • Height:

    1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)

  • Playing position(s):

    Goalkeeper

  • Senior career:

    Deportivo Cali, Real Cartagena, Santa Fe, Cerro Porteño, Argentinos Juniors, Independiente, Santa Fe, Real Zaragoza, Metz, Galatasaray, 1. FC Köln, Philadelphia Union

  • National team:

    1993–2014; Colombia

The next player of our list of best Colombian footballers in history in our opinion is Faryd Mondragon.

Mondragon alongside Mario Yepes, were the last active members of the original 1990s golden generation of Colombian football. He was named in the Colombian squads for the 1992 Olympics, two Copa América tournaments, two CONCACAF Gold Cups, and the World Cups of 1994, 1998 and 2014.

 His honors include Recopa Sudamericana and Supercopa Libertadores both in 1995 with Independiente, Süper Lig (2) and Turkish Cup (1) with Galatasaray, and Superliga Colombiana in 2014 with Deportivo Cali.

And finally, the last player in the list of top Colombian soccer players of all time in our opinion is James Rodriguez.

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#10 James Rodriguez

  • Full name:

    James David Rodríguez Rubio

  • Date of birth:

    12 July 1991 (age 29)

  • Place of birth:

    Cúcuta, Colombia

  • Height:

    1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)

  • Playing position(s):

    Attacking midfielder / Winger

  • Current team:

    Everton

  • Senior career:

    Envigado, Banfield, Porto, Monaco, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Everton

  • National team:

    2011–; Colombia

The last player of the list of famous Colombian football players ever in our opinion is James Rodriguez.

Praised for his pace, technical skills, vision, and his ability to create chances for teammates as an advanced playmaker, his performances as a classic number 10 have led to comparisons with the famous Colombian footballer Carlos Valderrama, who declared James as his "successor".

Some of his honors are Categoría Primera B (1) with Envigado, Primera División Argentina: Apertura (1) with Banfield, Primeira Liga (3), Taça de Portugal (1), Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira (1), and UEFA Europa League (1) with Porto, La Liga title (2), Supercopa de España (1), UEFA Champions League (2), UEFA Super Cup (2), and FIFA Club World Cup (2) with Real Madrid, Bundesliga (2) and DFB-Pokal (1) with Bayern Munich, and Copa América third place in 2016 with Colombia national team.

And from the individual point of view, he was part of Record Team of the Year (1), O Jogo Team of the Year (2), UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year (1), FIFA World Cup All-Star Team and Dream Team both in 2014, UEFA Team of the Year (1), La Liga Team of the Season (1), UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season (1), Bundesliga Team of the Season (1), and Copa América Team of the Tournament (1).

Rodriguez was Toulon Tournament Best Player (1), LPFP Primeira Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year (1), La Liga Best Midfielder (1), and AS Monaco Player of the Year (1), and has won the Portuguese Golden Ball in 2012 and FIFA World Cup Golden Boot  and FIFA Puskás Award both in 2014.

In this article we had a brief look on the best Colombian football players of all time in our opinion. In the next articles we will review other best players in AC Milan history and their honors and achievements.

 

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