|Ground Capacity 36,343|
Arena/Stadium Estadio El Campín
League Categoría Primera A
Manager Miguel Ángel Russo
|Owner Azul & Blanco S.A.|
Founded 18 June 1946
Location Bogotá, Colombia
|Full name Millonarios Fútbol Club S.A.|
Nickname(s) Millos Embajadores (The Ambassadors), El Azul (The Blue), Albiazules (The White-Blues) El Ballet Azul (The Blue Ballet)
Ground Estadio El Campín Bogotá, Colombia
Chairman Enrique Camacho Matamoros
Millonarios Fútbol Club is a professional Colombian football team based in Bogotá, that currently plays in the Categoría Primera A. They play their home games at the El Campín stadium.
- The Ballet Azul
- Small Club World Cup
- Domestic honours
- International honours
- Performance in CONMEBOL competitions
- First team squad
- Most capped players
- Top scorers
- Affiliated teams
The team was initially created in 1937 by students from the "Colegio San Bartolomé". After the team initially was unsure about which name it would want to use, Unión and Juventud were originally favoured, it got under the influence of the city administration of Bogotá and operated as Club Municipal de Deportes. Millonarios was formally founded on June 18, 1946, thanks to the efforts of Alfonso Senior Quevedo, who became the first chairman.
Millonarios has won the Colombian league 14 times. They are also the third Colombian team to achieve a major international title, the Copa Merconorte in 2001. Since the beginning of the Colombian professional football league, Millonarios has won many domestic tournaments, the last one in 2012 after a 24-year wait.
Millonarios is also one of only three teams that have played every first division tournament in the country, along with their traditional rivals Santa Fe and Atlético Nacional.
Millonarios is one of the most successful teams from Colombia and a major soccer representative of the Americas in the 20th century. Having their peak during the 1950s. Millonarios has won 14 first division titles. Millonarios has been known to have one of the largest fan bases in Colombia.
The Ballet Azul
Millonarios greatly benefited from a major players' strike in the Argentinian league in 1948, which caused a great diaspora of players towards Colombia. The most successful period for the club was during the early 1950s due the notable Argentinean presence. During this period with the squad that was known as The Blue Ballet, that featured great players such as Alfredo di Stefano, Adolfo Pedernera, Néstor Rossi, Julio Cozzi, Antonio "Maestrico" Báez, Hugo Reyes, Reinaldo Mourin and other figures in Argentina, mainly from River Plate. Thanks to the great football that showed these players on the field, Millonarios was named by several media outlets in South America and Europe, as the best team in the world in the early 1950s.
In 1951, Colombia was suspended by FIFA due to the recruitment of international players without a pass; the teams were forced to return all expatriate players that had participated in the tournament through irregular means. This edict marked the departure of di Stefano in February 1953, receiving bids from Barcelona and Real Madrid, who came to win the bid for the player. The Colombian national team was also banned from the 1954 FIFA World Cup for the same reason.
Small Club World Cup
In 1952, a group of Venezuelan sports entrepreneurs created the Small Club World Cup, a friendly competition that brought together leading European and South American teams. Millonarios was invited to participate in the 1952 and 1953 editions. In its first appearance, the team finished with seven points, behind Real Madrid (double tie 1–1) and Brazilian Botafogo (4–4 tie and defeat 0–2); the tournament was played in a two-round scheme, and involved host La Salle of Venezuela (double win 4–1 and 5–1).
In its participation in 1953, the team was crowned undefeated champion with 11 points, above River Plate of Argentina (5–1 win and 1–1 tie), Rapid Wien of Austria (double win 2–1 and 4–0) and Spanish Espanyol of Barcelona (double win 6–0 and 4–0). This friendly tournament is considered by some to be a predecessor of the Intercontinental Cup, now known as FIFA Club World Cup, though not its equivalent.
Millonarios had further improvement when former Manchester City assistant manager Juan Carlos Osorio was appointed as the new Millonarios' Manager, which led the club to 3rd position in the League Stage of the Mustang Cup, and 5th in the addition of all the year's performance, taking the club once again into the Copa Sudamericana, while the financial situation of the team also had a notable recovery. In July 2007, Osorio left Millonarios to manage Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire, and he was replaced with Martín Lasarte; after a brief, but very unsuccessful period with Lasarte, Millonarios then hired Argentinian Mario Vanemerak as their new manager. Under Vanemerak, Millonarios began to shine again, most notably in the Copa Sudamericana 2007, where they eliminated several powerful teams, most notably Brazilian champions São Paulo in the quarter-finals, thanks to two goals from Ricardo Ciciliano. As of October, 2007, Millonarios qualified for the Copa Sudamericana semi-finals, although they had a less impressive performance in the local tournament.
Plagued by financial problems, and with no major titles in the last decade, the club finally initiated a bankruptcy process that led to its being bought by a society composed of about 4,000 fans, Azul & Blanco, SA This movement also meant a change in playing style which started with the hiring of Venezuelan coach Richard Páez. The change has proved successful, both financially and as related to championships. With Páez as coach, the team was able to win the Copa Colombia 2011 tournament, after winning both games against Boyacá Chicó, thus classifying to 2012 Copa Sudamericana. In June 24, 2012, it was confirmed that Hernán Torres would be the new coach.
In Copa Sudamericana, the team was highly successful, reaching semi-finals after eliminating Inti Gas, Guaraní, and the Brazilians Palmeiras, and Gremio, being eliminated by runner-up, Tigre. This came as a relief after an embarrassing defeat to Real Madrid in a friendly match to honor Alfredo Di Stéfano.
Despite the defeat, the team played a great first phase in the Colombian tournament, classifying to the play-offs as the best team of the semester. After a very difficult series of matches, the team reached the Finals which were to be played against Independiente Medellín. The first match was played in Medellín, and ended in a 0–0 tie. The final game was played December 16, 2012 in Bogotá, and ended up 1–1, thus the result had to be determined by a penalty shootout. Goalkeeper Delgado managed to stop a final shoot, and Millonarios won its 14th championship, the first Fútbol Profesional Colombiano title in about 24 years.
As the 2012 Finalización champion, Millonarios qualified to 2013 Copa Libertadores, where it played the second stage against Bolivian San José, Mexican Tijuana, and Brazilian Corinthians.
Under coach Ricardo Lunari, Millonarios started 2015 with three home victories against Patriotas, Cúcuta Deportivo and Cortuluá. Meanwhile, their debut in the Copa Colombia came with defeat against La Equidad.
Millonarios has forged many rivalries with several teams from the league, most notably with local rivals Santa Fe. This derby is popularly called El Clásico Capitalino (The Capital Classic). There are also strong rivalries with other teams like América de Cali, Atlético Nacional and Deportivo Cali.
Performance in CONMEBOL competitions
First-team squadAs of 25 February 2017
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Most capped players
Last updated on: 5 February 2016
Last updated on: 5 February 2016