Colombia took to both the streets and social media to jointly lament their departure from the World Cup after losing to host Brazil, but also to celebrate the best World Cup in the history of Colombian soccer.
Celebrations continue after brief depression
In spite of a brief moment of profound sadness, large numbers of Colombians resumed celebrations over reaching the quarter finals of the world’s most important soccer event.
Some disturbances were reported in Bogota where the already overcrowded Transmilenio mass transit system was delayed in several parts of the city over mild irregularities and fans blocking the routes.
The mass transit system in Cali also reported delays because of fans impeding traffic. According to local newspaper El Pais, the festivities mainly remained peaceful.
In Medellin, authorities reported no incidents and soccer fans in bars soon continued the celebration they had begun just before the game.
Similar spontaneous celebrations, some lasting until late in the evening, took place in other places in the country, Twitter users showed.
Soccer stars thank Colombia
Colombia’s national team and individual players flooded Twitter with expressions of gratitude for the massive support received by the public during the first World Cup in 16 years and the best-ever in history.
Defender Juan Cuadrado posted a photo on his Twitter account of the entire selection thanking Colombians for their support.
Also forward James Rodriguez, formally deemed the best player of the tournament, expressed his gratitude to Colombians and Colombia fans.
On Twitter, the team expressed gratitude for the Colombian people ” who always supported us. Thank you for believing in this, your selection.”
The coach of the national team, Argentine Jose Pekerman, sent a message of hope to Colombia.
“It always seems impossible…until someone does it,” said the coach who brought the national team further than ever before in a World Cup.
Colombia and world thanks Cafeteros
President Juan Manuel Santos, who was one of the first to respond to the match, said Colombia had “made history.”
“All Colombians are very proud of this selection. They made history,” the president Tweeted.
The national team, the Colombian fans, and particularly Rodriguez, received even stronger support from global soccer fans, the FIFA — who referred to the striker as King James, and famous singers like Rihanna, who said she had “shed a tear for you Rodriguez!!!”
Both local and international press praised Colombia’s performance at the World Cup.
Responses on social media
Spanish referee under fire in press and social media
Xoel Cardenas of Yahoo Sports said that referee Carlos Velasco’s performance “was questionable, to say the least. Carballo called 54 fouls in the match, but he dished out just four yellow cards.”
English former referee Graham Poll said on the website of UK tabloid The Daily Mail that “the referee was not in charge” of the game.
Wall Street Journal reporter Matthew Bristow confirmed this.
Also Radamel Falcao, Colombia’s injured star striker, criticized Velasco’s questionable handling of the game, suggesting to call the referee before the match as he apparently failed to appear.
Referee / Pablo Escobar controversy
Following the match, “Pablo Escobar” unsuspectingly became a trending topic after a large number of Colombians and foreign soccer aficionados on the social media website implied the referee would not be alive if the slain drug lord was still around.
Others, offended by the association, began a counter offensive claiming the association with Colombia’s most lethal and most famous drug lord ever was tainting the athletic performances of the team.