Gabriel Meluk analyzes the call for the Colombian National Team, 2026 World Cup qualifier – International Soccer – Sports

The list of 26 players of the Colombian National Team for the beginning of the qualifying round came out, next week against Venezuela in Barranquilla, and on Tuesday from above against Chile, in Santiago.

The big surprise of the call is Santiago Arias, the right-back who just broke his knee facing Venezuela at the beginning of the last tie, on October 10, 2020… Néstor Lorenzo, the coach, who knows him from his Pékerman’s assistant time, brings him back supported by the fact that he plays for Cincinnati, leader of MLS soccer.

(What are the 5 ‘sticks’ of Lorenzo’s Colombian National Team call-up?)
(Nelson Abadía breaks his silence after leaving the National Team: “I did not negotiate discipline”)

And with him, the call of the first-timers Richard Ríos (23-year-old midfielder for Palmeiras of Brazil) and Jhon Córdoba (30-year-old striker – he’s not a pelao – for Russian Krasnodar) completes the surprise shortlist of summoned. And the only notable absence from the list is midfielder Kevin Castaño (Mexican Cruz Azul) for the sole reason of being Lorenzo’s firm and hard bet during preparation. For nothing else.

Néstor Lorenzo, DT of the Colombian National Team.


Alexander Matias. Kronos Agency

Of the rest, and in general lines, there are those that were expected, including James Rodríguez, Juan Fernando Quintero, Yerry Mina and Santos Borré.

The reality is not the opinion. Not what is desired. Lorenzo’s reality has been his calls, his facts. And Lorenzo has called this team with James and Mina, with Cuadrado and Quintero, with Dávinson and Borré. Even with Falcao.

A few weeks ago we published on these pages a statistical analysis that revealed that the much-vaunted “renewal” of the team, clamored for by broad sectors of critics and fans, amidst the bitterness and pain of elimination from the World Cup in Qatar, was from order of 35 percent in Lorenzo’s undefeated team that achieved six wins and two draws in the year of preparation it had.

Today, that team is the same one that is going to start the tie, with a renewal of the same order (34.6 percent, nine players), to put a number. And, be careful: a change of players of that magnitude is not minor.

Luis Díaz, this Sunday, in Liverpool.


Screenshot. EFE

It is hardly obvious that the call-up responds to the friendly preparation matches, to Lorenzo’s well-known taste and to the confidence he has in the players he has known for years and that, let’s be honest, it is what we have in the long run. It is that he could not be otherwise!

Giving howls and shrieks with an astonished face today is to deny the facts that are in plain sight and to believe that reality is opinion.

Look: Colombia comes from beating Germany for the first time, the second world soccer power, in the last test match, and Vargas, Muñoz, Mina, Uribe, Lerma, Cuadrado, Borré and Díaz were the starters: 8 out of 11! !

Asking Lorenzo not to call those he has called to start the tie, since he is pure gadejo, is to create false expectations.

If the Colombian National Team has been quacking like a duck for a year, walking like a duck and swimming like a duck, then you couldn’t expect a goose to appear today.
What did they expect?
Many, a chicken…

Gabriel Meluk
Sports editor of EL TIEMPO

2023-09-01 05:00:00
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