Colombia were the surprise package of the World Cup four years ago in Brazil, with James Rodriguez leading his nation to the quarterfinals. The Colombians were narrowly defeated by Brazil, but they won a wealth of supporters by being one of the most entertaining sides with their fast-paced football and robust defence.
In Russia, they will not be amongst the favourites for the competition, but with a kind group they will be eying another deep run this summer. Rodriguez is just the tip of the iceberg in this talented Colombian squad, and with that underdog status, they are a great team to choose for the World Cup update for FIFA 18.
RealSport gives you all you need to know when setting up with Los Cafeteros.
Colombia receive a 4 and half star rating for the update. This consists of an 82 attack, 78 midfield and 78 defence.
Colombia’s potential World Cup fixtures
Round of 16
England or Belgium
Spain or Argentina
France or Brazil
It’s by no means an easy group, but with no heavyweights in there, Colombia will be confident of topping Group H. The crunch game will be against Poland, who are currently ranked tenth in the world, but if Colombia can keep Robert Lewandowski quiet, they will be halfway to winning that tie.
Japan and Senegal are potential banana skins, but neither side have close to the strength from 1 to 11 that Colombia have to cause a serious problem.
On to the Round of 16, and if they top the group, Colombia are likely to face England. It will be tougher than any of their group stage games, with this young England side carrying lots of pace. The defence is vulnerable however, and if you can come through this contest, it will be the perfect preparation for the last eight.
Germany should meet you in the quarterfinals, and they are arguably the strongest nation in Russia this summer. You will have to ride your luck to come through the tie, and things will not become any easier if you face Spain, Argentina, France or Brazil in the remainder of the competition.
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has played around with different systems, and we have decided to return to his previous 4-4-2 holding formation, not the current 4-2-3-1.
David Ospina is in goal, as Santiago Arias, Davinson Sanchez, Jeison Murillo and Frank Fabra make up the back four.
Daniel Alejandro Torres and Carlos Sanchez are in defensive midfield, with the pacey Juan Cuadrado (92 sprint speed) and creative James Rodriguez (89 crossing) in the wide areas.
Carlos Bacca and the aerial threat of Radamel Falcao (92 jumping) link up in attack.
On the bench opt for Camilo Vargas, Cristian Zapata, Pablo Armero, Fredy Guarin, Macnelly Torres, Edwin Cardona and Luis Muriel.
Without a shadow of a doubt James Rodriguez is the key for this Colombia side. You can either play him on the left to whip balls into the box or have him cut in from the right side, but either way you want him on the ball as much as possible.
In order to do this, on the instructions tab tell him to ‘stay forward’ for defensive support, for support on crosses select ‘stay on edge of box for cross’ and most importantly allow him to ‘free roam’ for positioning freedom.
On the other flank, you will want to utilise the dynamism of Juan Cuadrado (91 agility). He should ‘get in behind’ for attacking runs, as well as ‘stay wide’ for support runs and to make the most out of his movement in defence, select ‘aggressive interceptions’.
Your wide players may be able to create goal scoring opportunities, but you need someone to stick them away. Radamel Falcao has put his injury problems behind him, and with his threat in the air (90 heading accuracy & power header trait) you need to be giving him plenty of service. To make sure he stays close to the goal, choose ‘stay central’ for his support runs and ‘target man’ for his attacking runs.
Continue the rise
It's a handy group stage and potential second round for Colombia, but that nasty potential last eight draw against Germany means a new World Cup best appears unlikely. That said, they have strength in various areas of the pitch to harm the opposition.
Tottenham centre back Davinson Sanchez is the cornerstone of the defence, and with the attacking talents of James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, Carlos Bacca and Radamel Falcao there is certainly the capacity for an upset.
The quarters should be your minimal goal, but why stop there?
Colombia squad player ratings
|Camilo Vargas||29||GK||Deportivo Cali||75|
|Leandro Castellanos||34||GK||Santa Fe||73|
|Robinson Zapata||39||GK||Santa Fe||69|
|Cristian Zapata||31||CB||AC Milan||78|
|Frank Fabra||27||LB||Boca Juniors||77|
|Pablo Armero||31||LB||America de Cali||75|
|Eder Alvarez Balanta||25||CB||Basel||75|
|Farid Diaz||34||LB||Olimpia Asuncion||73|
|Helibelton Palacios||24||RB||Atletico Nacional||71|
|James Rodriguez||26||CAM||Bayern Munich||87|
|Yimmi Chara||27||RM LM CAM||Atletico Junior||78|
|Daniel Alejandro Torres||28||CDM||Alaves||77|
|Fredy Guarin||31||CDM||Shanghai Shenhua||76|
|Macnelly Torres||33||CAM||Atletico Nacional||76|
|Wilmar Barrios||24||CDM||Boca Juniors||75|
|Abel Aguilar||33||CDM||Deportivo Cali||75|
|Edwin Cardona||25||LM||Boca Juniors||75|
|Sebastian Perez||25||CDM||Boca Juniors||74|
|Guillermo Celis||25||CDM||Vitoria Guimaraes||74|
|Teofilo Gutierrez||33||ST||Atletico Junior||78|
|Jackson Martinez||31||ST||Free Agent||77|