ootball is still considered the most loved sport in the world and the many matches that have been put to halt by the pandemic have been felt by millions of supporters around the world. There are many great events throughout history in the world of football and even outside the world of football such as how the German and British troops called a size fire during World War I to play a friendly match of football.
Within the world of football, which is valued at billions of dollars, there is one very interesting event that although it was shocking, didn’t surprise the world that much, or at least Colombia.
World Cup of 94
Near the end of the world cup of 1994, Romania was leading the scoreboard, and the next team to play in order to remain within the competition was Colombia who was near the bottom of the scoreboard. Both teams had great players, but all of these players are human and you will understand why I say that later on in the article.
One very powerful man at the time who loved football almost as much as his money was Pablo Escobar, the notorious drug lord of the 80s who pretty much ruled Colombia, and with the amount of money, he had made from drug trafficking he was able to rule the whole world.
The love for football also came with a vice of gambling on football matches. Pablo pumped a lot of his money to build stadiums and finance Colombian teams such as Nacional from Medellin where most of his underground business took place. Pablo Escobar was killed in 1993, but what he had done to raise the best team within Colombia at an international level, was never forgotten.
The hate created by Colombians against the US made this cup so much more important to win, especially with the American team playing.
During the match with Romania, it did not go as planned. Romania was one of the best teams in the world at the time, because of Gica Hagi, who is now considered a legend within the football world. The best player that Colombia had was Andres Escobar, a true football star that was not related to Pablo Escobar in any way, just a simple coincidence to end up with the same surname.
Romania won 3–1 which forced Colombia to play with the USA and if they were to lose the match they would be out of the world cup.
The Colombian national team received numerous death threats from the cartel saying that if they did not win against the USA, their families would be murdered. For the Colombian national team, this just became more than an important football match, it was a match between life or death as they knew the cartel was not messing about.
Chonta Herrera’s brother was killed after the match in a mysterious accident, but everyone knows he was killed by the cartel just to show their intentions to the Colombian team. The whole team was thinking to leave the tournament, but Andres Escobar is the player who convinced the team to stay and play against the USA.
The match for life (literally)
The second match didn’t start very well, with America’s national team scoring the first goal, but what followed was the last nail in the coffin for the Colombian team and probably the biggest mistake that could be done in football history. Andres Escobar somehow managed to score an own goal.
Besides being 2–0 for the USA, the morale of the Colombian team after an own goal was below the football field. The match finished 2 -1 for America and the Colombian team returned home.
Andreas Escobar was extremely ashamed and embarrassed because of the error he had made, but even so, once he got back home in Medellin he decided to show his face around town. The whole team advised Andres to stay hidden for a while but he never listened, saying that he wouldn’t be a coward.
On the 2nd of July, 1994, Andres went out to a bar with a couple of friends. The people around the bar started to shame him for his own goal but he kept his calm and took the criticism. Around 3 AM Andreas was alone in the parking lot of the bar where he was jumped by three individuals and shot dead with a 38 caliber revolver.
It is said that Andres was killed by the cartel who placed huge bets on the national team and obviously lost. A few days later, the killer was identified as a bodyguard of the cartel bosses named Humberto Castro Muñoz who confessed to having killed Andres. Muñoz received 43 years of prison, but he only did 11 years after which he was freed for good behavior.
Andres Escobar was killed at the age of 27 and despite his huge mistake, over 120,000 people attended his funeral.