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Fútbol Profesional Colombiano

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Title: Fútbol Profesional Colombiano  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Juan Pablo Ángel, Atlético Nacional, FPC, Juan Ramón Verón, Osvaldo Zubeldía, Once Caldas, Millonarios Fútbol Club, Junior F.C., Víctor Aristizábal, Deportivo Pasto
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Fútbol Profesional Colombiano

Liga Postobón
Country Colombia
Confederation Conmebol
Founded 1948
Number of teams 18
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to Categoría Primera B
Domestic cup(s) Copa Colombia
International cup(s) Copa Libertadores
Copa Sudamericana
Current champions Atletico Nacional (12th title)
Most championships Millonarios (14 titles)
TV partners Directv
RCN Televisión
Website Official Site
2013 Categoría Primera A season

The Categoría Primera A (Spanish pronunciation: [kateɣoˈɾi.a pɾiˈmeɾa ˈa]), commonly referred to as Liga Postobón[1] due to sponsorship by soft drink company Postobón is a Colombian professional league for association football clubs. It is the country's premier football tournament and sits at the top of the Colombian football league system. From 1990 to 2010, the league was referred to as Copa Mustang, due to a contract with Protabaco, a tobacco industry that produced Mustang cigarettes (that ended in 2010 due to an anti-tobacco law).[2][3][4]

Eighteen clubs play in the league. The División Mayor del Fútbol Profesional Colombiano, better known as Dimayor, operates a system of promotion and relegation with the Categoría Primera B.

The league was started in 1947 by Alfonso Senior Quevedo, president of Adefútbol. Due to some political problems between 1947 and 1948, the league's first season was in 1948, and has been held yearly since. Since the 1968 season the league has used the Apertura and Clausura system, although they have only crowned a champion for each tournament since the 2002 season. In 1989, the season was cancelled mid-way through because of the assassination of a referee.

Fourteen teams have been crowned as the Colombian football champions. The most successful club is Millonarios with 14th titles and the current champions are Atletico Nacional with their 12th.


In 1948, Dimayor was founded in Barranquilla to officially organize football. FIFA declared the Colombian league a breakaway league after a dispute with the existing amateur football authority in Colombia. Therefore, all Colombian teams were suspended from playing international football. The Colombia national football team was also under sanction. However, the sanction did not hurt the league. Due to a strike in Argentine football, the best footballers were signed in Colombia. This era was known as El Dorado and lasted until 1953, when Alfredo Di Stéfano was transferred to Spain.


League stage

During the league stage, which lasts eighteen games, each team plays against every other team once, plus an additional game against their local rival in the league. The league table is kept like a normal European league table, one point for ties and three points for a win. The top eight teams advance to the playoffs.


The finals involve two games. The team with the highest aggregate score after both home and away games wins and is crowned champion. If the game is a tie it proceeds directly to a penalty shoot-out. The away goals rule is not used.


The setup and fixtures for the Copa Mustang have been changed many times. The current system was established in 1999. Prior to this setup, many complex fixtures and stages were used. One of the worst was the 1996–1997 cup, that actually was played for 18 months, from July 1996 to December 1997. The excuse to make an exceptionally complex league has usually been an effort to spice up the tournament. Several famous Colombian coaches have expressed a dislike of the new format and several teams have been in first place throughout the entire league stage, and then not even reached the final.

Current teams

Teams from 2013 season

Team City Stadium Head Coach First season
in the Primera A
Last title
Alianza Petrolera Barrancabermeja Santiago de las Atalayas (provisional) Colombia Guillermo Berrío 2013 None
Atlético Huila Neiva Guillermo Plazas Alcid Colombia Álvaro de Jesús Gómez 1993 None
Atlético Nacional Medellín Atanasio Girardot Colombia Juan Carlos Osorio 1948 2013-I
Boyacá Chicó Tunja La Independencia Colombia Alberto Gamero 2004 2008-I
Cúcuta Deportivo Cúcuta General Santander Argentina Oscar Héctor Quintabani 1950 2006-II
Deportes Quindío Armenia Centenario Colombia Fernando Castro Lozada 1952 1956
Deportes Tolima Ibagué Manuel Murillo Toro Colombia Carlos César Castro 1955 2003-II
Deportivo Cali Cali Deportivo Cali Uruguay Julio Avelino Comesaña 1948 2005-II
Deportivo Pasto Pasto Libertad Colombia Flabio Torres 1999 2006-I
Envigado FC Envigado Polideportivo Sur Colombia Pedro Sarmiento 1992 None
Independiente Medellín Medellín Atanasio Girardot Colombia Hernán Darío Gómez 1948 2009-II
Itagüí Ditaires Itagüí Metropolitano Ciudad de Itagüí Colombia Leonel Álvarez 2011 None
Junior Barranquilla Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez Colombia Alexis García 1948 2011-II
La Equidad Bogotá Metropolitano de Techo Colombia Néstor Otero 2007 None
Millonarios Bogotá Nemesio Camacho Colombia Hernán Torres 1948 2012-II
Once Caldas Manizales Palogrande Colombia Santiago Escobar 1948 2010-II
Patriotas Tunja La Independencia Colombia Miguel Augusto Prince 2012 None
Santa Fe Bogotá Nemesio Camacho Colombia Wilson Gutiérrez 1948 2012-I

Seasons by club

This is the complete list of the clubs that has took part of the Categoría Primera A, founded in 1948, until 2013 season. Teams who currently plays are indicated in bold.

Champions by seasons

Fourteen clubs have been the Primera A champions. Eight of those clubs have been the champion more than once. The most successful club is Millonarios with fourteen titles. Deportivo Cali, Atlético Nacional, América, and Millonarios are the only clubs that have won the title consecutively. América holds the record for the longest title streak winning five titles from 1982 to 1986. Since the start of the Apertura/Clausura championships in 2002, only Atlético Nacional in 2007 has won both championships in the same season; on a different note, Atletico Nacional in 2004 is also the only team that has lost both championships in the same season. No team has won titles on each decade of its existence, though Atletico Nacional, Atletico Junior and America de Cali have had consistent championships since the 1970s.

Los Millonarios is the most consistent team of the long tournaments, with 13 wins out of 52 tournaments disputed from 1948 to 2001 (plus one short tournament), followed by America with 11 (plus two short tournaments), while Atletico Nacional is the most consistent of the short tournaments, with 5 wins out of the 21 disputed from 2002 to date (2013-I). Out of all the six teams with just one championship, four have won their first title during the short tournament period.

Up until the late 1980s, Los Millonarios dominated the championship, with no other team approaching its trail; in recent years, however, America de Cali and Atletico Nacional have reached a similar success in the tournaments during the last twenty-plus years. New-coming champions have also come during the 2000s, such as surprise winners Boyaca Chico and Deportivo Pasto, while traditional teams also reached new championships, such as Once Caldas, Independiente Santa Fe and Independiente Medellin; first championships also came for traditional teams such as Deportes Tolima and Cucuta Deportivo, who had never won before.

The club with the longest dry spell between two titles was Once Caldas with 53 years between titles (1950 to 2003), followed by Independiente Medellin with 45 (1957 to 2002) and Independiente Santa Fe with 37 (1975 to 2012). The club with the longest continuing dry spell is Deportes Quindio, which hasn't won since 1956, followed by Union Magdalena, last championship on 1968; a noteworthy fact, in spite of being notoriously successful on the local tournament, Los Millonarios only achieved their 14th title in 2012-II, after 24 years of wait.

America de Cali has been the most successful Colombian team ever ranked, being included in the top 10 South American clubs in the 20th century; on a different note, the same team is the most successful Colombian club ever to be relegated to the second division on the local tournament; only another three clubs have been relegated after winning a championship: Deportivo Pasto, Deportes Quindio and Union Magdalena.

Out of the finalists, five teams have never won the championship, namely La Equidad, Atletico Huila, Atletico Bucaramanga, Real Cartagena and the defunct Boca Juniors de Cali; La Equidad has been in three finals, the most of a team that has never won. Likewise, Atletico Junior participated in three finals (including the 1948 inauguration championship final) and didn't win until the fourth one in 1977, 29 years later. The longest spells for a team that never won a championship before was America de Cali, who won their first title in 1982, 32 years after their inaugural championship in 1950 and having been finalists just two times in between, Cucuta Deportivo, who waited 58 years since their first participation in 1949, and Deportes Tolima with a wait of 48 years since 1955, their first participation; Tolima was also the first team in the Colombian league to have gained a championship after winning also the second division (on non-consecutive years). Out of the oldest, most traditional teams in Colombia, Atletico Bucaramanga and Deportivo Pereira have never been champions and are currently relegated.

Envigado is the most consistent "mid-table" club in the league that has never reached the finals or won any championships since its first promotion from the second division in 1991; as a matter of fact, Envigado was the first team from the second division ever promoted.

Los Millonarios have reached the finals 23 times, the most out of the professional teams; before its relegation, America de Cali reached the finals 20 times, while Atletico Nacional has reached them 22 times. Deportivo Cali is the team that has lost the most finals with 12, followed by Los Millonarios and Atletico Nacional with 9. On recent years, only Boyaca Chico has reached the short-tournament championship having reached the finals just once in 2008-I and never since.

Out of the finalists to date, three teams are currently relegated: America de Cali, Real Cartagena and Atletico Bucaramanga. The only team that has reached the finals that has been stripped of professionalism is Boca Juniors de Cali, who still exist, but play in an amateur level.

The only tournament that was not awarded to a champion occurred on 1989, after the assassination of referee Álvaro Ortega on October 1, 1989 in Medellín. All games, post-season games and international representation for the following year were cancelled.

Season Champion (Title count) Runner-up Third place Leading goalscorer(s)[5]
1948 Santa Fe (1) Junior Once Caldasa Argentina Alfredo Castillo (Millonarios; 31 goals)
1949 Millonarios (1) Deportivo Cali Santa Fe Argentina Pedro Cabillón (Millonarios; 42 goals)
1950 Once Caldas (1) Millonarios Deportivo Cali Paraguay Casimiro Ávalos (Deportivo Pereira; 27 goals)
1951 Millonarios (2) Boca Juniors de Cali Cúcuta Deportivo Argentina Alfredo Di Stéfano (Millonarios; 31 goals)
1952 Millonarios (3) Boca Juniors de Cali Deportivo Pereira Argentina Alfredo Di Stéfano (Millonarios; 19 goals)
1953 Millonarios (4) Deportes Quindío Boca Juniors de Cali Argentina Mario Garelli (Deportes Quindío; 20 goals)
1954 Atlético Nacional (1) Deportes Quindío Independiente Medellín Argentina Carlos Alberto Gambina (Atlético Nacional; 21 goals)
1955 Independiente Medellín (1) Atlético Nacional Deportes Quindío Argentina Felipe Marino (Independiente Medellín; 22 goals)
1956 Deportes Quindío (1) Millonarios Boca Juniors de Cali Colombia Jaime Gutiérrez (Deportes Quindío; 21 goals)
1957 Independiente Medellín (2) Deportes Tolima Cúcuta Deportivo Argentina José Vicente Grecco (Independiente Medellín; 30 goals)
1958 Santa Fe (2) Millonarios Atlético Bucaramanga Argentina José Américo Montanini (Atlético Bucaramanga; 36 goals)
1959 Millonarios (5) Independiente Medellín Deportivo Cali Argentina Felipe Marino (Cúcuta-Medellín; 35 goals)
1960 Santa Fe (3) América Atlético Bucaramanga Argentina Walter Marcolini (Deportivo Cali; 30 goals)
1961 Millonarios (6) Independiente Medellín Santa Fe Argentina Alberto Perazzo (Santa Fe; 32 goals)
1962 Millonarios (7) Deportivo Cali Deportivo Pereira Uruguay José Omar Verdún (Cúcuta Deportivo; 36 goals)
1963 Millonarios (8) Santa Fe Deportivo Cali Argentina Omar Lorenzo Devanni (Atlético Bucaramanga; 36 goals)
Uruguay José Omar Verdún (Cúcuta Deportivo; 36 goals)
1964 Millonarios (9) Cúcuta Deportivo Independiente Medellín Argentina Omar Lorenzo Devanni (Magdalena-Bucaramanga; 28 goals)
1965 Deportivo Cali (1) Atlético Nacional Millonarios Argentina Perfecto Rodríguez (Independiente Medellín; 38 goals)
1966 Santa Fe (4) Independiente Medellín Deportivo Pereira Argentina Omar Lorenzo Devanni (Santa Fe; 31 goals)
1967 Deportivo Cali (2) Millonarios América Argentina José María Ferrero (Millonarios; 38 goals)
1968 Unión Magdalena (1) Deportivo Cali Junior Argentina José María Ferrero (Millonarios; 32 goals)
1969 Deportivo Cali (3) América Millonarios Argentina Hugo Horacio Lóndero (América; 25 goals)
1970 Deportivo Cali (4) Junior Santa Fe Argentina José María Ferrero (Cúcuta Deportivo; 27 goals)
Uruguay Walter Sossa (Santa Fe; 27 goals)
1971 Santa Fe (5) Atlético Nacional Millonarios Argentina Hugo Horacio Lóndero (Cúcuta Deportivo; 30 goals)
Paraguay Apolinar Paniagua (Deportivo Pereira; 30 goals)
1972 Millonarios (10) Deportivo Cali Junior Argentina Hugo Horacio Lóndero (Cúcuta Deportivo; 27 goals)
1973 Atlético Nacional (2) Millonarios Deportivo Cali Uruguay Nelson Silva Pacheco (Cúcuta-Júnior; 36 goals)
1974 Deportivo Cali (5) Atlético Nacional Millonarios Brazil Víctor Ephanor (Junior; 33 goals)
1975 Santa Fe (6) Millonarios Deportivo Cali Argentina Jorge Ramón Cáceres (Deportivo Pereira; 35 goals)
1976 Atlético Nacional (3) Deportivo Cali Millonarios Argentina Miguel Angel Converti (Millonarios; 33 goals)
1977 Junior (1) Deportivo Cali Millonarios Argentina Oswaldo Marcial Palavecino (Atlético Nacional; 33 goals)
1978 Millonarios (11) Deportivo Cali Atlético Nacional Argentina Oswaldo Marcial Palavecino (Atlético Nacional; 36 goals)
1979 América (1) Santa Fe Unión Magdalena Argentina Juan José Irigoyén (Millonarios; 36 goals)
1980 Junior (2) Deportivo Cali América Argentina Sergio Cierra (Deportivo Pereira; 26 goals)
1981 Atlético Nacional (4) Deportes Tolima América Argentina Víctor Hugo del Río (Deportes Tolima; 29 goals)
1982 América (2) Deportes Tolima Millonarios Argentina Miguel Oswaldo González (Atlético Bucaramanga; 27 goals)
1983 América (3) Junior Atlético Nacional Argentina Hugo Gottardi (Santa Fe; 29 goals)
1984 América (4) Millonarios Independiente Medellín Argentina Hugo Gottardi (Santa Fe; 23 goals)
1985 América (5) Deportivo Cali Millonarios Argentina Miguel Oswaldo González (Atlético Bucaramanga; 34 goals)
1986 América (6) Deportivo Cali Millonarios Argentina Héctor Ramón Sossa (Independiente Medellín; 23 goals)
1987 Millonarios (12) América Santa Fe Chile Jorge Aravena (Deportivo Cali; 23 goals)
1988 Millonarios (13) Atlético Nacional América Colombia Sergio Angulo (Santa Fe; 29 goals)
Championship cancelled
1990 América (7) Atlético Nacional Atlético Bucaramanga Colombia Antony de Ávila (América; 25 goals)
1991 Atlético Nacional (5) América Junior Colombia Iván Valenciano (Junior; 30 goals)
1992 América (8) Atlético Nacional Deportivo Cali Colombia John Jairo Tréllez (Atlético Nacional; 25 goals)
1993 Junior (3) Independiente Medellín Atlético Nacional Colombia Miguel Guerrero (Junior; 34 goals)
1994 Atlético Nacional (6) Millonarios América Colombia Rubén Darío Hernández (Medellín-Pereira-América; 32 goals)
1995 Junior (4) América Atlético Nacional Colombia Iván Valenciano (Junior; 24 goals)
1995–96 Deportivo Cali (6) Millonarios Atlético Nacional Colombia Iván Valenciano (Junior; 36 goals)
1996–97 América (9) Atlético Bucaramanga No third-place awarded Colombia Hamilton Ricard (Deportivo Cali; 36 goals)
1998 Deportivo Cali (7) Once Caldas No third-place awarded Colombia Víctor Bonilla (Deportivo Cali; 37 goals)
1999 Atlético Nacional (7) América Junior Argentina Sergio Galván Rey (Once Caldas; 26 goals)
2000 América (10) Junior Deportes Tolima Colombia Carlos Alberto Castro (Millonarios; 24 goals)
2001 América (11) Independiente Medellín No third-place awarded Colombia Carlos Alberto Castro (Millonarios; 29 goals)
Colombia Jorge Horacio Serna (Independiente Medellín; 29 goals)
2002 Apertura América (12) Atlético Nacional No third-place awarded Colombia Luis Fernando Zuleta (Unión Magdalena; 13 goals)
Finalización Independiente Medellín (3) Deportivo Pasto No third-place awarded Colombia Orlando Ballesteros (Atlético Bucaramanga; 13 goals)
Colombia Milton Rodríguez (Deportivo Pereira; 13 goals)
2003 Apertura Once Caldas (2) Junior No third-place awarded Colombia Arnulfo Valentierra (Once Caldas; 13 goals)
Finalización Deportes Tolima (1) Deportivo Cali No third-place awarded Colombia Léider Preciado (Deportivo Cali; 17 goals)
2004 Apertura Independiente Medellín (4) Atlético Nacional No third-place awarded Colombia Sergio Herrera (América; 13 goals)
Finalización Junior (5) Atlético Nacional No third-place awarded Colombia Leonardo Fabio Moreno (América; 15 goals)
Colombia Léider Preciado (Santa Fe; 15 goals)
2005 Apertura Atlético Nacional (8) Santa Fe No third-place awarded Colombia Víctor Aristizábal (Atlético Nacional; 16 goals)
Finalización Deportivo Cali (8) Real Cartagena No third-place awarded Colombia Jámerson Rentería (Real Cartagena; 12 goals)
Colombia Hugo Rodallega (Deportivo Cali; 12 goals)
2006 Apertura Deportivo Pasto (1) Deportivo Cali No third-place awarded Colombia Jorge Moreno (Cúcuta Deportivo; 15 goals)
Finalización Cúcuta Deportivo (1) Deportes Tolima No third-place awarded Colombia Diego Álvarez (Independiente Medellín; 11 goals)
Colombia Jhon Charría (Deportes Tolima; 11 goals)
2007 Apertura Atlético Nacional (9) Atlético Huila No third-place awarded Colombia Fredy Montero (Atlético Huila; 13 goals)
Colombia Sergio Galván Rey (Atlético Nacional; 13 goals)
Finalización Atlético Nacional (10) La Equidad No third-place awarded Colombia Dayro Moreno (Once Caldas; 16 goals)
2008 Apertura Boyacá Chicó (1) América No third-place awarded Argentina Miguel Caneo (Boyacá Chicó; 13 goals)
Colombia Iván Velásquez (Deportes Quindío; 13 goals)
Finalización América (13) Independiente Medellín No third-place awarded Colombia Fredy Montero (Deportivo Cali; 16 goals)
2009 Apertura Once Caldas (3) Junior No third-place awarded Colombia Teófilo Gutiérrez (Junior; 16 goals)
Finalización Independiente Medellín (5) Atlético Huila No third-place awarded Colombia Jackson Martínez (Independiente Medellín; 18 goals)
2010 Apertura Junior (6) La Equidad No third-place awarded Colombia Carlos Bacca (Junior; 12 goals)
Colombia Carlos Rentería (La Equidad; 12 goals)
Finalización Once Caldas (4) Deportes Tolima No third-place awarded Colombia Wilder Medina (Deportes Tolima; 17 goals)
2011 Apertura Atlético Nacional (11) La Equidad No third-place awarded Colombia Carlos Rentería (Atlético Nacional; 12 goals)
Finalización Junior (7) Once Caldas No third-place awarded Colombia Carlos Bacca (Junior; 12 goals)
2012 Apertura Santa Fe (7) Deportivo Pasto No third-place awarded Paraguay Robin Ramírez (Deportes Tolima; 13 goals)
Finalización Millonarios (14) Independiente Medellín No third-place awarded Colombia Henry Hernández (Cúcuta Deportivo; 9 goals)
Colombia Carmelo Valencia (La Equidad; 9 goals)
2013 Apertura Atlético Nacional (12) Santa Fe No third-place awarded Colombia Wilder Medina (Santa Fe; 12 goals)
Finalización No third-place awarded

aAs Deportes Caldas

Titles by club

Club Winners Winning years
Millonarios 14 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1972, 1978, 1987, 1988, 2012–II
América 13 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996–97, 2000, 2001, 2002–I, 2008–II
Atlético Nacional 12 1954, 1973, 1976, 1981, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2005–I, 2007–I, 2007–II, 2011–I, 2013–I
Deportivo Cali 8 1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1995–96, 1998, 2005–II
Junior 7 1977, 1980, 1993, 1995, 2004–II, 2010–I, 2011–II
Santa Fe 7 1948, 1958, 1960, 1966, 1971, 1975, 2012–I
Independiente Medellín 5 1955, 1957, 2002–II, 2004–I, 2009–II
Once Caldas 4 1950, 2003–I, 2009–I, 2010–II
Boyacá Chicó 1 2008–I
Cúcuta Deportivo 1 2006–II
Deportivo Pasto 1 2006–I
Deportes Quindío 1 1956
Deportes Tolima 1 2003–II
Unión Magdalena 1 1968


External links

  • Liga Postobón Official Page
  • Dimayor Official Page

Template:Categoría Primera A top scorers

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