Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fantasy Football Rankings?

Can coach Jose Pekerman, an Argentinian,
bring back Colombia's glory days?
Barring collapse, Colombia will soon qualify for a direct spot in next year's Football World Cup - for the first time since 1998.

Colombia might just possibly be entering into another period of football glory, similar but healthier than the cocaine cartel-financed 1990s, when Colombia was one of the sport's giants. As a populous, soccer-crazy nation, Colombia has every right to rival Italy, Spain and Argentina.

But is Colombia there already? I don't think so, despite the national team's number five place in the FIFA's world rankings.

Does anybody really believe that Colombia is better than soccer monster Brazil, which has won five
Can it really be? FIFA ranks
 Colombia above Brazil!
world cups? Or perennial contender Netherlands? What about the United States, which looks to qualify easily this year? And is Colombia really better than every single African national team? After all, this is a team which just a few weeks ago lost to laggard Venezuela.

Colombians should be proud of their team's imminent qualifying (but without forgetting that education, health care, peace, child nutrition and many other things are more important than sports), but without being overconfident. One day, perhaps, Colombia will return to world football royalty.

We'll know a bit more after tomorrow's match against Chile in Barranquilla.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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