Final Report – Colombians in Europe 2016/17 (Part I)


The 2016/17 season has come to an end with several Colombian players who managed to succeed in their teams and be a major part of it. Falcao, Cuadrado, James and Davinson Sanchez were the ones above the others, now it’s time to see what everyone did this season:

Spain sp-t

James Rodriguez – He was maybe the most controversial player in Real Madrid. While part of the fans thought that he didn’t get enough chances from coach Zidane, others thought that James is simply didn’t take advantage the chance to be a starter in Real and think that Isco is a better option. But the numbers of James tell another story: While he played less then most of Real’s squad, he was the most productive midfielder in the team and finished with 11 goals and 13 assists in all competitions. In my own opinion, Zidane insisted too much on his regular players, even though most of the team didn’t play well along the season. But you cannot argue with results and as long as Real won, James got lost. During the season it was pretty clear that he won’t continue in the team, now Real needs to find a club that will pay 70M for James. He was linked with Manchester United, PSG, Milan and Chelsea among others but we will have to wait for the transfer window and see. It takes a miracle to keep James in Real for another year, at least as long as Zidane there. So it wasn’t his best year in personal, despite the good numbers, but at least he managed to win trophies for his resume like first La Liga championship since 2012, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Clubs World Cup and in few days he will play (or not) in the UEFA Champions League final vs. Juventus. Grade – 7

Real Madrid CF v Legia Warszawa - UEFA Champions League

James Rodriguez. Should’ve play much more this season

Daniel Torres – Made his debut year in Europe with Deportivo Alaves. Since his successful season in Colombia, he is an integral part of the national team which made Alaves to purchase him for 4 years. In general he played 26 games this season in all competitions (21 league games) and was a starter in most of them. He did a good job despite didn’t score a single goal but let’s not forget that he is a defensive midfielder in a small club who fights to survive the league. For a debut season, he was good and the latest rumors linked him with a move to the Italian Serie A. Grade – 6.5

Marlos Moreno – The most talented Colombian youngster who promised so much, didn’t adapt so good in the Spanish club, Deportivo La Coruña. 20-year-old Marlos had a brilliant campaign with Atletico Nacional during the 2015 Finalizacion tournament and was a big part of the team who won the 2016 Copa Libertadortes. Therefore, Manchester Cuity decided to buy him for 10M and loaned him to La Coruña. Marlos did get his chances at first and from time to time showed his great potential, but overall it wasn’t a good season for him and you could see that he is find it difficult to adjust new country, new culture, new football. So it wasn’t a good experience for him but let’s not forget that he is only 20 years old. His future is unclear now, most likely that he won’t stay in La Coruña but he shouldn’t return to South America, but to find a different team and/or league to be loaned to and maybe find his place there. He will have to remain patient and work hard. He has what it takes to succeed in Europe. Overall he played 19 league games and 4 cup games, didn’t find the net. Grade – 3


Marlos Moreno. Difficult adaption in his debut year

Johan Mojica – The left winger who was bought by Rayo Vallacano and loaned to Real Valladolid, couldn’t manage to get the chances that he had while playing in the second division two years ago. Mojica played only 7 games with Valladolid and on January 31th 2017 was loaned to Girona where he played another 7 matches. so total of 14 matches and 0 goals, he may have to recalculate his future. Just to remind you that he played and scored during the 0-6 of Colombia on Bahrain in a friendly two years ago but he doesn’t seem like he will return to the yellow jersey soon unless he’ll change his status. Grade – 1

Rafael Santos Borre – Another young talented striker who made his debut in Europe this year. He belongs to Atletico Madrid and was loaned to Villareal. Overall his season was OK for a debut. He wasn’t consistent and swing between being a starter and not play at all. When he played, he showed the same potential that he had in Deportivo Cali but he surely capable for more. Played 30 matches in all competitions, scored 4 goals and passed two assists. Grade – 5

Adrian Ramos – Started the season with Borussia Dortmund but didn’t play too much. 11 games and 3 goals weren’t enough for Ramos who is looking to return to the national team. He was bought by Chinese club Chongqing Lifan and was loaned to Spanish club Granada. he couldn’t prevent them from relegated and scored 4 goals in 14 matches Now we’ll have to see whaere is he going to play next year. Can perform much better. Grade – 6

Jefferson Lerma – If Pekerman wants to try new players, he surely needs to look at Lerma. The guy already was one of the best players of Levante last season when they relegated and this year he continued with his good form, being one of the best players of the team, helped them winning the second division title and the promotion back to the La Liga. 29 matches overall, two goals and assist, but a regular spot in the starting lineup and a very good team achievement. Oh, and he is only 22. Grade – 7


Jefferson Lerma was one of the main reasons which promoted Levante back to La Liga

Jhon Steven Mondragon – I guess that most of you don’t even know the 22-year-old right back Cali-born, who plays for Osasuna. Well, the kid moved to Spain at young age and played in Osasuna’s youth department. Only in 2017 he started to make his first steps in the senior squad of Osasuna B, but on April he was called to the first senior team to replace injured Nikola Vujadinovic. The result? Mondragon played 4 games and managed to score two goals! Just imagine what would have happen if he would start the season…Very promising youngster who should get more playing time next year. Grade – 6.5

The Netherlands netherlands-t

Davinson Sanchez – Atletico Nacional received 5.5M from Ajax for Davinson Sanchez after his great Copa Libertadores performance. Now, when many major European clubs are chasing after him, Ajax asks 25M on him. I think that even Davinson himself couldn’t believe how amazing his first year in Europe will be. He was almost perfect. In no time he became a starter in Amsterdam Arena and not only that, he became the rock in Ajax’s average defense. Ajax’s fans and media fell in love with him immediately and he stayed calm and relax, keep doing his wonderful job. Almost every week he was chosen for the ideal 11 of the Eredivisie and his major reward was his selection by the fans and media for Ajax’s player of the year. Amazing. Unfortunately he couldn’t complete another International trophy, when Ajax lost to Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League final, less then one year after he won the Copa Libertadores with Nacional.  He played 44 matches and scored 6 goals, one of them was a beauty bicycle kick. Really amazing year for him. Grade -10


Davinson Sanchez, magical first year in Europe

Santiago Arias – The right back of PSV Eindhoven played his fourth season with the club and he already considered as a regular starter. PSV didn’t have the best season in Holland but Arias had a decent year overall. He was inconsistent but it was no different from the rest of the team. 34 matches in all competitions and two goals, these were his numbers, including helping PSV to win the Dutch Supercup at the beginning of the season. Grade – 6.5

Mateo Cassierra – Unlike Davinson Sanchez, Mateo barely found himself in the senior squad of Ajax, mostly played with the reserves. Maybe he wasn’t ready yet, maybe it’ll take time, not everyone can adjust immediately and Mateo will have to remain patient or ask to be loaned out. Overall he played 18 matches and scored 3 goals, while in the reserves he scored 11 goals in 17 matches. So the potential is there, but he has to be more consistent and to play much more so he’ll gain confidence. Grade – 5


Italy italy-t

Cristian Zapata – Milan’s central defender had ups and downs this season as well in his period with the team so far. For his defense, he had a serious injury which kept him off the field most of the season, but also his form wasn’t the best thing in Milan’s defense. It did change since 2017, Zapata played more and showed good form which also brought him back to the national team and he also “bought” Milan’s fans with an equalise goal at stoppage time vs. Inter. Overall he played 11 games and scored one goal. Grade – 5.5


Carlos Sanchez – ‘La Roca’ was loaned this Summer from Aston Villa to Fiorentina and it seems like he adjust well to the Italian football. He showed good form, played 28 matches and scored one goal. He should continue with the ‘Viola’ who is very satisfied with him and in the national team he is still Pekerman’s favorite. Grade – 6.5


Jeison Murillo – Inter central defender had also ups and downs, mostly downs but it also had to do with the fact that Inter played very bad this season. Murillo himself is a regular starter for the ‘Nerrazurri’ but he also was inconsistent like the rest of the team. Played 30 matches and scored one goal – but what a goal. His goal vs. Bologna in the Italian cup was chosen for the best goal of the season in Italy. Now his future is blur while latest rumors say that he may leave Inter to Tottenham or Watford. Grade – 6


Jeison Murillo. Most probably will leave Inter this summer


Luis Fernando Muriel – It was the best season in Italy for the 26-year-old Sampdoria’s striker. he was a starter almost in every league match and registered 33 matches overall with 13 goals, the highest number since he arrived to the Serie A back in 2011. He has a contract until June 2019 but the rumors already say that he may find himself wearing Inter or Liverpool shirts. Grade – 7.5


Juan Guillermo Cuadrado – Another player who can mark this season as pure success is Cuadrado, who was an important part of Allegri’s team, who won it’s third ‘double’ in a row and will also meet Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final. Cuadrado finished his second season in ‘Juve’ on loan and how important he was we can see by the fact that Juventus decided to use the option to buy him for 20M and he will play there until 2020. Cuadrado registered 43 matches in all competitions and scored 3 goals along with 10 assists. Grade – 8.5


Juan Cuadrado was one of the best Colombians in Europe this season

Carlos Bacca – Bacca started the season as the leading scorer of Milan and justify it by scoring goals in the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, he suffered too much from ups and downs and just like in the national team, he had several weeks where he didn’t score at all. This caused a huge frustration and as a result, Bacca had several incidents with coach Montella. It’s not a secret that between these two there is no love and Montella didn’t deny that Bacca may leave in the transfer window. Bacca played 31 matches and scored 14 goals. Not that bad, but a striker like Bacca already proved that he can do much better. Grade – 7


Carlos Bacca had too many ups & downs this season

Duvan Zapata – No doubt that Udinese’s striker is one of the improving Colombian players from season to season. Now he is a regular starter at Udinese and he justified his spot by scoring some crucial goals which help to his team. It’s not for nothing that Pekerman already called him once and take him in consider, while other strikers are out of form. he just finished his second year loan from Napoli and now Udinese has the option to buy him. Scored 10 goals in 32 matches and I guess that he will stay in the Serie A the question is in which team. I can see him keep growing in the next couple of years, he has what it takes. Grade – 6.5


Andres Tello – Just to remind you all, he is owned by Juventus but now on loan at Empoli. The defensive midfielder played 20 games this season and didn’t score, but definitely had reasonable performance. Has the potential to be even better but he needs to keep consistently much more. Grade – 5.5


Germany de-t

Jhon Cordoba – The striker of Mainz 05 is a wasted potential. Was marked as a hot prospect for the future while playing in Envigado, but during the 2013 Sudamericano Sub-20 he didn’t look so good and wasn’t concentrated as a striker should be. He has amazing physical data and he supposed to be another version of Jackson Martinez, but he is far from that standard, at least according his numbers so far. It was his second season in the Bundesliga and he played most of the games, but scored only 8 goals in 36 matches, not that good. He is still young and can developed, but he needs to improve his form drastically. Grade – 5.5




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