Mon 25 October 2021 | 20:29

Top facts about Carlos Valderrama, El Pibe

Carlos Valderrama was a leader and For Colombia, he was the greatest-ever player who made a nation dream. He proved so much is possible from the center circle, inspiring fans all over the world. Read on to find out more facts about Carlos Valderrama.

El Pibe ("The Kid"), also recognized as Carlos Alberto Valderrama Palacio (born on September 2, 1961), is a South American retired pro footballer who played as an attacking midfield.

He is considered as one of the finest Colombian players of all time, and others consider him to be the country's greatest player ever.

Carlos Valderrama’s age

is 60. Here you can find out the most important facts about Carlos Valderrama, the iconic El Pibe.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, his unique hairdo, as well as his accurate passing and technical abilities, established him one of South America's most recognizable players.

The first fact about Carlos Valderrama is that in 1987 and 1993, he was awarded South American Footballer of the Year, and World Soccer named him one of the best 100 players of the twentieth century in 1999. He was named to the FIFA 100 in 2004, a list of 125 "best living players" selected by


to commemorate FIFA's 100th anniversary.

From 1985 until 1998, Valderrama was a part of the Colombian national football team. He played in 111 complete internationals for Colombia and scored 11 goals, earning him the country's second-most capped player behind only David Ospina.

He was a key figure in Colombian football's golden period in the 1990s, appearing in three FIFA World Cups and five Copa América tournaments for his country.

An important fact about Carlos Valderrama is that he participated in Major League Soccer near the conclusion of his career after investing the most of his time playing club soccer in South America and Europe.

He joined the league in its inaugural season. He was one of the league's most well-known players at the moment of its creation, and he helped popularize it in the second part of the 1990s. He is still regarded as one of the most decorated players in MLS history, having been selected to the MLS All-Time Best XI in 2005.

Valderrama's 22-year career came to an end in February 2004 when he played in a memorial match at Barranquilla's Metropolitan stadium with some of South America's most famous footballers, including

Diego Maradona

, Enzo Francescoli,

Iván Zamorano

, and José Luis Chilavert.

In 2006, Colombian sculptor Amilkar Ariza built a 22-foot bronze monument of Valderrama outside Estadio Eduardo Santos in Valderrama's hometown of Santa Marta. In March 2004, Valderrama was the lone Colombian in FIFA's list of the 125 Best Living Football Players.

Another notable fact about Carlos Valderrama is that he has joined Atlético Junior as an assistant manager after retiring from professional football. Valderrama accused a referee of corruption on November 1, 2007, when he waved cash in the face of Oscar Julian Ruiz after the official gave América de Cali a penalty. Junior was defeated 4–1, thus ending the club's playoff chances.

He subsequently became a coach with the Clearwater Galactics football school in Clearwater, Florida.

Top facts about Carlos Valderrama:

Carlos Valderrama is one of the most well-known players in soccer history. What characterized him was his penchant for the brilliant assist above the goal, always searching for his teammates. He moved with elegance, with the agility of a running back and the speed of a tap dancer on the field. On the field, he was nicknamed simply as "El Pibe" ("The Kid") since he played with no frills and no concerns.

Carlos Valderrama early life

Speaking about

Carlos Valderrama’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that the 'Pibe' is the son of Carlos Valderrama and Juana Palacio. Regarding

Carlos Valderrama’s parents

, it should be mentioned that his father, who was better known by his nickname 'Jaricho', was a professional player and performed with the Magdalena departmental team, as well as with the Santa Marta professional team, Unión Magdalena.

Carlos is the brother of other ex-footballers such as Alan and Ronald Valderrama, and the cousin of Didí Alex Valderrama and Miguel González Palacio. Carlos played after school classes on the La Castellana sand court in the Pescaíto neighborhood of Santa Marta.

He is known worldwide as 'El Pibe', a nickname that was given to him by an Argentine friend of his father (in Argentina "pibe" means child or young man).

Carlos Valderrama personal life

Since 1993, he has been married to Elvira Redondo. They are the parents of two children. Previously, he was married to Claribeth Galván. Valderrama is the father of six children.

The cover of Konami's World Superstar Soccer Pro 98 featured Valderrama. He is known to by his nickname, El Pibe, in the Nintendo 64 version of the game.

Valderrama has also featured in EA Sports' FIFA football video game series, where he was awarded one of the FIFA 15 Ultimate Team Legend cards.

Carlos Valderrama professional career

Carlos Valderrama played in Colombia then he had a couple of years in France with Montpellier and then a season with Vallodolid in Spain before going back to Colombia and then to the MLS.

He joined the national team in 1985 and captained his team in 3 World Cups (1990, 1994, 1998). He also took part in 5 Copa Américas from 1987 until 1995.

He was the 1987 Copa América MVP, but his best performance may have been in the 1990 World Cup, where he dazzled the world in several matches.

In 1994, injuries hampered his ability to perform at a world class level, and Colombia would exit in the group stage of the World Cup.

Carlos Valderrama club career

An important fact about Carlos Valderrama is that he started his career in the Colombian First Division with Unión Magdalena in 1981. In 1984, he also featured for Millonarios.

Deportivo Cali

In 1985, he signed

Deportivo Cali

, where he spent the most of his Colombian soccer career.


In 1988, he joined Montpellier of the French First League. He failed to adjust to Europe's less technical, quicker, more aggressive, and tactical style of football, and therefore lost his spot in the team.

His passing skills, on the other hand, helped him become the club's primary creative force, and he was instrumental in helping his team win the Coupe de France in 1990.

Real Valladolid

In 1991, he stayed in Europe for a season with

Real Valladolid

in Spain. In 1992, he returned to Colombia and signed with Independiente Medelln, then Atlético Junior in 1993, with whom he won the Colombian title in 1993 and 1995.

Tampa Bay Mutiny

A notable fact about Carlos Valderrama is that he started his Major League Soccer journey in 1996 with the Tampa Bay Mutiny of the United States. The club earned the first ever Supporters' Shield for having the best regular season record in the league, and Valderrama was named the league's inaugural Most Valuable Player after scoring four goals and assisting on 17 occasions.

Deportivo Cali

Another important

fact about Carlos Valderrama

is that he stayed with the team for the 1997 campaign, as well as a loan stint with Deportivo Cali in Colombia, before joining another MLS team, the Miami Fusion, in 1998.

Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny

He stayed with the Fusion for two seasons. In 2000, he returned to Tampa Bay for 2 more seasons, and the organization sold Carlos Valderrama wigs at Tampa Stadium when he was a member of the Mutiny.

Valderrama had the only 20+ assist year in MLS history in 2000, finishing with 26 – a single-season assist record that stands to this day, and which MLS themselves claimed in a 2012 article was an "unbreakable" record.

Colorado Rapids

Valderrama joined the Colorado Rapids in 2001 and stayed with the club until 2002, when he retired after an eight-year career in the American soccer league in which he made 175 appearances. Valderrama has a low goal total (16) for a midfielder in the MLS, but he ranks fourth all-time in assists (114) after Brad Davis (123), Steve Ralston (135) — a former colleague, and Landovan (145). He was selected to the MLS All-Time Best XI in 2005.

Carlos Valderrama international career

A notable fact about Carlos Valderrama is that he was a part of the Colombian national soccer squad from 1985 until 1998, appearing in 111 matches and netting 11 goals, making him the country's most capped player. He participated and led his country in the FIFA World Cups of 1990, 1994, and 1998, as well as the Copa América tournaments of 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, and 1995.

At the age of 24, Valderrama began playing on October 27, 1985, in a 3–0 loss to


in a 1986 World Cup qualification match. As


 captain, he led his country to a third-place finish at the 1987 Copa América in Argentina, where he was voted the tourney's best player; during the competition, he netted the opening goal in Colombia's 2–0 victory against Bolivia on July 1, their first match of the group stage.

Valderrama's most memorable international performances were during Colombia's 1990 FIFA World Cup campaign in Italy, when he served as captain. In Colombia's first encounter of the group stage, he scored the second goal of the game with a shot from 20 yards, helping his side to a 2–0 victory against the UAE.

Colombia, on the other hand, lost their second game versus Yugoslavia and needed a draw versus eventual winners West Germany in their final group encounter to progress to the next stage of the tournament. In the decisive match, German striker Pierre Littbarski scored what appeared to be the game-winning goal in the 88th minute.

However, in the final minute of added time, Valderrama beat several opposition players and made a major left-footed pass to Freddy Rincón, who then equalized, securing a 1–1 draw for Colombia in the tournament's second round. Colombia was knocked out in the round of 16 after losing 2–1 in extra time against



An important

fact about Carlos Valderrama

is that he played a key role in Colombia's historic 5–0 win against South American foes


at the Monumental in Buenos Aires on September 5, 1993, which qualified them for the 1994 World Cup.

Although plenty was anticipated of Valderrama at the World Cup, an ailment during a pre-tournament warm-up match jeopardized his place in the squad; although he was able to restore game wellness in time for the tourney, Colombia disappointed and was eliminated in the first round after defeats to Romania and the hosts USA, despite the fact that the internal problem and threats from cartel groups at the time played a role.

Valderrama helped his country to prepare for the 1998 World Cup in France four years later, netting three goals in the process. At the age of 37, Valderrama's influence in the last tournament was less significant, and although beating Tunisia, Colombia was eliminated in the first round once more, after a 2–0 loss against


, which was Valderrama's final international game.

Carlos Valderrama style of play

Valderrama is often referred to as a "classic number 10 playmaker" because of his inventiveness and attacking contributions, although he was not a typical holding midfielder in the traditional sense.

Although he frequently wore the number 10 shirt and was occasionally used as an attacking midfielder, he preferred to play in deeper midfield positions in order to have a greater influence on the game, often operating in a free role as a deep-lying playmaker rather than in more advanced midfield positions behind the forwards.

Valderrama was a team player who was also renowned for being an unselfish midfielder who favored helping his teammates than scoring himself; His tactical intelligence, positioning, game reading, efficient movement, and versatile passing range allowed him to find space to distribute and receive the ball, allowing him to both set the tempo of his team in midfield with short, first-time exchanges and create chances with long lobbed passes or through balls.

Valderrama's large afro-blonde hairdo, jewelry, and moustache were immediately recognizable physical characteristics, but he was most renowned for his elegance and beauty on the ball, as well as his quickness and quick feet as a player.

Valderrama's control, dribbling ability, and footwork were comparable to that of smaller players, which was unusual for a player of Valderrama's size and physical build, and he commonly stood out all through his professional life for his capacity to use his power, stability, tranquility, and vibrant technique to shield the ball from opponents when under pressure, and retain possession in tough circumstances.

Valderrama's combination of physical strength, two-footed ability, unpredictability, and flair allowed him to produce key and insightful performances against top-tier teams, while his global eyesight and outstanding passing and crossing potential with his right foot created him one of the best assist providers of his time; his height, body type, and altitude also made him effective in the air, and despite not being a par, he was an accurate free kick taker and ball striker.

Despite his innate talent and ability as a football player, Valderrama developed a reputation for having a "languid" playing style, as well as a lack of notable pace, being unfit, and having a poor defensive work-rate on the pitch, especially after succumbing to the physical effects of aging in his later career in the MLS.

He struggled to adjust to the faster-paced, more physical, and tactically rigorous European brand of football in his first season in France, which saw him play in an unfamiliar position and gave him less space and time on the ball to dictate attacking passing moves.

he was criticized at times for his lack of match fitness and low defensive contribution, which initially limited his appearances with the club, although he later became a key Despite these allegations, Valderrama has shown significant speed, endurance, and defensive ability early in his career.

Laurent Blanc

, a former


defender who played alongside Valderrama, gave one of the most accurate assessments of Valderrama: "He wasn't always at ease with the fast-paced European game. He was a natural 'toque' player, always keeping the ball moving.

But he was so talented that we could throw the ball to him when we didn't know what else to do with it and knew he wouldn't drop it... and he would often accomplish things that most of us could only dream about."

Carlos Valderrama after retirement

Although his last official game for the United States league was for the Colorado Rapids team in September 2002, it was only on February 1, 2004 that his official retirement tribute game was held.

The farewell meeting was attended by international figures such as José Luis Chilavert, Diego Armando Maradona, Enzo Francescoli, his friends and teammates from the National Team, and the singer and admirer Carlos Vives.

56,000 spectators attended the Metropolitan Stadium that night from Barranquilla, who did not stop applauding the emblematic 10 of the Colombian team at their farewell. Before starting the game, the national anthem was performed by Joe Arroyo.

The match was played between the teams "Amigos de Colombia" (white uniform) and "Amigos del Mundo" (blue uniform) and ended 3-3, the last goal was scored by Valderrama himself, before leaving the field and being replaced by his son Alan.

As of the second semester of 2007, he accepted the sports management and technical assistance of the Colombian soccer club Junior de Barranquilla, making a technical duo with Luís Grau, both former players and champions of the national league with this club in the final decade of the 20th century.

In the Completion Tournament in Barranquilla against America, he showed a bill of 50,000 pesos (the highest denomination in the country) to the referee Oscar Ruiz, after sanctioning a controversial penalty against Junior. In subsequent statements, Valderrama confirmed his complaint against the judge.

The Major Division of Colombian Soccer sanctioned the 'Pibe' for 10 games, a high fine and was denounced for slander by the llanero referee. Likewise, Luis Grau, his partner in the coaching staff, apologized to the country for Valderrama's conduct.

In 2011 it was confirmed that the 'Pibe' Valderrama going to play the Hexagonal of the Olay, the most important tournament of amateur football in Colombia, between December of 2011 and January of 2012 with the Centennial club - Kimo.

In 2012 the International Olympic Committee chose him as one of the representatives to carry the Olympic Flame during the London 2012 Olympic Games. His tour with the torch was in Berkshire, a county in England. The Jan. He was invited to the Ballon d'Or gala organized by FIFA to present the Puskás Award for the best goal of the year 2012.

He also joked with the presenter of the event, former soccer player

Ruud Gullit

, who recalled the time when both players had their popular long hair.

On the 30 of July of 2013, he accepted the invitation of the Indian National Organization of Colombia to train Indian football team in Colombia with technical assistance from Faustino Asprilla.

He announced his candidacy for the Senate by the Party of the U for the elections of March 2014, but finally said that he would not be part of the list to the Senate by the Party of the U, just as it had been announced during a convention of that movement.

Some quick facts about Carlos Valderrama:

An important fact about Carlos Valderrama is that he was born in Colombia, where he developed both his flair and his talent. His 22-year career started with Unión Magdalena, followed by Millonarios, and finally Deportivo Cali.

He really excelled at the Colombian game with Deportivo Cali, scoring 22 goals in three seasons and had technical skill that was light years ahead of the rest of the league.

He went to Montpellier in 1988 and struggled to adjust to the more rugged European style. He was used to vast open areas, the capacity to cut out passes, and the ability to deliver long balls that could be shown in any museum.

That passing skill would carry him across Europe, and he would win the French Cup with Montpellier in 1990. He then moved to Real Valladolid in Spain's La Liga, where he spent the next season before returning to Colombia to play for Independiente Medelln. He spent a season with them before moving on to Atlético Junior, where he won two league championships.

Carlos Valderrama joined the national squad in 1985 and led them to three World Cup victories (1990, 1994, 1998). From 1987 through 1995, he also competed in five Copa Américas.

He won the 1987 Copa América MVP award, but his greatest performance came during the 1990 Globe Cup, when he wowed the world in many games. Injuries limited his ability to play at a world-class level in 1994, and Colombia was eliminated from the World Cup group stage.

After the 1994 World Cup, Valderrama wasn't done with the US. In 1996, he surprised Colombia by leaving the nation to join the Tampa Bay Mutiny in Major League Soccer's first season.

A notable

fact about Carlos Valderrama

is that he was one of the league's greatest players, embarrassing opponents with his deft passing and setting up his teammates. The Mutiny won the league's inaugural Supporters' Shield, and El Pibe was voted the league's first MVP. In the MLS Cup playoffs, they would lose to D.C. United.

El Pibe spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before joining the Miami Fusion for two more. He stayed with the Mutiny for three more seasons until joining the Colorado Rapids in 2002.

Valderrama was the best at taking over a game with the pass at that period. With 26 assists in a single season in 2000, he established the MLS single-season assist record, which many believe "unbreakable." In 175 games in the MLS, he scored 16 goals and added 114 assists. That amount of assists puts him in fourth place all-time.

Valderrama's playing had a twist to it in that he had a reputation as a player with a weak work ethic, especially on defense, and a lack of fitness to play a physical style of soccer.

Some might argue, however, that the impression was based on the fact that Valderrama's game was uncomplicated. His poise, composure, and even a dash of flare gave him the appearance of a human cheat code at times.

El Pibe would dash past an opponent on the right side of the field, delivering a pass through traffic to a striker sprinting down the left side toward goal, fooling his opponent into thinking he was heading to his left. With either foot, he could deliver accurate crosses, and the ball always seemed to reach the correct player.

While he wasn't renowned for being the greatest defender, he was noted for tracking back often to launch attacks from deep within his own half. Even so, it would only take him seconds to quarterback the ball down the field into a scoring position for his side.

An important fact about Carlos Valderrama is that he was Colombia's lifeblood. He's their greatest player ever, and he helped them reach new heights in their game. His playing was as easy as his blonde afro bounced up and down on the pitch, and he's one of the best players to ever play the game.

He could always be found in a throng, and it was there that he'd find a method to defeat you. He might reveal his cards and yet humiliate you. And it was for this reason that El Pibe became a soccer legend throughout the world.

Carlos Valderrama social media


Carlos Valderrama social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (


) with 1.1 million followers. In the page we can see various pictures of him with the fans and his family.

He also has a Twitter account (


) with more than 531k followers. He often posts new stuff on his Twitter page.

Carlos Valderrama body measurements

Speaking about

Carlos Valderrama body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former star is 177cm and 74 kg.

Carlos Valderrama net worth and salary

Carlos Valderrama’s net worth

is estimated to be around $10 million. From his major profession as a football player, he has amassed a substantial fortune.

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