When it comes to Colombia, the most famous and popular sport there is soccer. In fact, the South American country’s national soccer team has become a symbol of passion and nationalism for many Colombians, the sport being a source of pride for them.
As you would expect, Colombia has created a whole range of brilliant soccer stars as a result. Across various decades, there have been countless great Colombian soccer players, all contributing to the country’s rich history.
However, who are the best Colombian soccer players? There are so many to pick from that it can be difficult to narrow it down.
Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you! In our fun article below, we’ve got a list of the best Colombian soccer players, with information on what makes them so great. Read on!
Best Colombian Soccer Players
1. Faustino Asprilla
We’re starting our list off with Asprilla, one of the best and most notable players in Colombia’s history.
This is especially clear when you look at his range of skills on the pitch. Asprilla was able to play as many different roles, making him an incredibly useful and versatile player: striker, forward, center-forward, midfielder, and second striker.
Couple this with his agility and pace, and he was a key part of Colombia’s teams.
Better yet, Tino Asprilla played for Colombia in both the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups. Even if the 1994 event didn’t go so well, he’s still a strong part of the nation’s pride for soccer.
2. René Higuita
It’s always important to include goalkeepers on these kinds of lists, because they can easily be overlooked when compared to the players running up and down the pitch.
René Higuita is one of the most important goalkeepers in Colombia’s soccer history, especially because of his impressive record for being one of the highest-scoring goalkeepers in the sport’s history – with 41 goals!
These goals have helped to cement his reputation for making goalkeepers take on more responsibility during games, influencing them not just to keep near the goal but really try to help situations that are happening away from their area.
3. Carlos Valderrama
Carlos Valderrama is one of the most famous Colombian soccer players of all time – and is regarded as one of the very best too. While part of his fame admittedly comes down to his distinctive blond, curly hairstyle, there’s obviously a whole lot of talent beneath the golden locks.
Also known as “The Kid” (El Pibe), he was at his highest fame in the 1980s and 1990s, with him representing Colombia in three different FIFA World Cups in the 90s alone – as well as five Copa América tournaments.
4. Fredy Rincón
Though he’s sadly now passed away, Freddy Rincón had one of the most renowned careers in Colombian soccer history. He was multitalented, too, able to play as an attacking midfielder, a center, or on the left.
His strength and skills really helped him to achieve great things on the pitch, and he played for the national team for 11 years.
5. Radamel Falcao
We’re only looked at historical players so far, but Radamel Falcao is a current professional player from Colombia. Despite being only recent, though, he is already regarded as one of the greatest Colombian soccer stars of all time, especially thanks to his astonishing abilities as a striker.
How astonishing? Well, he has a strength that allows him to make extremely powerful and accurate shots, regardless of his position on the pitch. As it stands currently, he has scored 35 international goals across 101 matches.
6. Mario Yepes
Starting his proper career back in 1999, Yepes has established a great name for himself, being regarded as one of the best soccer players (see also: Best Brazilian Soccer Players)in Colombian history. Though he’s now a manager, he had an impressive career as a center-back.
What’s especially unique about Yepes is that he covers two different key periods, being part of the late 90s/early 2000s golden Colombian generations as well as their present golden batch.
Yepes played 102 matches for Colombia’s national team, which has given him the title of the second-most capped Colombian player ever.
7. James Rodríguez
When starting out, James Rodríquez was considered not only one of the best young players in Colombia, but the world. This was down to his wide range of skills on the pitch, with him excelling at roles of winger, central midfielder, and playmaker.
The reason he does so well in these diverse positions is thanks to his vision and pace, allowing him to make perfect chances for his teammates.
When Rodríguez was transferred to Real Madrid in 2014, he was the most expensive Colombian football player ever – which just shows his talents and fame!
8. Leonel Álvarez
One of the best players in Colombia’s history, Leonel Álvarez started his career in 1983 and played until 2004. In 2011, he even coached Colombia’s national team!
It’s fair to say that he’s made a massive mark on Colombia’s soccer history, especially since he played 101 times for that national team between 1985 and 1997.
9. Óscar Córdoba
Another famous Colombian goalkeeper, Córdoba has gone down as one of the greats when it comes to the country’s history of soccer. His career spanned from 1988 to 2009, putting in decades of hard work and success.
When it comes to Colombia’s national team, he played for them in more than 70 games, which made him the most capped goalkeeper in Colombia;s international soccer history.
10. Ivan René Valenciano
We’re finishing our list with Valenciano, one of the most renowned Colombian soccer players ever(see also: Best American Soccer Players Ever). In fact, when it comes to the country’s Primera A league, he has scored the second-highest amount of goals ever, with an incredibly impressive 217 to his name.
His career was so impactful that, when he was retiring, a testimonial friendly match was put on for him.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Colombia, and the country has produced loads of fantastic players as a result – in all types of positions.