Carlos Valderrama


Carlos Valderrama : biography

September 2, 1961 –


Club performance League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Colombia League Cup Total
1981 Unión Magdalena
1984 Millonarios
1985 Deportivo Cali
France League Coupe de France Total
1988–89 Montpellier Division 1 24 1
1989–90 18 1
1990–91 35 2
Spain League Copa del Rey Total
1990–91 Real Valladolid La Liga 17 1
Colombia League Cup Total
1992 Independiente Medellín
1993 Atlético Junior 35 4
1994 18 1
1995 29 0
USA League Open Cup Total
1996 Tampa Bay Mutiny Major League Soccer 23 4
1997 20 3
1998 Miami Fusion Major League Soccer 18 2
1999 4 1
1999 Tampa Bay Mutiny Major League Soccer 27 3
2000 32 1
2001 12 1
2001 Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer 12 0
2002 27 1
2003 0 0
Total Colombia
France 77 4
Spain 17 1
USA 175 16
Career total

Retirement as player

In February 2004, Valderrama ended his 22-year career in a tribute match at the Metropolitan stadium of Barranquilla, with some of the most important football players of South America, such as Diego Maradona, Enzo Francescoli and José Luis Chilavert.

Valderrama has since become assistant manager of Atlético Junior. On November 1, 2007, Valderrama accused a referee of corruption by waving cash in the face of Oscar Julian Ruiz when the official awarded a penalty to América de Cali. Junior lost the match 4–1, which ended the club’s hopes of playoff qualification.AP (2007), , USA Today, 1 November 2007, Retrieved 10 July 2008.

Personal life

Valderrama is married and has three children. Valderrama was the only Colombian to feature in FIFA’s 125 Top Living Football Players list in March 2004. He is currently a coach for a football soccer academy in Clearwater, Florida.


Valderrama began his career at Unión Magdalena of the Colombian First Division in 1981. He also played for Millonarios and Deportivo Cali before joining Montpellier of the French First Division in 1988. He then went on to play for Independiente Medellín and then Atlético Junior, for whom he won the Colombian championship in 1993 and 1995. In 1996, he went to the US to play for the Tampa Bay Mutiny (1996–97, 2000–01), Miami Fusion (1998–99), and Colorado Rapids (2001–02). While a member of the Mutiny, the team would sell Carlos Valderrama wigs at Tampa Stadium. In Major League Soccer, Valderrama scored relatively few goals (16) for a midfielder, but is the league’s second all-time leader in assists (114) after Steve Ralston (121), a former teammate. In 2005, he was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI. He was also named one of the top players of the 20th century by Pelé in 1999.FIFA 100

As a player, Valderrama was known for his excellent field vision and elegance on the ball. He captained Colombia’s national football team to victory in the 1994 Fifa World Cup CONMEBOL qualifiers. He always wore the number 10 jersey, and was a free kick specialist.