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There have been many great Colombian footballers over the years, but Faustino Asprilla is one of the most memorable. He had a successful career in Europe with clubs such as Parma and Newcastle United and was a big part of the Colombian national team. Asprilla was known for his skills on the ball and his flair on the pitch, but he also had a reputation for being a bit of a wildcard off it. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at Faustino Asprilla's life and career.
Asprilla's early life and career in Colombia
Faustino Asprilla was born in Tocoa, Colombia, in 1969. He began his career with local side Deportivo Tuluá before moving to Atlético Nacional in 1988. He quickly became one of the most exciting young players in Colombian football and helped Nacional win the Copa Libertadores in 1989. After impressing at the 1990 World Cup, Asprilla moved to Europe where he would spend the rest of his career.
Asprilla joined Italian side Parma for a then-record fee of £13 million in 1992. He had a great first season with the club, scoring 15 goals as Parma finished third in Serie A. He also helped Parma win the UEFA Cup in 1995. Asprilla's form continued over the next few years and he became one of the most lethal strikers in Europe. He also won the European Cup Winners Cup and the UEFA Super cup in 1993. In 1995, he moved to Newcastle United for £6.5 million, making him the most expensive Colombian footballer ever at that time.
Asprilla's time at Newcastle United was mixed. He scored some important goals, including a hat-trick against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, but he also struggled with injuries and homesickness. He left Newcastle after just two years and went on to have spells at several other clubs, including Parma again where he again won the UEFA Cup in 1999, Palmeiras, and Fluminese. However, he never really recaptured his best form and retired from football in 2004.
Asprilla's International Career
As well as his club career, Asprilla also had a successful spell with the Colombian national team. He made his debut in 1993 and quickly became a key player for Los Cafeteros. He helped Colombia reach the semi-finals of the 1993 Copa America, where they lost to eventual champions Argentina. He also played at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups. In total, Asprilla made over 50 appearances for Colombia and scored 20 goals.
What was Faustino Asprilla's style of play?
Asprilla was a gifted footballer who had all the skills you would want in a striker. He was quick, he could shoot with both feet, and he had great technique. He was also known for his flamboyant style off the pitch, which sometimes got him into trouble. He was a versatile player who could play anywhere across the front line, but he was most often used as a centre-forward.
Asprilla has kept a low profile since retiring from football. He opened a casino in his hometown of Tocoa but it closed after just two years. In recent years, he has been working as a pundit on Colombian television. Faustino Asprilla is one of the most talented Colombian footballers of all time and will always be remembered for his skills on the pitch and his larger-than-life personality off it.