For the second time in a row, Colombia has failed to qualify to the World Cup. In the last round Colombia beat Paraguay 1-0, but Uruguay won their game against Argentina 1-0 as well.
At the end Uruguay made 25 points and Colombia 24.
It is very sad that a very talented generation of Colombian soccer players will never go to a World Cup, because in 4 years they are going to be too old for it. They are Mario Alberto Yepes, Ivan Ramiro CÃ³rdoba, Juan Pablo Angel and Miguel Calero.
Luis Amaranto Perea is the only one that is still young enough, and has lots of talent to remain in the team.
The rest are mediocre players with lack of talent and gutts.
For the future I would suggest:
1. Hire a foreign coach.
Every time a Colombian coach is elected, someone is unhappy. They start talking about how a coach likes players from some regions better than others. Colombian coaches tend to use players that use to play for teams they coach in the past. I think it is logical that you use players that you know well enough, but coaches that do this fail to use other players that they might not know that well, but that maybe are in better shape. A foreign coach won’t know players that well, won’t prefer players from a particular region, won’t feel bad about not using a player that used to be very talented but that is going through a bad period. A foreign coach will make colder decisions, thinking with his head and not his heart.
2. Start with a base of young players
Colombia needs to start using a base of young players in every tournament they get chance to play. It doesn’t matter if Colombia sends an inexperienced team to the next Copa America (2007) and if they don’t do very well. The important thing is to build a good team for the next World Cup qualifiers. I would even consider keeping a couple of experienced players, as a role model for the young ones.
Colombia has done very well in recent tournaments for young players. We need to start using those players to build the national team.
3. Barranquilla is not “la casa de la selecciÃ³n” anymore
Only 25.000 people went to see the game Colombia vs Chile. That is pathetic. The national team needs to play in cities where you can get 50.000 people supporting the team. I think only BogotÃ¡, MedellÃn or Cali are up for the challenge. They said that Barranquilla’s hot weather is an advantage for us. I think it is only an advantage for players that are use to play in the heat. But 90% of the national team is not used to this weather, so what’s the point?
Why instead of playing under difficult conditions of weather (Barranquilla) or altitude (BogotÃ¡), not play under pleasant conditions like in MedellÃn?
4. Learn from other teams
Ecuador is going to its second World Cup in a row. They have talented players but I still think that Colombian players are better. However Ecuatorian players truly “sweat their jersey”. They put their hearts and souls in the soccer field. They play like warriors.
Just like Panama did in the last Gold Cup when they beat Colombia two times.
5. Desperate measures
Well, if none of the above work, we can always let Panama conquest back Colombia. That way we’ll make part of CONCACAF… although I’m not even sure if we could qualify playing there!
Or we could reunite “Gran Colombia” (Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia).
Just a little bit of humor in this sad day for Colombian soccer fans.