Valderrama Picks his Successor
Carlos Valderrama is still a cult hero in his native Colombia (for good reason), but even he has come out singing the praises of a new 20 year old midfielder, who he believes can take his place in the nation’s hearts.
Valderrama sprung to global fame because of his performances at the Italia 90 and USA 94 world Cup tournaments, when Colombia managed to get further than many commentators expected them to – most notably due to the creative and unpredictable play by Carlos! Whilst the team have struggled to make much impact on the international scene since, the man himself believes that they are slwoly getting a team together who have a realistic chance of winning tournaments, and in James Rodriguez they have a player who can give them the creative spark they need.
“Colombia do not need an ‘El Pibe’ anymore – they have James Rodriguez!” said Carlos. “He is doing very well in the midfield position, and could help lead us to glory in the future. It is early days, and we have to support him because he is motivated and he needs support. We have some player here!”
As well as seeing similarities between himself and Rodriguez, Carlos also believes that the team he played in and the current Colombian national side are very similar. “Both teams are very similar. They [the current team] still lack some playing time together, but they are on the right track. We had over 20 games together as a unit before Italia 90, so hopefully by the time Brazil 2014 comes around, we will have a real team, with a great chance.”