Soap Opera Relives Colombian Soccer History- 24 August, 2013
One cannot discuss Colombian history of the 1990s without a mention of the national soccer teams of the era. After all, the squads of that decade made Colombian history, qualifying for three World Cups in a row—Italy ’90, USA ’94 and France ’98.
Now, those moments in futbol history are being played out in a telenovela by Caracol Television that has millions of Colombians hooked. The soap opera, “La Selección,” is also playing in the United States.
The series focuses on four of the country’s best-known players, Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama, Rene Higuita, Freddy Rincon, and Faustino Aspirilla. Says PRI “The World” reporter William Booth, “These are guys who together created one of the best soccer teams that Colombia has ever had. A big, big deal in Colombia.”
While La Selección’s storylines focus on the players’ private lives, families, and relationships with teammates, coaches and owners, there is on-field action, including the legendary 5-0 away victory over Argentina in a World Cup qualifier in 1993. But the soap opera is ultimately about the patriotism that these teams helped invigorate throughout the country at a time when it was known around the world for drug exporting and Pablo Escobar.
Music fans will recognize some of the best Colombian music of the 1990s in episodes, including tropical hits by the great Joe Arroyo, who reached wide success touring abroad during that time.
Watch a promo for La Selección and check out real footage of the amazing Higuita’s famed “Scorpion Kick Save” below.