Colombia football team

Love for the Colombian football team transcends sport


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Bogotá, COLOMBIA – One of my earliest memories of being involved in the excitement around the Colombian national soccer team was during my 4th year game when at the end they made us shout in chorus, ” ¡Era gol de Yepes! ” or in English, “It was Yepes’ Gol!”

At the time, I had no idea what that meant, but that didn’t stop me from being excited to scream it out at the top of my lungs with 60 other kids.

Over the following years, I continued to hear this phrase, and to this day it is still mentioned when you mention Colombia and the 2014 World Cup.

In the most important game in the country’s history, the team had reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time and would face their biggest threat yet: Brazil.

In the 63rd minute, when Brazil won 1-0, Mario Alberto Yepes scored the goal that would have tied the game, but seconds later it was called off. After this happened, everyone argued that it should have mattered. People are still debating it today.

Even though we lost, screaming this line after it happened is one of my fondest memories and my first contact with the world of the Colombian team.

With fans motivated enough to create a slogan the whole country can remember, and mean enough to keep complaining about a game that went seven years ago in every clear season.

It’s such a popular phrase that Netflix has used it to promote the “Cobra Kai” TV show in Colombia.

With the American Cup underway as well as the 2022 World Cup qualifiers underway, my thoughts are once again filled with the Colombian national team.

In the midst of a time of division, it’s a reminder that we may not agree with each other but this small representation of Colombian identity still holds us together.

I have never been a football fan and I don’t understand half of the terms they use during the game.

If you ask me in the middle of it, “What’s going on? “, The answer will probably be:” I have absolutely no idea. “

Likewise, I have never been a patriotic person, always up to criticizing my homeland.

But, while watching the game alongside my neighbors and friends, being filled with the excitement of waiting for the outcome, you don’t have to be an expert or an overwhelming patriot. It’s just hoping that where you grew up has a chance in the game that everyone still cares.

We are certainly not the best team, nor the one with the most chances of winning. Even with these chances, there is still hope that right now with the America’s Cup and Qatar Qualifiers, there is a chance that they will succeed.

Today we will face Brazil. As we walk in we know we are going to lose, but even with that in mind there is still hope that a miracle will happen, even though the logical part of our brain says it will never happen.

Because if there is one thing that unites this country more than anything, it is the Colombian football team. This is the place that still repeats a slogan – That was Yepes’ goal – seven years after it happened, and still remembers the small victories even though everyone has already forgotten.

So, in this football season, the flags will come out with the old shirt that should probably be replaced, all in support of the Colombian national team playing miles away.

We’ll be watching every step of the way, stressing out during a game, and celebrating the highs while complaining about the lows.

Ana Fadul is a journalist at Youth Journalism International.

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