Champions League, Europa League, and Conference League are the three tournaments organized by UEFA, whose respective finals will have representatives from Colombia. Who are they about?.
Photos: IG-luissinisterra_11, IG-rafaelsantosborre, IG-luisdiaz19_
LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González
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Leer en español: Colombia presente en las tres finales de la UEFA
Until a few decades ago, it was unthinkable to say that Latin American soccer players would be an essential part for European clubs to reach the final of a tournament. Fortunately, all that has changed over the years and there is now more variety in terms of nationalities in UEFA competitions. In fact, for 2022 a particular country stands out that will have a presence in the decisive matches of the Champions League, Europa League, and Conference League: Colombia.
The three club tournaments organized by UEFA already have a place, date, and protagonists to liven up a final that promises to be unforgettable. On the one hand, the Champions League will see a clash between Real Madrid and Liverpool for the third time. For its part, the Europa League will see how Eintracht Frankfurt and Glasgow Rangers will seek to return to glory on the old continent. Finally, the Conference League will search between AS Roma and Feyenoord for its first champion in history. Who are the Colombian soccer players who will make history in 2022 and for what clubs?
At this point, so much presentation is not necessary for a player who is having more than a phenomenal situation. Lucho, as Luis Díaz is known, landed in Liverpool in January of this year and has adapted to the team in such a way that they make him a fundamental piece in Jürgen Klopp's approaches. At this point, it is important to highlight that during the second leg semifinals against Villarreal, the Colombian came on as a replacement to revolutionize a complicated match, even scoring a goal that settled the series.
Prior to the Champions League final against Real Madrid, Colombia's current best player played all six knockout phase matches. Against Inter Milan he started from the bench and between both matches he played 38 minutes. Likewise, against Benfica he was decisive in the first leg with goals and assists, totaling 156 minutes on the pitch. Finally, against Villarreal, he also had his share of prominence and played for 126 minutes with an important goal in the second leg.
Rafael Santos Borré
The football attacker of the Colombian National Team has a range of talented players, and one of them is the Barranquilla player. Since this season he has played for Eintracht Frankfurt and hopes to be able to establish himself definitively in Europe, something that he did not achieve during his internship at Villarreal in 2016. However, the positive thing about this is that Santos Borré comes with a very high level after his great performances in River Plate and is ready to win another trophy.
Glasgow Rangers will be the last rival to beat, but it is worth mentioning that the road to this UEFA Europa League for the Germans was not easy. The Colombian striker started all 12 games to face Fenerbahce, Royal Antwerp, Olympiakos, Real Betis, FC Barcelona, and West Ham. In the semi-final bracket he was more than decisive, giving an assist in the first leg and scoring the only goal in the second leg.
He is barely 25 years old, but the one born in a town called Cereté has been playing European football since 2016. After his arrival at Glasgow Rangers he has done nothing but explode and for a reason he is one of the team's leading forwards. In 2021 he won the Scottish Premiership and this year he seeks to consolidate his career with a more prestigious title such as the UEFA Europa League. However, across the street will be his compatriot Rafael Santos Borré at Eintracht Frankfurt. In this final the real winner will be, without a doubt, Colombia.
Although Morelos has been important for the team in a said tournament, this 2022 has not been what he expected. He has only played 9 games, all of them as starters, scoring 4 goals, and giving an assist. However, due to a muscle injury, he was unable to be present with the club in either the quarter-finals or the semi-finals against Braga and RB Leipzig, respectively.
Others of the many young people who proudly represent Colombia in the old continent. The Santander de Quilichao native made the jump from Once Caldas to Feyenoord in 2018 and already has a Dutch Super Cup under his belt. Now, everything points to the nascent UEFA Conference League that will have its first champion in history, and for this, the left-winger will face a Roma led by an elite coach like José Mourinho.
At just 22 years old, Sinisterra has put the team on his shoulder in this competition where he started in 11 of the 12 games. Maccabi Haifa, Slavia Prague, Union Berlin, Partizán Belgrade, and Olympique Marseille tested the Colombian's talent, especially the French team in the semifinals where he was key to sealing the pass to the final. In total, he has played 976 minutes with 6 goals and 4 assists.