Take a look at the entire Colombian selection going to Brazil, Here’s the low-down on all the players
|1: David Ospina
Caps 45, Goals 0
25 years old, Antioquia (Medellin)
Olimpique Nice, FRAOspina will undisputedly be the goalkeeper for Colombia. He has great reflexes, stays calm under pressure and communicates well with his defence. He was the only Colombian who played all 1440 minutes in qualification.
|2: Christian Zapata
Caps 22, Goals 0
27 years old, Cauca (Padilla)
AC Milan, ITAChristian Zapata had a bad end to the season, with only one showing under his belt for AC Milan since January. Zapata is a strong central defender who likes to play the long ball. He played next to Yepes in defence vs Greece and didn’t have any problems against the weak Greek attackers.
|3: Mario Alberto Yepes
Caps 99, Goals 6
38 years old, Valle de Cauca (Cali)
Atalanta Bergamo, ITAThe 38 year-old captain has been rewarded for being the most experienced player in the Colombia squad. On the pitch, his best days are clearly gone and he will retire straight after the World Cup. He is getting a bit slow, but his presence as the absolute leader in the team is vital.
|4: Santiago Arias
Caps 7, Goals 0
22 years old, Antioquia (Medellin)
PSV Eindhoven, NETThe young defender came into the squad recently because of Zúñiga’s six-month injury absence. Arias made a decent impression but with Zúñiga fit, he will start from the bench. He can play down the whole wing, has defensive skills, but he is far less dangerous than his competition for the right back position.
|5: Carlos Carbonero
Caps 1, Goals 0
23 years old, Bogotá D.C.
River Plate, ARGThe attacking midfielder was a last minute call-up after injury ruled out Aldo Leao. He has had his best season with River Plate with a key role in their league victory. This is his first call up in the Pekerman era after the last friendly with Jordan showed the Argentine boss that he didn’t need a more defensive midfielder. He will likely not receive a lot of playing time.
|6: Carlos Sánchez
Caps 45, Goals 0
28 years old, Chocó (Quibdo)
Elche, SPAThe anchorman is a regular in the lineup. He is essential to Pekerman’s style of play in a team with loads of offensive impulses. He doesn’t have a lot of competition for his spot so will likely play every game.
|7: Pablo Armero
Caps 54, Goals 2
27 years old, Nariño (Tumaco)
West Ham United, ENGThe lefty boasts the most playing time of all the outfield players in the qualifiers. His offensive style of play generates plenty of problems for his opponents. He had a difficult season, playing little in Napoli, which his move to West Ham half way through did little to remedy. He will still be a certainty in the lineup.
|8: Abel Aguilar
Caps 50, Goals 5
29 years old, Bogota D.C.
Toulouse, FRAAguilar is the connection between midfield and attack, maintaining defensive security. He was a regular in the qualification cycle but has fierce competition from Guarín for his spot. His style can be dirty if necessary.
|9: Teófilo Gutiérrez
Caps 31, Goals 13
29 years old, Atlántico (Barranquilla)
River Plate, ARG‘Teó’ has a long history of disciplinary problems, but Pekerman seems to have tamed him. By his side, Falcao started to score for the national team. With his buddy out of contention he will have to work well together with his fellow strikers which could become a real challenge.
|10: James Rodríguez
Caps 23, Goals 6
22 years old, Norte Santander (Cucutá)
AS Monaco, FRAIn absence of Falcao, James is the star in this team. After cruising through all the Colombian youth squads he eased his way into the first team line up. His creative mind and precise passing will be required to get the strikers in the best scoring positions.
|11: Juan Guillermo Cuadrado
Caps 29, Goals 4
26 years old, Antioquia (Bello)
Fiorentina, ITACuadrado had a top season in Italy, with Barcelona transfer rumours flying. On a good day he can pass three opponents by himself but sometimes gets lost in his own tricks. His form will be a very important variable for Colombia’s chances.
|12: Camilo Vargas
Caps 0, Goals 0
25 years old, Bogotá D.C.
Independiente Santa Fe, COLVargas, yet to play his first game for Colombia, will be the third goalkeeper this World Cup so no playing time is predicted. He is outstanding in the Colombian league but needs to go abroad to have a shot at outplaying Ospina. He has great reflexes, but also, too often impetuous moments.
|13: Fredy Guarín
Caps 49, Goals 4
27 years old, Boyacá (Puerto Boyacá)
Inter Milan, ITAGuarín has been a star since his time in the youth squads. However, he hasn’t yet lived up to this star status amongst the grown-ups. Suspended for the first match, he could come into the team for Aguilar to create some extra offensive strength. He showed his quality in the friendly against Jordan, netting a 40 yard screamer.
|14: Víctor Ibarbo
Caps 10, Goals 1
24 years old, Nariño (Tumaco)
Cagliari, ITAIbarbo really made his way into the team after the qualifiers. With good performances in the friendly matches he made his name and against Greece he was a starter in Pekerman’s lineup to create more defensive strength against the attackers. Coming from a small club, he might unexpectedly be a vital part in the team.
|15: Alexander Mejía
Caps 9, Goals 0
25 years old, Atlántico (Barranquilla)
Atletico Nacional, COLMejía is the only outfield player still playing in the Colombian league. Last year he was the absolute star in Nacional’s supreme lineup. Rewarded with an invitation to the World Cup he will be the direct stand in for Carlos Sánchez.
|16: Éder Álvarez Balanta
Caps 3, Goals 0
21 years old, Bogotá D.C.
River Plate, ARGEder Balanta is a talented young defender. He is the predicted successor for Yepes after the World Cup. In the friendlies leading up to the Cup he was tested in the role as defensive midfielder instead of the injured Aldo Leao. Though not likely, he might make his appearance in that position.
|17: Carlos Bacca
Caps 11, Goals 3
27 years old, Atlántico (Puerto Colombia)
Sevilla, SPACarlos Bacca is coming off the back of a breakthrough season in the European elite. After needing some time to acclimatize in Europe he was the star for Europa League winning side, Sevilla. Predicted to be the replacement for Falcao, he was benched against Greece in favor of Ibarbo. He will get chances to show his skills.
|18: Juan Camilo Zúñiga
Caps 53, Goals 1
28 years old, Antioquia (Chigorodó)
Napoli, ITAZúñiga had a terrible preparation period for the World Cup, with an injury that put him out of play from November to April. He got fit just in time and showed in the pre-world cup friendlies that he is hitting his form. Developing loads of offensive pressure over the flank he is an important weapon for Colombia.
|19: Adrián Ramos
Caps 26, Goals 2
28 years old, Cauca (Santander de Quilichao)
Hertha BSC, GERAfter years on the margins of European football he finally made his name last season as top goal scorer for the German side, rewarded with a transfer to top team Borrusia Dortmund. He replaces the injured Falcao but is behind Jackson Martínez, Bacca and Teófilo in the pecking order. Not much playing time is expected for Ramos.
|20: Juan Fernando Quintero
Caps 4, Goals 0
21 years old, Antioquia (Medellin)
FC Porto, PORQuintero was the absolute star in the Colombian team in the under-20 World Cup in Turkey last year. A great future is predicted for him as well as a leading role in the Colombian team. In this World Cup though, his role is expected to be marginal, coming off a difficult season for his club in Portugal.
|21: Jackson Martínez
Caps 28, Goals 8
27 years old, Chocó (Quibdo)
FC Porto, PORCurrently the top goal scorer at Porto, after Falcao left two years ago. However, in the Colombian team he is still in the shadow of Falcao and even without the Colombian star, he is not the number one striker on Pekerman’s list. A role as impact sub will be his destiny this World Cup.
|22: Faryd Mondragón
Caps 50, Goals 0
42 years old, Valle de Cauca (Cali)
Deportivo Cali, COLThe goalkeeper, who turns 43 on June 21, is the oldest player a this World Cup. If he gets playing time he will be the oldest player ever to have played at a World Cup. He is the back up for Ospina but it is likely that if Colombia plays a dead rubber in the third match he will get his record.
|23: Carlos Valdés
Caps 14, Goals 2
29 years old, Valle de Cauca (Cali)
San Lorenzo, ARGThe central defender appeared to be Yepes companion in defence, after the absence of Perea was confirmed, but versus Greece, Zapata was preferred. It seems that the tournament may not hold a lot of chances for him.
|José Néstor Pékerman
The 64 year-old took over from manager Bolillo on January 5, 2012, when Colombia was in fifth place in the qualification group for this World Cup. With five wins in his first six qualifying matches he immediately showed his importance. The manager’s style is to play attractive football with a tight defence. He tends to be very conservative trying to keep out every possible outside factor including the press. He doesn’t like to give interviews or stand in the spotlight. The serious manager is the perfect man to keep Colombia from losing focus after good results.