One of the biggest teams in the country, Deportivo Los Millonarios is based out of the capital city of Bogota. The team has won the most number of Primera Division titles till date and is also only the third team from Colombia to have won a major international title. Two students from Bogota decided to start the team in 1937 but it wasn’t until 1946 that the team was officially founded. The first chairman, Alfonso Senior Quevedo helped form the team in those days. Millos, as they are called, have since then won a number of tournaments at the domestic level.
The team has had many incredible players who have starred in their squads, including the likes of Daniel Onega, Carlos Angel Lopez, Sergio Goycochea, Alfredo Castillo and Carlos Valderrama. Valderrama was ousted from the club as they thought that he wasn’t good enough for the team.
In 2002, the death of Rodriguez Gacha led to major financial crisis which almost led to the demise of the team. Although 2003 went decently well for the team, 2004 was again marred by trouble when they finished a terrible season, second from bottom. Then began a slow process of rebuilding that saw the team come up again. The club moved up the ladder slowly with the appointment of Juan Carlos Osorio, the former Manchester City FC assistant manager. After Osorio’s resignation from the club, Mario Vanemerak was appointed as head coach and the team’s performance significantly improved after that point. The team qualified for the Copa Sudamericana where they defeated many strong teams including Sao Paulo from Brazil. The team plays at the Estadio El Campin, a stadium with a capacity of 42,000 in the capital.
Millonarios have won the Futbol Profesional Colombiano 13 times, and have come as runners-up 9 times. The Copa Colombia has come to Bogota with their name on it twice, in 1952-53 and in 1962-63. They finished second in the cup in 1951-52. At the international level, the team won the 2001 edition of the Copa Merconorte while coming second a year before in 2000.
The team won the Copa del Mundo de Clubes in 1953 and a year before, came second. In the Copa Libertadores, the club has appeared 14 times with their best performances being the semi-final shows in 1960, 1973 and 1974. In the two appearances in the Copa Sudamericana, they reached the semi-final in 2007 although their 2004 campaign ended in the preliminary round. In the Copa Merconorte, the team has had 4 appearances in four successive years between 1998 and 2001. In 1998, they reached the semi-finals although the next year, they lost in the group stage itself. In 2000, they reached the final but lost out on the title however, in 2001, they managed to make up for their previous years by winning the title.
Millonarios have had a number of strong players in their side like:
• Julio Aragon• Alberto Gamero• Sergio Goycochea• Ricardo Perez• Jose Romeiro• Fernando Castro• Jose Romeiro• Carlos Valderrama• Rene Higuita• Carlos Angel Lopez