“The risk is that you want to stay,” said a campaign that promoted the country years ago as a tourist destination. The new risk, carried over to the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers, is that you want to win. Is this what the Colombian National Team wants?
The answer seems obvious but it is not so obvious: is it really worth the risk of winning or is it preferable to bet on scoring against one of the two South American powers, those before which many calculate, without blushing, 6 points less?
Before entering into controversies, let’s assume that in the few hours of work that Néstor Lorenzo has to plan the Colombia vs Brazil match, they talked about the enormous temptation that a Brazil without Neymar, Casemiro, Ederson, Richarlison, Paquetá… represents. As Amaranto Perea promised, they are going to go out and win in Barranquilla this Thursday. Suicide? Maybe. But the game is about taking risks and valuing them at the end, not before.
Then, Colombia will go out to beat for the first time against a rival that has it as a son, that maintains a stellar roster despite its losses and that is a danger if you allow yourself the luxury of making mistakes. The million dollar question is how not to die trying?
The game, do not doubt it, will be won by the one who conquers half of the field first and best. If Colombia does it well, from there they will be able to contain the fast Brazilian attackers on the sides, prevent anyone free from arriving to assist Vinicius and Rodrygo and enable the attacking men well for James’ precise pass, for the indecipherable strike of Luis Díaz or for the completion of Santos Borré.
Now, who can it be done with? As? The first initiative may be to populate the half with three men in the first line of flyers, the issue is the conditions they must have. They can’t all be flinstones (that’s why Barrios wasn’t called up) because once you have the ball, men with sensitivity in the starting line are urgently needed to take advantage of the spaces left by a team without Casemiro, which doesn’t look like what we’re used to. let’s see.
Thinking about a half with Lerma (game cutter), the first option is Uribe, the owner of the coach’s total trust. And the third? There are two candidates: with Richard Ríos, who plays in Brazil (Palmeiras) and knows how and when to run them, he gains marking, punching and aerial play; with Kevin Castaño, intensity in recovery.
Then, with three other options, you gain in attack and game generation but sacrifice in branding. And that’s what taking the risk of beating Brazil is all about: you can go out more and open spaces for them, but you can go out well and break history. With Jorge Carrascal, Jaminton Campaz and Yaser Asprilla you gain creation, penetration into opposing territory and medium distance to take better advantage of Díaz, James himself and Borré, but you lose in the defensive task.
Be careful: the only one that beat Brazil in the Qualifiers is Uruguay and they did it by conquering that midfield to isolate Neymar from the attackers, and displaying vertigo and physical sacrifice in the aggressive recovery, a selfless work by Valverde and Ugarte to touch and pass and an F1-style vertigo from the arrows Pellistri, Araujo and Núñez to take advantage of each long ball, behind the slow Brazilian central defenders. Does Colombia have that physical background to subdue Brazil through intensity? Yeah! The risk is that Lorenzo wants to win it.