The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner the most watched tournament in sports football’s Cathedral something that we all look forward to as we head down to Russia for the biggest party in the world. 32 teams 8 groups and a month of football in magic. Colombia comes into this tournament hoping to recreate what they did in 2014 making only their second quarter finals as they proved to be one of the surprises in Brazil four years ago. A team that was led by James Rodriguez the now Bayern Munich midfielder led the tournament with six goals including arguably the goal of the World Cup. His Colombia side ended up falling just short in the quarterfinals against Brazil but ended up being one of the feel-good stories of the tournament. The Colombians are looking to improve on that and take it just one step further proving that what they did in 2014 was no fluke and that they can repeat that same Magic that they showed the world 4 years ago in Brazil. Here everything you need to know about this Columbia team prior to the 2018 World Cup that kicks off in June
Probable Formations: 4-4-2
GK: David Ospina
DEF: Santiago Arias, Davidson Sanchez, Cristian Zapata, Yerry Mila
MID: James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado,Edwin Cardona,Carlos Sanchez
Strikers: Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao
Team Rating: 8
Goalkeeper Rating: 5
David Ospina Colombia number one keeper and Arsenal’s backup shot stopper it’s probably the second best goalkeeper in their group. He’s capable of putting in some really great performances but I believe this is not one of Colombia strong areas there is some cause for concern here. The fact that he is not playing week in and week out is a little bit worrisome. Petr Cech has been pretty abysmal this season and given that fact David ospina still has been unable to take over the starting job at Arsenal is not a good sign. We have seen Cech make mistake after mistake after mistake and he continues to be second choice. While he has played at 21 games this season here’s only played 4 League games I just think he has not been in the net long enough this season. He will without a doubt be the starting goalkeeper for a Colombia in Russia and when in the Columbian shirt he has done quite well so it’s entirely possible that he will have a great World Cup but given the lack of playing time I just don’t trust him and this competition he’s a good goalkeeper but he’s not going to wow you in this tournament.Columbia might go on a deep Run in Russia but it wont be because of David Ospina.
•Defense Rating: 9
Colombia in recent years has had some really strong defenses this year will be no different. They aren’t as strong as they were during the 2014 World Cup after losing some key pieces to their back line. With the retirement of Mario Alberto Yeps as well as seeing some of the better Colombian Defenders from the 2014 World Cup fall out of their Prime as a new age of Defenders has come through over the last few years. With youngsters such as Barcelona Center back Yerry Mina and Tottenham Hotspur Center back Davidson Sanchez who has been a revelation for Spurs back line this season. This defense also includes Oscar Murillo Stefan Medina from the Mexican League as well as Cristian Zapata from AC Milan who willl be looking to use this tournament as a springboard. As well as several others but this group is led by Santiago Arias who is developed into a superstar at PSV Eindhoven who added a third league title in Holland. Not only that but he was named player of the year having assisted six goals scoring three holding an 82% passing accuracy and winning 134 take-ons on his way to becoming the best player in the league as well as being featured in the team of the season one of the best defenders in Euope this seaosn. Make no mistake about it he is the leader and Colombia’s most vital weapon defensively but also has the ability to help in the attacking sense as well. I believe in this unit and with the leadership from Santiago together they can create a security blanket in front of the Colombian the goalkeepers job a lot easier. With Santaigo Arias and Davidson Sanchez as well as a young Yerry Mila their unit can hang with anyone I think this is one of the best defenses in the World Cup this summer.
Midfield rating: 7
The Columbian Midfield is surrounded by two players James Rodriguez of Bayern Munich and Juan Cuadrado of Juventus. To a certain extent it is Cuadrado and Rodriguez then everyone else. These two are the most important part of the Columbian Midfield without them they are not the same team without them. James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado know how to win both players won League titles this season with Bayern Munich and Juventus respectively as well as making deep runs in the Champions League this season. They will be greatly important not only for individual performances but for leadership these two guys know what it takes to win games they played against some of the biggest teams in the something the rest of the Colombian Midfield cant relate to so their ability to lead will be greatly important on how they perform in the center of the park. James Rodriguez last time out was the World’s Cup best player having scored 6 goals in 2014 if he is able to replicate what he did in Brazil this Midfield could be very dangerous. What I see with this Midfield is a strong Center midfielder with a lot of pace coming on both sides.Juan Cuadrado And James Rodriguez are the most important players and are the biggest stars on this team. However Colombia have some pretty good other options at Midfield. Edwin Cardona from Monterey is it capable midfielder who on his day could be very dangerous as well as Brighton Hove Albion’s Jose Izquierdo who has been excellent this season in his first year in the Premier League playing a major role and Brighton’s ability to stay up this season. As well as a rising star in Jefferson Lerma of Levante the 23 year old has started to show his promise in La Liga and could arrive during this world cup. Columbia nmidfild is very strong they aren’t the best but they have two stars so if James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado can stay healthy and play well they could do some damage in Russia especially will be important in feeding the Columbian attack. I don’t think I can go higher then 7 because this midfield is really dependent on Rodgriez and Curaurdo but they are very strong none the less.
Attack Rating: Attacking rating: 9
The Columbia attack is without a doubt their greatest their greatest asset. The 6 Strikers that are getting on the plane to Russia have combined for 87 goals this season. I’m not suggesting that they are the best in the tournament but they are one of the best without a doubt. I’m not saying they’re going to go on and win the World Cup but their attack is as good as anyone at least on paper they will have to go out and deliver but they have the weapons up front to get goals and I don’t believe that will be a problem during this tournament for Colombia. With the likes of Radamel Falcao who is the country’s all-time leading scorer with 29 goals The Monaco Striker found the back of the net 24 times this season which is not bad for a 32 year old. He will be ready and will bring his shooting boots to Russia. That is just one option you look at Carlos Bacca who spent the year on-loan at Villarreal finding the back of the net 18 times in all competitions. Also in his thirties but has proven year in and year out that he can find the back of the neck. Then another option A guy that I’m very familiar with Duvan Zapata who scored 11 goals for sampdoria on loan from Napoli. He is extremely dangerous from long range then Lucas Muriel from Sevilla who scored 9 goals this season and the other two Strikers from the South American region also capable goal scorers. I have no doubt that this team will score goals that is their biggest asset to this team. If this attack get service they will score a frequently and often. It doesn’t matter what formation they run or how many Strikers they play with they will have multiple guys who can score goals in the lineup and Off the Bench. This Strike force is terrifying they may not have the names that will jump off the page but they have goals in them all of them. Falcao will be leading this line but the goals can come from 6 different places which makes them extremely dangerous on all accounts if they can be clinical in this tournament they could go undefeated in the group that’s how lethal this group is on paper. One of the best attacks in the tournament. Easily the best attack in their group no one is even on their level in terms of what they can bring forward. Because of this it will give them a massive advantage when The Knockout stage arrives. This is partly why people are making the argument that this is a dark horse team that can go the distance their attack is just that good that’s easier said than done but they have the weapons up front to cause massive problems.
•Overall Rating: 8
Past Record in WC
Quarterfinals 2014,Group Stage: 1962,1994,1994,Round Of 16: 1990
Recent Form DWLDD
Columbia’s manager is Jose Pekerman he has been in charge 2012. Since he took over he continues to push this Colombia team forward.. obviously did well with this team during the last World Cup in Brazil as well as taking this team to the Copa America semi finals just a few years ago. I think he’s actually a very good coach he took a Colombia team that wasn’t expected to do much to the next level making the quarterfinals last turn. He did not do as well as he would have liked in qualifying as Columbia finished third in the group I believe behind Uruguay and Brazil. Given their talent and who they have to their disposal Colombia should have done a lot better than they did it during the qualifying stages. However now that they have qualified in the World Cup I believe he can get into his element and take this team to distance. I’m not saying he’s the best coach of the World Cup but he certainly has what it takes to take this team to the next level. Tactically speaking I don’t always necessarily agree with what he does in his formations. Sometimes he likes to play with one Striker which I disagree with but overall he knows how to win. France is one of the favorites to win the World Cup his Colombia team went from two goals down in France to beat them in an International Friendly. Friendly’s don’t really count but it still was amazing to see the fight his team had. His players are ready to fight for him in Russia and I know he will be ready and have some tricks up his sleeve for what lies ahead
During the 2014 World Cup Colombia put together their best ever tournament making the quarterfinals as they took the World by storm as one of the surprise packages in Brazil. While Colombia are not considered one of the favorites I believe they find themselves in a position to repeat what they did for years ago in Brazil. I see them as a dark horse a team that again could make the quarter-finals. Colombia has lost some players from that team but they’ve gained several as well not to mention some of their big stars have matured into bigger players and then they were four years ago. This team is Led by James Rodriguez a player that lit up the World Cup last time around despite just eight goals for Bayern Munich he’s been instrumental in their Midfield and played a big role and Bayern Munich getting into the semi final of the Champions League. Since his last World Cup he’s won two champions leagues and a league title of Real Madrid before making his move to Germany. This Colombian team also more star power with Juan Cuadrado who has won 3 scudetto and been to two Champions League finals with Juventus since the 2014 World Cup. Not to mention Falcao has finally found form again as this team could once again be one of the surprises. However I would not consider it a surprise if they go on a deep run in this tournament. I believe the world knows what they’re able to do when at their best. They have been grouped with Poland South Korea and Senegal I fully expect them to finish top of their group probably winning all three games. I believe this team will get back to the quarter finals. Colombia do have some issues just like anyone else they’re definitely not the favorites but they have everything they need to pull off a Deep Run once again they have the players to pull this off again I’m not sure that they can push further than the quarterfinals but a quarter finals appearance in back-to-back World Cups would be excellent for the development of Colombian football. I think they certainly have what it takes to do it again this is the Dark Horse of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Columbia vs Japan June 19th 3:00PM Mordovia Arena
Columbia vs Poland June 24th 7:00PM Kazan Arena
Columbia vs Senegal June 28th 3:00PM Samara Arena