Colombia Team - 2014 World Cup Betting

Best Finish: Last 16, 1990

Manager: Jose Pekerman

Captain: Mario Yepes

Key Player: Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco)

Group C: With Ivory Coast (C?te d'Ivoire), Greece and Japan


Although they are considered one of the more dangerous teams in international play, Colombia's World Cup finishes over the last decade and a half have suggested otherwise. This team will be participating in their first Cup since 1998, although one can't blame them for previous failures in South America's loaded CONMEBOL qualifying group.

However, this time around was anything but a failure as they finished second behind Argentina in the standings with a 9-3-4 (W-D-L) record. This is no small feat when you consider how other tough teams like Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay were also involved in Group C. Taking this into account, it's little surprise that Colombia is entering the 2014 World Cup as FIFA's fourth-ranked team.

Aside from beating some excellent squads during CONMEBOL qualifiers, Colombia has bolstered their ranking by playing some tough competition in friendly matches as well. For example, they beat a very talented Belgium team in Brussels.

As for what makes "Los Cafeteros" so great, the discussion begins with striker Radamel Falcao. He showed why he's one of the top forwards in the world by scoring nine goals in the qualifying stages. Another key player for this team is James Rodriguez, an exhilarating midfielder who has the perfect combination of agility, speed and power.

Both Rodriguez and Falcao excel in Jose Pekerman's 4-2-2-2 system. The goal of this formation is to constantly attack the opposition's goal, which Colombia does to perfection. Assuming Los Cafeteros can maintain possession long enough, they could topple any team in this year's World Cup.

However, there are some defensive concerns for Colombia, mainly in terms of depth. So in a grinding game where opponents keep putting shots on goal, Colombia could struggle. But the defenders who do log heavy minutes are good at what they do. Case in point, Colombia led the CONMEBOL group by allowing just 13 goals in 16 games.

That said, the potential is there on both sides of the field for this team to make a deep 2014 World Cup run. And judging from Group C, they are a strong bet to at least make it to the knockout rounds.

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