This Sunday the Colombian National Team plays. That is, if we are talking about a team that plays in yellow, blue and red and the emblem of the Colombian Football Federation on the chest. Now, which selection? One that we could call ‘experimental’.
At 6 in the afternoon, when the lights of the Roberto Meléndez stadium, the home of the National Team, are going out, after the first Colombian soccer final, a team led by Néstor Lorenzo will take to the field, just like the main team, but It has nothing to do with who is playing the tie.
They will face a Venezuelan under-23 team that, in turn, will be a rival, in January, of Héctor Cárdenas’ team that will seek a place at the Paris 2024 Olympics. It should be remembered that this match is not played on a Fifa date, for which there is no obligation for the players to provide. That duel will be seen by Caracol and RCN.
The rival’s decision to bring that team surprised even the Colombian coach himself: “They presented it to me as a match for senior teams, it is not a Fifa date and we had problems with the call,” Lorenzo told Blu Radio. “Checho (Batista) told me that he would have several older people too,” he added.
Only one of those called up has minutes in the tie
Of the 23 called up by Lorenzo, in three rounds, only one has had minutes with the main team in the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, goalkeeper Álvaro Montero. So the rest of the roster will try to please the coach to look for a possibility of being called up again, now, for an official match. They will have 180 minutes, those of this Sunday and those of Saturday the 16th, against Mexico, in Los Angeles.
This is not exactly a young team. There are several players over 30 years old on the roster, starting with David Ospina, the player with the most appearances in the history of the National Team, but who has not played an official match since January 14, almost 11 months.
➕”Very happy to be able to return to the national team, to be here, very happy with the results that have been achieved” David Ospina, goalkeeper of the Colombian National Team. pic.twitter.com/zXD5wPGp7q
— Win Sports TV (@WinSportsTV) December 10, 2023
Lorenzo, once again, wants to respect the trajectories. Already, on his first list after taking office, he called James Rodríguez without having a single minute on the court in almost six months.
Many of those called up have not even played a minute with the Senior National Team, including experienced players like Daniel Cataño (31 years old) and Mackalister Silva, who receives his first opportunity at the age of 37. He will fulfill them on December 13.
Macka hopes it won’t be the last. “One sees the dream as far away but not impossible, more than a message for the footballer it is for everyone, one cannot stop dreaming if one works and goes hand in hand with God, it is learning to understand his times. I explained to my eldest son, I believe, he never lost faith like in the family,” he said.
There are faces from the local environment, such as Jader Quiñones, Jimer Fory or Samuel Velásquez, and two bets of immigrants to Europe with the possibility of being called up, such as Ian Poveda, the same one from that controversy with Arturo Reyes’ youth teams and today with few minutes at Leeds United, or Devan Tanton, a full-back who was already in the under-20 and also plays in England.
It is a B team, almost close to C. What are these games for, with alternate teams? Everything will depend on how much Lorenzo gets out of these calls.
He already did the same in January, a friendly against the United States, in which he “discovered” Kevin Castaño, today a key player in the qualifiers. Several of the names from that party now return to the call: Llinás, Cataño, Ruiz, Mosquera, Cucho… They are all in line. They will arrive?
Jose Orlando Ascencio
Sports Deputy Editor
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