We go through the horrible history of Colombia’s Andres Escobar, the defender who was assassinated 25 years ago today after the 1994 World Cup.
Colombia has a very dark history between the ’80s and ’90s, so much so that it even splattered to footballer Andres Escobar right after the 1994 World Cup.
During that tournament in the United States, the defender was part of a golden generation of players led by footballers such as Carlos Valderrama.
But during that era, Andres wasn’t the only famous Escobar at the time. Just a year before this World Cup, drug kingpin Pablo Escobar was shot to death in the rooftops of Medellin.
That last name would forever be linked to tragedy in Colombia, but Andres’ assassination would be the one that truly hurt the people from a country that was constantly stained by blood due to intolerance.
Right after scoring an own goal against the United States that brought Colombia’s elimination from the 1994 World Cup, Escobar spoke to the press about his plans for the future.
Andres revealed that he felt he was only at the halfway of his professional career, he wanted to keep playing for at least 7 more years.
The man jumped on a plane to Colombia later in the week, and he even wrote an ominous column for ‘El Tiempo’ from Bogota, where he apologized to the people of Colombia in the name of all the squad.
Andres had no idea what was coming on July 2, 1994. As he came out of a restaurant with his girlfriend in Medellin of all places, a group of armed men approached him.
2 de julio de 1994, Andrés Escobar era asesinado por hacer este autogol días antes en el mundial contra Estados Unidos.
“La vida no termina aquí” declaraba pero alguien no compartió eso en su regreso a Colombia. pic.twitter.com/schkFkXwfi
— Esto es América (@PlanetaAmerica_) July 2, 2019
These people were clearly linked with the mafia, but Escobar’s death had very little to do with that.
The main theory of why the footballer was killed, had to do with a massive wager gone wrong for a man who was related to the Colombian mafia and he just wanted Andres to pay with his life.
As he argued with the player outside of the restaurant, the murderer thanked Andres for the own goal and proceeded to shoot him six times.
Humberto Castro Muñoz was arrested on that same night for the alleged murder of footballer Andres Escobar, he pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 43 years in prison.
But the damage was already done, Andres received a wake of 120,000 people in Colombia and the city of Medellin later unveiled a statue of the player.
This was the time when drug cartels from Colombia truly ruled the country, which is a major reason why the murderer was released after only 11 years of his sentence.
Escobar’s family has attempted to appeal to this unfair treatment but they have been unsuccessful ever since.
This means that Andres Escobar’s assassin is back roaming the streets, a man who doesn’t deserve to be free for murdering an innocent football player who only committed a mistake of representing his country in a World Cup.
¡Descansa en paz, Caballero del Fútbol! 🇨🇴🙏
— Copa Mundial FIFA 🏆 (@fifaworldcup_es) July 2, 2019
Escobar’s ominous apology.
Just a couple of days after getting eliminated, Andres Escobar wrote an ominous apology to all the Colombia fans.
There was an ominous feeling in the words that he wrote, almost as if he knew that he was being targetted.
“We must always be classy in victory, but even more so in the face of defeat. Getting retribution for things like this doesn’t lead you to any good outcome,” wrote Andres.
“I also think that not accepting defeat is not a very elegant way to present yourself to the world, which has recognized our evolution in the world of football.”
“I would advise us to wait for a little while in order to keep that good image we left to the world over the summer.”
“We can’t be treated as any type of person because in spite of everything, we have fought to elevate Colombian football to the highest level.”
“I am part of this movement, and I can assure you that nothing strange happened with this group. We simply found ourselves at a low point during the competition.”
2We were incapable of reacting properly in the face of adversity, we admit we were responsible and we return with a heavy heart knowing that we had everything to qualify on that third match.”
“It’s a pity. But please, let respect prevail above everything else…”
“A big hug for everybody and tell them that it was a great opportunity and a phenomenal experience. It was a little strange, something I’ve never felt before in my life.”
So long, because life doesn’t end here,” wrote Escobar in that ominous column picked up by ‘El Pais’ before getting murdered.
— EL TIEMPO (@ELTIEMPO) July 2, 2019
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