“El Pibe” the Eternal Captain of  the National Team


Carlos Alberto Valderrama Palacio most recognized as “el Pibe Valderrama” is an ex football player of Colombia, consider as one of the maximum exponents of the Colombian football and also of  South America. “El Pibe” was midfielders for very good technique that participate in different tournaments as the World Cups of Italia 1990, Unite States 1994 and France 1998. Valderrama is the first Colombian player of being in hall of fame of Football he was included by Pele in 2014, also Valderrama occupies the position 39 in the ranking of the Football Player of the Century. Valderrama also won awards like the Best Player of America two times one in 1987 and the other time in 1993, “El Pibe” won tournaments with his clubs he won two times The Colombian Championship with the Junior of Barranquilla and also he won the France Tournament with the Montpellier Herault SC. Valderrama also is the football player with the biggest amount of played matches with the National Selection.

Carlos Alberto Valderrama Palacio was born 2 of September in Santa Marta in the neighborhood Pescaito, is the son of Carlos Valderrama and of Juliana Palacio. “El Pibe” met the football in his neighborhood (Pescaito, Santa Marta), as his brothers Alan and Roland, his uncle Pablo and his father Carlos; all of them ex football players. Is in the school “Jhon F. Kennedy”, when he was in primary when he use his first football uniform, and then is in the “Liceo de Celedon” where he graduates in 1979, and it's also their where he takes the decision of been a professional football player. In 1981 “el Pibe” debuts in the first division of colombian football in the Union Magdalena, also in that year start his first year with the Colombia young selection.

After playing in Union Magdalena in 1981, in 1984 "el Pibe" went to Millonarios, team where no have figuration because the coach Jorge Luis Pinto doesn't let him play so much, and one year before in 1985 he was loaned to Deportivo Cali where he get recognized tanks for the due formed with Bernardo Redín getting the title of sub champion in the Colombian Tournament  of 1985 and 1986 and there was where Valderrama start getting recognition. In 1988 "el Pibe" was loaned to the Montpellier Herault SC of France where he won the France cup in 1990; but his firsts months in  the French team was very difficult despite he came to the French team with the title of the best player of America in 1987, the coach the French team Pierre Mosca doesn't give him many minutes in the field, and also some times the coach doesn't consider not even as a substitution, even some times the coach sent him to train with the team of third division. When Mosca let the time in hands of the coach Aime Jacquet he let Valderrama be in the bank as an substitute and he let he play in last minutes of the matches; when Jacquet was dismissed the new coach was Michel Mezzy that arrived in the in the team in 1991, Valderrama with this new coach was again holder and can show all his talent. In 1991 Valderrama is loaned to Real Valladolid of Spain where also was the Colombians Rene Higuita, Leonel Alvarez, and the coach Francisco Maturana, even that the team do a very poor campaign that season. In 1992 "el Pibe" return to Colombia, but this time to play with the Independiente Medellin, he play with the direction of the coach Julio Comesaña, even the team doesn't classify to the final Valderrama was the best player of that season. In 1993 Valderrama is loaned to the Atletico Junior of Barrranquilla as he last coach Julio Comesaña that was also loaned to the Atletico Junior of Barrranquilla; in this team "el Pibe" was the captain and also in this year was again recognized as the player of the year. 1995 Valderrama with his team again get the opportunity of been the champion of the Colombian Tournament. Finally in 1996 Valderrama go to United States and play with the Tampa Bay Mutiny (1996-97 and 2000-01), Miami Fusion (1998-99) and Colorado Rapids (2001-02). During his stage in United States Valderrama was being loaned to the Deportivo Cali in 1996. In the Colorado Rapids Valderrama retire from the professional football.

His first convocation to the national team was in 1985 for the matches to the classifications for the World Cup of 1986 that was in Mexico. In 1987 with the direction of Francisco Maturana, participates in American Cup of 1987 of Argentina, in this tournament Valderrama gets the title of best player of America. In 1988 Valderrama is part of the national team that travel to Europe to participate in the Cup Sir Stanley Rous with England and Scotland. In 1989 Valderrama play the American Cup celebrated in Brazil, where Colombia is being eliminated in the first round, and also in the same year Valderrama play with his selection the classifications  to the World Cup of 1990 that was in Italy, where the national team get qualified, but in this tournament Colombia get eliminated in the octaves of final, but during all the tournament "el Pibe" was recognized as the captain of the team and also as the eje of the team. In 1991 the national team get in charge of the coach Luis Augusto Garcia, participating in the America Cup of 1991 that was in Chile, getting the fourth place of this tournament. In 1993 again the national team was in the hands of Francisco Maturana, Valderrama was again part of the national team but this time to compete in the America Cup of 1993 that was played in Ecuador, the national selection this time get the third place in the tournament. In the classifications  to the World Cup of 1994 that was in the United States, Colombian classify for the tournament directly as the head of his group, this year Valderrama again was recognized as the best player of America. 1994 in the match against Sweden, the player Kennet Anderson hit Valderrama in his leg leaving it very affected, but Valderrama stand some more minutes in the field and get revenge against the Swedish player, consequently the referee show him the first red card in all his career with the national selection, finally Valderrama was expelled from the match with a injury in his leg, that leave him 53 days out of the fields. In 1995 Valderrama play his last America Cup, with the national selection directed by Hernan Dario Gomez in this occasion Colombia get the third place again. His last stage with the national team was in the classification of the World Cup of 1998 and in the World Cup of 1998 that was in France.

Although Valderrama last official match for the US league was on the team Colorado Rapids in September 2003, but only in February 1 of 2004 in Barrranquilla a match of tribute was held, and with this match Valderrama officially retire from the professional football. In the second half of the season of 2007, Valderrama accepted the direction and the technical assistance of the Junior of Barraquilla, making duet with Luis Grau in the direction of the team, both ex players and also ex championship of the Colombian Tournament with this team in the final decade of the twentieth century. In 2011 is confirm that "el Pibe" was going to play the Hexagonal of Olaya, the tournament most important of amateur football, that was played during December of 2011 and January of 2012 with the team Centenario - Kimo. In 2012 the International Olympic Committee chose him as one of the representatives to carry the Olympic Flame during the Olympic Games in London 2012. On January 7 of 2013 he was invited to the gala Golden Ball organized by the FIFA to give the Puskás Award for best goal of the year 2012. In July 30 of 2013 accepted the invitation of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia to train Indian football team of Colombia with technical assistance from Faustino Asprilla. In November 28 of 2013 announced his candidacy for the senate by the U Party for the elections of March of 2014.

2015 Carlos Hernandez