Deportivo Cali

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Deportivo Cali
Full name Asociación Deportivo Cali
Nickname(s) Los Verdiblancos (The Green-Whites)
Los Azucareros (The Sugarmakers)
La Amenaza Verde (The Green Threat)
La Tromba Verde (The Green Whirlwind)
La Cantera de Oro (The Golden Quarry)
Founded 23 November 1912; 105 years ago (1912-11-23)
Ground Estadio Deportivo Cali
Palmira, Colombia
Ground Capacity 52,000
Chairman Juan Fernando Mejía
Manager Gerardo Pelusso
League Categoría Primera A
2018–I 6th, Quarterfinals
Website Club website

Asociación Deportivo Cali, best known as Deportivo Cali, is a Colombian sports club based in Cali, most notable for its football team, which currently competes in the Categoría Primera A.

Deportivo Cali is one of the most successful football teams in Colombia, having won nine domestic league championships, one Copa Colombia and one Superliga Colombiana, for a total of eleven titles. Their stadium, Estadio Deportivo Cali, with an original capacity for 61,890, is the largest football stadium in Colombia and was officially inaugurated on 19 November 2008. In 2010 its capacity was reduced to 55,000 people due to renovations. Deportivo Cali's old home stadium was Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero, with capacity for 43,130.[1] Deportivo Cali is the only Colombian football club that owns its own stadium. It was also the first Colombian team to reach the final of Copa Libertadores in 1978.[2] In 2016, Forbes listed Deportivo Cali as the 36th most valuable team of America.[3]


Amateur era

Cali Football Club was formed in 1908, by students who came back from Europe bringing football to the city of Cali, but in 1912 the students organized the team and renamed it as Deportivo Cali beginning practice under their first coach, Catalan born Francisco Villa Bisa. Their first match was between CFC "A" and CFC "B" in the Versailles pitch, the attendance was 300 spectators. By 1928 the name was changed to "Deportivo Cali A" and the club represented the Valle del Cauca Department in the National Olympics, earning the titles between 1928–30.

In 1945 several clubs decided to become part of the club adding new sports to the institution like athletics, basketball and swimming. During the next several years the club played against different teams from the country and by 1948 the team was ready to play its first professional season in the first division (Division Mayor de Football: Primera A). The first game was a defeat against Junior 2–0. Their first victory was against Atletico Nacional (then Atletico Municipal) 4–1. They would end the season in 8th place with a record of 6 victories, 4 draws and 8 defeats.[4][5]

Cali's first logo

Golden years

Between 1965–74 Deportivo Cali saw its golden age era. During this period, Deportivo Cali achieved 11 finals, from which they won 5 of their 9 Colombian championship titles in the Copa Mustang. It was then that Deportivo Cali was one of the top teams from the national league in Colombia. In 1978 Deportivo Cali reached the Copa Libertadores de America final losing against Boca Juniors from Argentina. During the 1980s Deportivo Cali began to fall behind in championship titles and lost three finals against its home rival América de Cali. Among the key players in Deportivo Cali were Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama and Bernardo Redín. In 1996, twenty two years after Deportivo Cali won its last championship title (1974), The Green Ones raised another star under the guidance of coach Fernando "El Pecoso" Castro, and famous goal keeper Miguel "El Show" Calero. Two years later, during the 1998–99 season Deportivo Cali won Copa Mustang in 1998 and reached the 1999 Copa Toyota Libertadores final for the second time in its history. Unfortunately, luck wasn't on their side and they lost to Palmeiras of Brazil during PK's (Deportivo Cali Shot Takers: Rafael Dudamel, Hernán Gaviria, Mario Yepes, Gerardo Bedoya (missed), Martín Zapata (Missed). Palmeiras 4, Dep. Cali 3, 4–3 Final Penalty Score, over a 2–2 aggregate score. It was during this time period that Deportivo Cali had many of the best players to come across the Colombian soccer league. This team included: José Rosendo Toledo, "El Moño" Muñoz, Miguel Escobar, Óscar López, Mario Sanclemente, German "El Burrito" González, Jose Yudica, Miguel Ángel "El Mago" Loayza, Jairo "El Maestrico" Arboleda, Oscar Mario "Tranvia" Desiderio, Diego Edison Umaña, Henry "La Mosca" Caicedo, Iroldo Rodriguez de Oliveira, Jorge Ramírez Gallego, Roberto Álvarez, Quarentinha, Bernardo "El Cunda" Valencia, and Ricardo Pegnoty. Unfortunately, most of these players did not receive international fame, yet Jairo Arboleda could have been one of the best players Colombia has had in midfield along with Carlos Valderrama. Similar to Valderrama, Arboleda used a variety of skill and "magic" that left opponents lost and beaten, which gave rise to his nickname "El Maestrico". He is mostly recognized in Cali as one of Colombia's best players ever. This is true in most parts of Colombia except for Antioquia, where their pride dominates and mislead people to believe the best players come from Antioquia, especially Medellín. Jairo Arboleda was unfortunate to be called to the Colombian National team at a time when the team was not fully developed and organized, fading away his skill at an international level.

Recent years

In recent years (2000–07), the club has seen a major downfall in quality of players, quality of team and general managers, and overall result in both Copa Mustang, and Copa Toyota Libertadores. During this time frame, Cali won 1 more championships (2005), but lost finals to the underdog teams such as Deportes Tolima, and Deportivo Pasto. Not only this, but during this time, Deportivo Cali, for the first time in Copa Mustang history, did not make it to what the DIMAYOR calls the "Cuadrangulares", or the "semi-finals" of the cup. In the recent 2007 Finalization season, Deportivo for the second time in club history, failed to make it to the cuadrangulares. Spectators say that the down fall of the 2007 season way a result of the major injury of Sergio Herrera, and the departure of Martin Cardetti. During the time frame of 2006–07, the club from Santiago de Cali have seen over 3 different coaches, and 2 different ones in the 2007 Finalization season alone. Some of the coaches which served Deportivo Cali during this time are: Omar Labruna, Néstor Otero and Pedro Sarmiento. Deportivo Cali fans and the board of directors of Club Asociación Deportivo Cali hoped that the newly elected coach, Uruguayan José Daniel Carreño, would have changed the face of the club, and re-enter them back to their glory days, he failed and was replaced by Ricardo Martínez before the end of the "Cuadrangulares" during the Copa Mustang I 2008. With new a stadium and having Adidas as a sponsor, Deportivo Cali made it to the 2010–11 quarter-finals even when people were saying that they were already eliminated since they had the worst start in Deportivo Cali's history by losing the first 4 games. In the quarter-finals they were eliminated in a penalty shoot-out by Atlético Nacional, in a match that could've gone either way. Deportivo Cali is also going to be present in the 2011 Copa Sudamericana which is holding the draw on 28 June 2011.

Daniel Carreño era

Deportivo Cali, during the management of José Daniel Carreño, had an above average Apertura season in the Copa Mustang, coming in 6th place which qualified them for the semi-finals of the Copa Mustang. In the Copa Colombia, they finished 3rd place, not qualifying for further play, which was a real embarrassment, as Deportivo Cali was the favorite to win the group. During the semi-finals of the Copa Mustang, Cali failed to win the first 4 matches, losing 2, and drawing 2, and winning the fifth one, 2–1 against Independiente Medellín. After the failing to win the fourth game, it was ultimately decided by the official council of Deportivo Cali for him to be sacked, and be replaced. The successor of José Daniel Carreño is Ricardo Martínez.

Start of the Ricardo Martínez era

On 10 July 2008, the successor of José Daniel Carreño was ultimately decided to be Ricardo Martínez. He was the assistant manager of the club under the management of José Daniel Carreño. His first game with the club will be on 28 July, when the Copa Mustang begins. His main focus right now is to bring in players from both the national squads, and other foreign players. The other candidate for the position, Santiago Escobar, was chosen as the new manager for Independiente Medellín. On December 2009, the executives decided to re-hire José "Cheché" Hernández as the new coach. This is the second time "Cheché" takes the team, last time he guided the team to the Championship of 1998 and to the runners-up of the Copa Toyota Libertadores of 1999 that lost against Palmeiras from Brazil after penalty kicks shoot-out.

The Beginning of a New Era

After the disappointing close to the season, Deportivo Cali decided to look for a new coach. On December 13, 2012, they signed Leonel Álvarez as their new head coach. He led Deportivo Cali to the play-offs in both of the tournaments played in 2013, reaching the final of the Torneo Finalización, but losing it to Atlético Nacional. The first leg was played at home soil resulting in a scoreless draw, while the second leg ended in a 2–0 loss. Deportivo Cali would go on to win the 2014 Superliga Colombiana against the same rival, however, Álvarez was fired after a poor start in the 2014 Apertura.

In recent years, the club has become stronger with the formation of young players. In 2015, Cali won the Torneo Apertura and reached the Quarter-finals of the Torneo Finalización with a squad formed mostly by youth footballers. That year, the goalscorer of the team was 21-year old Harold Preciado with 25 goals, followed by 20-year old Rafael Santos Borré with 11 goals and 22-year old Miguel Murillo with 10 goals. Other notable young player is 22-year old Andrés Felipe Roa, who was called up for the senior team and played the Olympic Games play-off against United States along with his fellow mates Luis Orejuela and Kevin Balanta.[6] For the 2016 season, the average age of the squad was 22.8 with 17 players under 21.[7]

International competitions

Deportivo Cali was the first Colombian side to contest a Copa Libertadores final in 1978. Under coach Carlos Bilardo Deportivo Cali played against Boca Juniors. The first match in Cali ended 0–0. The second match in Buenos Aires resulted in a 4–0 victory for the Argentines. In 1999 they also contested the final, this time against Brazilian side Palmeiras. The first match in Cali was a victory for the home side 1–0. The second match was a 2–1 defeat. The cup was decided on penalty kicks where Deportivo Cali lost 4–3. Beside Copa Libertadores the club has also contested the Copa Merconorte final and participated in the Copa Sudamericana.

Logo evolution

Escudo-deportivo-cali-1912.jpg FGG.png Efg.png Deportivo Cali logo (1948-2012).png Escudo-deportivo-cali-2012.png
1912–16 1916–26 1926–48 1948–12 2012–present

Valle del Cauca Derby

Deportivo Cali's longtime rival is América de Cali. The derby is known either as the "Clásico Vallecaucano" (Valle del Cauca Derby) or the "Clásico de San Fernando" because of the location of the Pascual Guerrero stadium. The first derby was played in 1931 when the final of the Valle del Cauca league was disputed by the two teams. The result was a 1–0 victory for América de Cali.[8] The first derby in the professional era was played in 1948. The first leg was a victory for América 1–0 while in the second leg of the tournament it was a 4–3 victory for Deportivo Cali.

On 10 October 2010 Deportivo Cali and América de Cali played the first derby at the former's new stadium, which was won by Deportivo Cali by a final score of 6–3 including a hat trick from Argentine player Martin Morel, and three of the most highlighted goals of the tournament.[4] The Derby was not played in the top flight between 2012 and 2016 because of América de Cali's relegation at the end of the 2011 season, however, it kept being played in the Copa Colombia as both teams were drawn together in that competition.

  • Total matches played: 281 [9]
    • Deportivo Cali Victories: 106
    • América de Cali Victories: 86
    • Draws: 89


Domestic honours

Winners (9): 1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1995–96, 1998, 2005–II, 2015–I
Runners-up (14): 1949, 1962, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1985, 1986, 2003–II, 2006–I, 2013–II, 2017–I
Winners (1): 2010
Runners-up (1): 1981
Winners (1): 2014
Runners-up (1): 2016

International honours

Runners-up (2): 1978, 1999
Runners-up (1): 1998


Current squad

As of 15 June 2018[10]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Colombia GK Camilo Vargas (on loan from Atlético Nacional)
4 Colombia DF Daniel Rosero
5 Colombia MF Andrés Pérez
6 Colombia DF Jeison Angulo
7 Colombia MF Jhon Mosquera
8 Uruguay MF Matías Cabrera
9 Argentina FW José Sand
10 Colombia MF Andrés Felipe Roa
12 Colombia GK Pablo Mina
13 Colombia DF Didier Delgado
14 Colombia MF Abel Aguilar
16 Colombia MF Christian Rivera
17 Colombia MF Nicolás Roa (on loan from Tigres)
No. Position Player
18 Colombia MF Daniel Giraldo
20 Colombia DF Juan Camilo Angulo
21 Colombia MF Nicolás Benedetti
22 Colombia GK Humberto Acevedo
23 Colombia MF Eduar Caicedo
24 Colombia FW Pablo Sabbag
25 Argentina MF Fabián Sambueza
27 Colombia DF Darwin Andrade
30 Colombia MF Déiber Caicedo
33 Colombia DF Jhon Lucumí
34 Colombia DF Ezequiel Palomeque
35 Colombia MF Kevin Balanta
Colombia FW Miguel Murillo

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Colombia GK Luis Hurtado (at Deportivo Pereira)
Colombia GK José Johan Silva (at Real Cartagena)
Colombia GK Johan Wallens (at Atlético)
Colombia DF Alexander Amut (at Querétaro)
Colombia DF Felipe Banguero (at Millonarios)
Colombia DF Nilson Castrillón (at Deportes Tolima)
Colombia DF Gustavo Chará (at Tauro)
Colombia DF Juan Sebastián Quintero (at Sporting de Gijón)
No. Position Player
Colombia MF Alex Castro (at Alianza Petrolera)
Colombia MF Harrison Mojica (at Atlético Bucaramanga)
Colombia MF Carlos Rentería (at Deportes Tolima)
Colombia MF Alí Rodolfo Reyes (at Cortuluá)
Colombia MF Jhojan Valencia (at Unión Magdalena)
Colombia FW César Amaya (at Once Caldas)
Colombia FW José David Lloreda (at Deportes Tolima)

Notable players



  1. ^ recovered (ed.). "Cali". Archived from the original on 16 October 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "RSSSF statistics". Retrieved 19 August 2008. 
  5. ^ "Historia del Deportivo Cali". Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ " - H2H Comparison Deportivo Cali". Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "Primer Clasico (Español)". Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  9. ^ "El Pais – Clasico Caleño". Retrieved 19 August 2008. 
  10. ^ "Deportivo Cali". Dimayor. Retrieved 7 March 2018. 

External links

  • Deportivo Cali official website
  • Dimayor profile
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Plus-Google
  • profile
  • Frente Radical Verdiblanco: Official Website of Deportivo Cali's Supporters
  • The Quiero Cali: Deportivo Cali's Fan Page
  • Rincon Azucarero: Deportivo Cali's Fan Page
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