Writing for the Financial Times, Simon Kuper, a leading commentator and keynote speaker on the interactions between football, politics, economics and culture, describes how things are looking up for Colombia, as “off the field, the country is experiencing its happiest moment in perhaps 50 years; on the field, its happiest ever. Football and real life are intersecting in surprising ways.”
Simon notes that the “country’s calmer political and economic climate probably helps the ‘Cafeteros’”, or coffee growers, as Colombia’s 50-year-old drug-fuelled civil war appears closer to resolution than ever before, and the legitimate economy is doing as well as it has since the coffee boom ended in the 1950s, 1960s.
In a similar positive fashion, the Cafeteros have four straight wins going into today’s quarter-final in Fortaleza against hosts Brazil. In all their previous World Cups combined, Colombia won three games in total. With all eyes on midfielder James Rodriguez, the clean-cut 22-year-old who is the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals, Simon predicts that “Colombia must have their best chance yet against a nervous Brazil.
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