Women’s World Cup 2023 squad guides part 29: Colombia | Women’s World Cup 2023: Guardian Expert Network

JThis article is part of The Guardian’s Women’s World Cup 2023 Expert Network, a cooperation between some of the top media organizations in the 32 qualifying countries. theguardian.com is streaming daily previews from two countries ahead of the tournament, which begins on July 20.


True to the style of football associated with Colombia, Nelson Abadía’s side seek to incorporate a tiki-taka style, often combined in 5-2-2-1 or 4-2-3-1, which relies on rhythm on the flanks. to create a hazard. Colombia ascended to the World Cup by stringing together five consecutive victories in the Copa América played on home soil last year, including a semi-final win over Argentina, to reach the final in Bucaramanga and book their ticket to the World Cup. In front of a sold-out crowd and with millions more tuned in at home, Colombia then gave Brazil their first real test of the tournament before wilting late in the game. The one-goal loss was seen as a major step forward for Colombia against a team that has long dominated the continent. it was their eighth of nine South American titles contested since 1991.

The Colombian shirt
The Colombian jersey. Photo: FIFA/Getty Images

However, despite capturing the nation’s attention and despite all of his brilliant short passing and quick movement game, the coach has yet to be able to address a fundamental flaw that could prevent them from winning. reach the next level. While Colombia are often easy on the eyes, they are debauched in front of goal and their decision-making at crucial moments is often questionable. This anxiety in the final third may prove to be their undoing.

Nonetheless, it’s still an exciting mix of young talent, such as Real Madrid’s Linda Caicedo, alongside the vast experience of players such as leading midfielder Daniela Montoya and the all-time leading goalscorer. , Catalina Usme. United by strong personalities, bold ideas and sprinkled with an abundance of tricks and skills, a style of play has been forged that reflects the raw, unbridled football that many of these players first discovered while playing on the many dusty, rock-strewn terrains across the country.

“Our strategy started with finding an identity and a style consistent with the idiosyncrasy of our country – about what our football is. This has now propelled Colombia into an important position,” Abadia told El Espectador last year.

Their preparations for the tournament were overshadowed by the fallout from a friendly against the Republic of Ireland, which was abandoned after 20 minutes after the Europeans claimed the match had become “too physical”. Colombia said Ireland had “preferred not to continue playing” and defended their players’ style of play. “Although all processes and the formation of our teams are framed by the rules of the game, healthy competition and fair play, among others, we respect the decision of our rival team,” read a statement from the federation.