This new 2023 that is about to begin has two main axes in the national sports calendar. One, soccer. The other is a tripod of Olympic cycle game dates. (Also: Football doesn’t stop: the games to watch on New Year’s Eve)
in soccerthe most popular sport and which concentrates most of the attention of the fans, The focus will be on the two senior teams, the male and the female. The first would begin in June the dispute of the qualifier for the World Cup in North America 2026, still having the last one of the elimination of the World Cup in Qatar, which ended two weeks ago with the title of Argentina of Lionel Messi.
Before that, they will play one last friendly preparation match, at the end of January, against the United States. It will be the fourth game prior to the qualifying tournament under the orders of the Argentine Nestor Lawrence, national coach on June 14, replacing Reinaldo Rueda, the coach who handed over the position with the National Team outside the World Cup.
Lorenzo, who was the first assistant of joseph pekerman In his successful time in the National Team, in the World Cups in Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018, his primary and immediate task is to form a team, a united, dedicated and supportive group, a clenched fist – the fresh example of Argentina world champion is inevitable –, rather than raising tactical, strategic issues or the ‘generational change’ of players, so mentioned in the midst of the pain of the last elimination.
For this reason, Lorenzo has begun to build on what has been built. And the basis of his calls for the friendly matches that he beat Guatemala (4-1), Mexico (3-2) and Paraguay (2-0) this year was the same as the qualifying rounds for Brazil 2014, 2018 and Qatar 2022.: David Ospina, Dávinson Sánchez, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, Wilmar Barrios, James Rodríguez, Falcao García. However, Luis Sinisterra, Jorge Carrascal, Yáser Asprilla… the ‘new’ have shone.
«The balance is very positive. Beyond the results, it is the start of a process in which I think the players are convinced of the idea that we are proposing, building a strong group, a competitive team that will play all the commitments it has and with a 2023, which will be very important”, said Lorenzo in the ‘self-interview’ that the Football Federation sent to the media last week.
A good start in the first year of the qualifiers will be essential to have peace of mind, since with the expansion of the number of teams participating in the World Cup to 48 it will allow six of the 10 selected participants to qualify directly and the seventh to play a playoff.
The World Cup, the great challenge for women’s football in 2023
Football will also have another giant spotlight with the participation of the senior women’s team in the World Cup in New Zealand, which will be held between July 20 and August 20.
The team, host runner-up in the last Copa América, will play group H against the Republic of Korea, Germany and Morocco. A very brave group. Colombia, one of the three powers of South American soccer, has as its first goal to qualify for the round of 16 and if it advances to the quarterfinals it will achieve the best participation in history.
Colombia, a women’s football in evolution, has suffered in two World Cups (of the 8 that have been played) with an elimination in the first phase and a qualification to the round of 16 with a victory, two draws and four defeats, with four goals scored and nine received.
«We are not going to comply, we are going with firm purposes, we have clear preferences for our objectives, we know the competitive group that touched us and we are working on that,» coach Nelson Abadía said at the time.
«We know the demands that each of the rivals have, but we are convinced of the ability and talent of our players and we are full of illusion to do things well for our football and to raise the name of Colombia,» he added. .
The road to the Olympics has two stops in 2023
For its part, the Colombian Olympic team will face two international tournaments to finish off the Olympic cycle, prior to the Paris 2024 Games. First, the Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador (June 23 to July 8) and, later, at the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile (October 20 to November 5).
The key to these competitions is that the horrible of the 30 athletes that the Colombian Olympic Committee (COC) has projected to win 10 Olympic golds in Paris (exceeding the best) will be in both competitions. In the Central Americans, the goal is to finish in second place. At the Pan American Games, being in the top 5.
“In the Central Americans the fight is against Mexico and Cuba. Perhaps our fight is to overcome Cuba, as we already did in the previous Games, and climb that rung. Mexico, Cuba and Colombia are the strongest, but I see the fight against Cuba as more viable”, analyzed Ciro Solano, the president of the COC, who added: “In the Pan American Games, the United States and Canada go with all the artillery. There, nothing to do. Then comes Brazil, and then we will be in the fight against Mexico and Cuba to be among the top 5 with a haul of some 30 gold medals, to surpass those won in the past Games in Lima.
Finally, in the midst of delays in several works, the Coffee Region (November 11 to 23) will host the National Games, which despite having moved to the closing queue of the Olympic cycle, will continue to be a source to discover talent.