Colombia’s latest resurgence in international football is a reminder of the country’s vast talent pool. In this post, we’ve compiled some of the players that have contributed to the national team’s success, as ranked by player appearances.
Carlos Valderrama, 112
The blonde and bushy-haired midfielder with an iconic mustache, Carlos Valderrama is undoubtedly one the most recognizable players to emerge from Columbia onto the world scene. A tall and commanding presence, Valderrama excelled in passing and seemed to be born with gifted footwork and dribbling skills. With 111 caps and three World Cups in the 1990s, he’s made the most appearances for the national side than any other player.
Mario Yepes, 103
With 103 appearances for the national team, Mario Yepes is the second-most capped player on team Colombia. The center back participated in the side that won Copa América in 2001, and also helped lead the team to the quarterfinals of World Cup 2014.
Leonel Alvarez, 101
The 3rd most capped player for the Los Cafeteros with 101 appearances, defensive midfielder Leonel Álvarez played in two World Cups and five Copa América tournaments. He also scored the game-winning penalty for Atletico Nacional in what was the first Copa Libertadores victory for a Colombia Club team. He coached the national side for a year in 2011.
David Ospina, 92
The former Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina is on his way to 100 caps for the Colombian side. Having participated in the successful quarter-final finish at the 2014 World Cup where he allowed only four goals, he also went out early in the Round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup. While Ospina often makes the odd blunder, he’s also known to make remarkable saves.
Carlos Sánchez, 88
With 88 appearances, Carlos Sánchez is the fifth most capped player in Colombia footballing history. He solidified the defense that contributed to Colombia’s quarter-final success in World Cup 2014. He also participated in the 2015 Copa América and 2018 World Cup.
Freddy Rincon, 83
The all-purpose midfielder Freddy Rincon played an integral role in Colombia’s 3 World Cup appearances in the 1990s. With 84 caps and 17 goals, he scored the vital goal against Germany in the 1990 World Cup that pushed Colombia into the second round for its first time in history.
Radamel Falcao, 82
Despite pushing Colombia into the 2014 World Cup with nine team-leading goals, Radamel Falcao sat out the World Cup due to injury. The talented forward known to poach goals — he’s scored 31 strikes in 79 national outings — became Colombia’s top leading goal scoring during 2018 World Cup qualifications. He continues to light up Ligue 1 with 53 goals for Monaco to date.
Luis Carlos Perea, 82
The center back Luis Carlos Perea played 82 games over seven years for the Los Cafeteros, including two World Cups (1990 and 1994) and the 1993 Copa América where he scored his first Colombia goal.
Juan Cuadrado, 78
With 78 caps, midfielder and forward Juan Cuadrado helped Colombia achieve 5th place in the 2014 World Cup. In addition to the 2018 World Cup, he also played an essential role in reaching the quarterfinals of the 2011 and 2015 Copa América.
Ivan Cordoba, 73
Scoring the winning goal in the Copa América in 2001, the Colombian central defender and captain Iván Córdoba earned 73 caps across a five-year career which saw him play in a World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup, and two other Copa Americas. He also helped win 5 Serie A championships for his club Inter Milan, including 4 Italian League Cups, and a 2010 Champion League trophy.
Luis Amaranto Perea, 72
Playing defender for more than a decade with the Colombia national team, Luis Amaranto Perea achieved 72 caps. He featured in both the 2007 and 2011 Copa América tournaments.