Colombian National Team: Ten Months in the Néstor Lorenzo Era

The Argentine coach Néstor Lorenzo assumed the Colombian National Team after a positive balance in Melgar of Peru in terms of results. We tell you the balance of his performance.

Nestor Lawrence

Photo: FCF

LatinAmerican Post | Camilo Parra

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Leer en español: Selección Colombia: diez meses en la era Néstor Lorenzo

After the elimination of Colombia to the World Cup in Qatar, the Colombian Football Federation decided not to continue with the Reinaldo Rueda process and to look for a new technical director for the Senior National Team in view of the upcoming South American Qualifiers and the Copa América of the next year. After rumors that were going around in the national and international media about who was going to be chosen as the new coach of Colombia, the Colombian Federation officially presented Néstor Lorenzo at the Bogotá Sports Venue. This strategist is an old acquaintance, since he was a technical assistant in the Pekerman era.

"I hope to put Colombia at the top", was one of the phrases that resounded the most at the press conference where the new technical director of the national team was presented. In addition, Luis Amaranto Perea, a former player of the National Team and who as a coach led Leones and Junior in Colombian soccer, arrived with him as a technical assistant.

The Argentine coach's debut came in September 2022 in friendlies against Guatemala and Mexico. In this first call, he led 26 players, most of whom came from leading the elimination of Colombia to the last World Cup.

Some Data

Under Néstor Lorenzo's mandate, the Colombian National Team has played 6 friendly matches, of which they have won 4 and drawn 2. For now, the national team has not known defeat against the Argentine. For this balance, a total of 49 players have been called up for these preparation matches, of which none have repeated the call. It should be noted that the match against the United States was not on a FIFA date, so the usual footballers were not present.

The National Team in these friendly matches has scored a total of 13 goals and has only conceded 6 goals. In addition, in two games it managed to score a clean sheet, in the 2-0 win against Paraguay and in the goalless draw against the United States. 10 have been the players who have scored in the Lorenzo era. As a curiosity, the scorer is Luis Sinisterra, who was only present in the call for the matches against Guatemala and Mexico. The Leeds United winger has 3 goals, followed by James Rodríguez and Rafael Santos Borré with 2 goals. Dávinson Sánchez is the only defender who has scored a goal, he did it in the duel played against Paraguay.

The players who have had the most presence on the field are: Jhon Lucumí, Jorge Carrascal, Falcao García, Rafael Santos Borré and Jhon Jader Durán, who have played minutes in 5 of the 6 games. As a curiosity, only one defender is present on this list, while the others are footballers positioned on the attack front.

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In less than a year at the helm of the Colombian National Team, Néstor Lorenzo has given people something to talk about by calling up some players who have caused controversy among the fans and the press. Prior to the matches against Guatemala and Mexico, the national coach put the name of James Rodríguez on the list, a footballer who was not expected to attend these games because he was just coming out of an injury and had little continuity at his club, Olympiacos de Greece.

Due to the summons of James Rodríguez and before the questioning of the coach by the press, Lorenzo said at a press conference that "he noticed the player with a lot of commitment and giving himself fully to the team." Likewise, he referred to the fact that "there are players who give you more in 20 minutes than anyone else" , thus justifying the presence of the midfielder on that FIFA date.

Juan Fernando Quintero was another of the names that caused controversy, not because of his performance, but because he went to the last Asian tour injured, since it could have been filled by another player who was physically fit. When questioned about the issue of Junior's footballer, the national coach said that "the team's medical team and Junior spoke, a study was done, and it came out as if he had no injury and that's why he traveled."

However, prior to the game against Japan, he was decided to call off the midfielder due to injury. In a press conference, Néstor Lorenzo clarified the issue of Quintero and confirmed that "the medical staff of the Colombian National Team ordered him to do an MRI, and he developed bone edema."

New Players

One of the demands made by the national press after Colombia's elimination from the World Cup is the issue of the inclusion and departure of players. Even in his presentation as national coach, Néstor Lorenzo stated that “generational replacement fails when there are no results. You have to build trust, work hard and that way the boys are going to consolidate”.

With the Argentine coach, a total of 15 new players have been summoned and for the first time they were in a concentration prior to a match of the Senior Selection. These players are: Devis Vásquez, Juan David Mosquera, Alexis Pérez, Nicolás Hernández, Andrés Reyes, Junior Hernández, Dylan Borrero, Yilmar Velásquez, Daniel Cataño, Daniel Ruiz, Kevin Castaño, Nelson Palacio, Jhon Jader Durán, Diber Cambindo and Santiago Moreno.

Now Néstor Lorenzo must work so that the National Team arrives in optimal conditions at the start of the South American Qualifiers, which will begin next September against Venezuela and Chile. Although, before these matches, the Colombian Football Federation is working to play friendlies in June, the date on which they could face rivals such as the German National Team.

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