On the 2ndof July 1994, Andres Escobar, was shot dead during a night out with friends. Since the shooting, many theories have been put forward to explain why Escobar was killed. Was he the victim of a revenge attack? Did his own goal against the USA cost him his life? Or did he somehow manage to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Andres Escobar was the part of Columbia’s golden generation of players. The South Americans were relatively an unknown quantity in footballing terms leading up to the 1994 World Cup Qualifying campaign. However, by the time the World Cup, held in USA, came round, Columbia were touted as one of the favourites to lift the trophy.
The confidence in the national team was not misplaced. Leading up the finals, Columbia managed a record of 26 games, losing just once, prompting Pele to tip them to lift their first ever World Cup, a view that many shared pre World Cup. The team was full of superstars who excited and entertained their countrymen with dazzling displays full of exuberance and slick passing football. Players such as Faustino Asprilla, Freddy Rincon and Captain Carlos Valderrama carried the hopes of the nation on their shoulders.
In 1993, Columbia travelled to Argentina for a vital World Cup Qualifying game. Only one of these teams would qualify outright. Columbia put on a world class performance and crusied to a 5-0 win.
However, the rise of Colombian football during the early 90s was not a coincidence. Whilst one Escobar was excelling on the pitch, another Escobar lurked behind the scenes casting a dark shadow over the country.
Pablo Escobar, no relation to his namesake, Andres, was running the country with his drug fuelled wealth. Pablo was …