Colombia have played in five World Cup Finals, but they have been the subject of plenty of drama both on and off the pitch.
The Colombian International Football Team withdrew in 1938, before being banned by FIFA in 1954. They eventually made their first appearance at the 1962 World Cup Finals, where they exited at the Group Stage. They then made the Last-16 when next seen at the finals in 1990, but failed again to make the knockout stages in 1994, after which defender Andres Escobar was murdered after scoring an own goal. They again failed to make the knockout stages in 1998.
Colombia then failed to qualify in 2002, 2006 and 2010, before delighting the Rio crowds in 2014 with some fantastic attacking football that carried them all the way to the quarter-finals where they lost 2-1 to Brazil.
Much of their 2014 success was attributed to 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez, and the big question is how far will his goals take Colombia at the 2018 World Cup.
2018 World Cup Colombia Stage Of Elimination Betting
6/4 Last 16, 9/4 Group Stage, 7/2 Quarter-Finals, 10/1 Semi-Finals, 25/1 Runner-Up, 40/1 Winner
Rodriguez may have scored the goals in 2014, but Colombia also have the attacking talents of Radamel Falcao to call upon if required. The striker was forced to miss the 2014 World Cup because of injury but, following a failed stint in the English Premier League, he is currently scoring plenty of goals for Monaco. Colombia also have another top-class striker in Carlos Bacca, whilst coach Jose Pekerman also took Argentina to the quarter-finals at the 2006 World Cup, which was also in Europe (Germany).
Poland should give Colombia plenty to think about in the Group Stages though and, as the top-seed in Group H, they may not be pleased to have been installed as second favourites to win the group behind Colombia. However, Poland have failed to qualify for the last two World Cup Finals and, despite having to quality strikers in Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszcykowski, their suspect defence is sure to receive a stern test in a group full of attacking talent.
Group H is by no means a two-horse race though, as Senegal have put together their best team since they made it to the quarter-finals in 2002, one that includes Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. They also have Aliou Cisse as coach, the captain of Senegal’s 2002 World Cup team.
Colombia will fancy repeating their 2014 World Cup Finals defeat of Japan, who lack the household names of the other three teams.
Progression to the Knockout Stages isn’t a certainty for Colombia, but it will be a shame if their attacking talents make an early exit. They are also a team who are capable of beating most of the second-level teams in the competition, whilst they could easily pose a threat to one of the bigger-teams if Rodriguez and Falcao hit form. Therefore, it could be worth betting on Colombia to make it to the quarter-finals and semi-finals.