Andrés Escobar


Andrés Escobar

Infobox Football biography
playername= Andrés Escobar
fullname = Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga
nickname = El Caballero del Futbol


dateofbirth = birth date|1967|3|13
cityofbirth = Medellín
countryofbirth = Colombia
dateofdeath = death date and age|1994|7|02|1967|3|13
cityofdeath = Medellín
countryofdeath = Colombia
height = height|meters=1.84
currentclub =
clubnumber = 2
position = Defender
youthyears = 1985-1987
youthclubs = Atlético Nacional
years = 1987-1989 1989-1990 1990-1994
clubs = Atlético Nacional Young Boys Atletico Nacional
caps(goals) =
nationalyears = 1988–1994
nationalteam = Colombia
nationalcaps(goals) = 50 (1)
pcupdate = 3 July 2007
ntupdate = 3 July 2007

Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga (March 13, 1967 - July 2, 1994) was a Colombian soccer player, who was shot and killed in Medellín.

The motivation for the murder is unclear; some attribute the murder to the own goal that Escobar scored in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, since that goal brought terrible gambling losses to several drug lords. Another theory is that his death was unrelated to football and was instead the result of a bar fight that left several people wounded. To this moment, over fourteen years since his death, the late player is still placed in the highest regard by Colombian fans, and is specially mourned and remembered by Atletico Nacional's fans, even though some of them never saw him play in person.

occer career

Escobar was a defender for Colombia in the Soccer World Cup in 1990 and 1994. His jersey number was 2, and was known by the nicknames "El Caballero del Futbol" ("The Gentleman of Football" or "Football's Knight") and "The Immortal Number 2". In his club career, he played for Medellín side Atlético Nacional and Swiss side Young Boys Bern. He scored his only regular international goal in a 1–1 draw against England at Wembley in 1988.

Escobar's infamous own goal occurred in a match against the United States on 22 June during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Stretching to cut out a cross from U.S. midfielder John Harkes, he deflected the ball into his own net in the second match of Group A. The USA won the game 2–1, and as a result, Colombia was eliminated from the tournament in the first round.

Death

On July 2, 1994, Escobar was shot outside "El Indio" bar, located in a Medellín suburb. According to Escobar's girlfriend, the killer shouted "Gooooooooooooool!" (mimicking South American sporting commentators for their calls after a goal is scored) for each of the 12 bullets firedFact|date=June 2008.

The murder was widely believed to be a punishment for the own goal. [cite news|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/02/AR2006060201401.html|title=The Soccer Wars|date=2006-06-04|publisher=Washington Post|last=Drezner|first=Daniel|page=B01] It is not clear whether the murderer acted on his own initiative, or whether he was sent out by one of the gambling syndicates who had bet large amounts of money on Colombia to qualify for the second round.

A few years later, a bar was opened in Singapore called Escobar. The bar has remained a popular Singapore bar to this day.

The BBC issued an apology the following day after its pundit Alan Hansen commented on another match that "the Argentine defender wants shooting for a mistake like that." [cite news|url=http://football.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,4284,468273,00.html|title=World Cup can wait - Sven has an election to win|last=Weaver|first=Paul|date=2001-04-01|publisher=The Guardian]

Murderer

Humberto Muñoz Castro was found guilty of Escobar's murder in June 1995 and sentenced to 43 years in prison. Muñoz had been working as a bodyguard.

The sentence was later reduced to 26 years due to his submitting to the ruling penal code in 2001.Muñoz was released on good behavior due to further reductions from prison work and study in 2005 after serving approximately 11 years, in a controversial move [http://www.caracol.com.co/realarchi.asp?id=209718] .

Honors

*Copa Libertadores: 1989
*Colombian Championship: 1991
*Copa Interamericana: 1989
*Intercontinental Cup Runner-Up: 1989

References

External links

* [http://www.caracol.com.co/realarchi.asp?id=209718/ Interview with Escobar's father]
* [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/world/2002/world_cup/hof/escobar/ CNNSI Tribute]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUW8wFOytiY Video of the own goal, 1994 World Cup]
* [http://www.ht-arena.com/andres_escobar_arena/?page=Andres%20Escobar Biography (in Spanish)]


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