Football was introduced in Colombian in 1900. The Colombian Football Federation wasn't formed until 1924 and the Colombian Football League didn't start playing until 1948. Originally the period of time more or less starting around 1948 and ending in the mid 1970s has been commonly called the "Golden Age of Colombian Football". It mostly involved the rise of teams like Millonarios and during the later end Deportivo Cali as the strongest forces in Colombian Football alongside the first Qualification of Colombia to the World Cup. Undoubtedly the best player active during the period was Di Stefano who went on to play with Real Madrid and win La Liga. During this period Colombia also set up the roots for future success and a much better generation of players with the introduction of it's first competitive goalkeepers (Caiman Sanchez and Pedro Zape) and the adoption of the Argentine style of Football through the many River Plate players Millonarios bought. This influence would prove to be significant when players like Valderrama started playing during the following age. What is often called "los tiempos buenos" the age that followed the "golden age" was the most important period of time for development of talent in the Colombian League. Culminating in what would eventually be called "The Greatest Colombian Team to Walk the Earth" the period started around the early to mid 1970s and ended in 1998 or so depending on who you ask. This period of time saw the rise of teams like America de Cali, who made it to the Libertadores final three times in a row with their star figures Pipa de Avila and Willington Ortiz, and teams like Atletico Nacional in the later part of the period which won said tournament and defined a team that would go on to beat Argentina 5-0 at home in 1993. Colombia also played in it's first Copa America Final and Semifinal narrowly losing to Cubillas's Peru with amazing performances from many of the America de Cali players. This period would see three qualifications to the world cup in a row, mostly due to the great performances of team captain and creative midfielder Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama now and then recognized as the greatest player in the history of the Colombian Game. "El Pibe" was not alone though, supported by a amazing team of players like voracious forward Faustino Asprilla, deep lying playmaker Freddy Rincon, center back Andres Escobar, and the antics of Goalkeeper Rene Higuita. Despite presenting a promising team that managed to compete and destroy the best teams of the time (England 1 - 1 Colombia 1988, West Germany (Champions) 1 - 1 Colombia 1990, Argentina 0 - 5 Colombia 1993) the collapse of the drug trade that for a long time funded teams that these players emerged from along with the escalation of violence and pressure on the team saw them crash out of a 1994 World Cup where they were seen as the favored Dark Horses. The Period of time that followed has yet to be name, I would venture to call it The Gilded Age of Colombian Football, while everything looked nice and pretty on the outside, once you scraped of the paint it was nothing good. It was a period that lasted from around 1999 to the end of 2012 although some claim it continues to go on. It was during the 90s that many Colombian teams first developed Youth Academies as a major strategy of football development. Nonetheless the escalation of Violence during the late end of the 90s along with the crackdown on the drug trade saw the budgets of many team cut drastically. Despite these Youth Academy's producing extremely talented players the Colombian National Team suffered. Colombia won their first Copa America in 2001 and the Colombian Youth Team performed admirably in several competitions during this period becoming a recognized powerhouse amongst the world youth production. Nonetheless things at the qualifying stage saw the National Team unable to qualify to the World Cup for 3 years in a row, as the same coaches were brought in and turned out. Many of the leaders of the Colombian Football Federation during the 90s were involved in what ended up as being Colombia's constant failure to perform at a international level. Despite the majority of Colombians demanding a foreigner coach, they would continue to place Colombian Coaches as the overseer of the team. Despite a turnover of 11 coaches in 11 years the Colombian National Team was still unable to qualify for a world cup. On the club side of things the Colombian National League became much more competitive, reaching many Copa Libertadores Semifinals, and a small team Once Caldas won the cup in 2004. Despite this many of the clubs were operating at a loss, a issue that severely affected them later on. Especially America De Cali, tied with Millos as the most successful club in Colombian History, whose entire operation and transfer fund was frozen by the US Government, a event that lead to it's eventual relegation. The period now has yet to be named, although I like to call it the Silver Age. Many Colombian youngsters of our strong youth sides entered Europe, and although 3/4 of them failed to ever achieve anything the 1/4 that did achieve have created a very strong team including probably the best forward in our history, Radamel Falcao Garcia; the first Colombian to ever reach a top goalscoring trophy in Europe, or any trophy, as a forward. Along with players like James Rodriguez, Freddy Guarin, Carlos Sanchez, Cristian Zapata, and a new foreign coach Jose Pekerman, Colombia seems to be on a good road towards qualification. Despite this the crony officials that lead our Federation are still in power, and the only reason Pekerman probably agreed to coach us was out of sympathy and his history as a player in Colombia. Colombia faces many challenges if it wishes to qualify to the World Cup. Nonetheless, we have a great team.