It is less than 12 months since Colombia made the quarterfinals of the Copa América in Chile, but even in a year, a lot has changed
Only ten of those who played in last year’s Copa América in Chile have kept their places in la selección, the 23-man squad this time around, while 11 players will be appearing at their first international tournament – or, in the cases of 37-year-old Róbinson Zapata and Dayro Moreno, making returns after long absences.
Radamel Falcao and Jackson Martínez were never likely to make the cut on the back of poor seasons, but the absence of Sporting Lisbon’s Teófilo Gutiérrez is certainly a surprise. The 31-year-old striker had been a regular under manager José Pékerman, and although he had a difficult start of the season in the Portuguese league, he finished with eight goals in his last eight games. At a recent press conference, Pékerman explained that Gutiérrez’s omission was a vote of confidence to the new generation that have thus far carried the team through the recent World Cup qualifiers.
Juan Camilo Zúñiga
Juan Guillermo Cuadrado
By Freek Huigen