World Cup 2018: 5 key players for Colombia
The Los Cafaretos have a squad filled with youth and experience at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Being a tricky side to play against, they will be eager to prove that their 5th placed finish in the 2014 edition was no one-time wonder.
Their past performances in World Cups, except for the 2014 edition, have not been great. They are not considered to be world beaters but have already proved their mettle against some of the top sides. They lost against hosts Brazil 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup where James Rodriguez took the world's biggest stage by storm, scoring 6 goals in 5 games, winning the Golden Boot.
This time around, they will be favorites to top Group H that features the likes of Poland, Senegal and Japan.
Colombia will look to better their quarter-final run in the 2014 World Cup which is the best ever in the nation's history. On their day, they have the ability to beat the best nations on the world's biggest stage but if they are to do so, these 5 key players will be pivotal for them:
#5 David Ospina
The 29-year-old shot-stopper, David Ospina was a constant figure in goal for Colombia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup where he conceded just 4 goals, the fewest in the tournament. His fantastic exploits at the World Cup earned him a move to EPL side Arsenal.
His playing career at Arsenal hasn't reached the heights he would have hoped for, playing second-fiddle most of the time to veteran Petr Cech. In the 2017-18 season too, Petr Cech was the preferred option to play in the league with Ospina playing in just the cup competitions. He did, however, have a number of good displays in the Europa League for Arsenal as they reached the semi-finals.
As Arsenal look more and more likely to sign a goalkeeper this summer, Ospina will be eager to prove to his critics that he can still play at the highest level. An assuring performance at the World Cup will be vital for the Colombian if he is to seal a move to one of the top sides in the world as he reaches the twilight of his career. With complete confidence from coach Pekerman, a starting spot won't be hard to come by for the Colombian at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.