Jose Pekerman will lead James Rodriguez and Colombia for four more years.
Colombia have signed manager Jose Pekerman to a new four-year contract that will keep him in charge of the cafateros through the 2018 World Cup. Re-signing Pekerman is a big deal for Colombia, who were in danger of losing the manager that led them to the World Cup quarterfinals after his contract expired in July.
Colombia had not qualified for the World Cup since 1998 and hadn't been to the knockout stages since 1990 when Pekerman took head job in 2012. Two years later, they had their best showing in history and they did it despite losing Radamel Falcao to injury.
Pekerman took over under less than ideal circumstances and quickly turned the team around. Colombia had managed just four points from their first three World Cup qualifiers when Leonel Alvarez was fired and Pekerman replaced him, but they won his first match in charge and, not long after, won four straight by a combined score of 14-1. That propelled them into a qualifying position, which they held onto with ease for the remainder of the campaign.
Falcao's injury was supposed to doom Colombia's World Cup hopes, but it didn't. They were a very good team, organized and disciplined while still letting their wealth of attacking talent run free, and nobody shined brighter than James Rodriguez. The 23-year-old became a superstar in Brazil, giving Colombia hope that their wonderful summer might not be a one-off. Maybe they could be brilliant again at Copa America, and in four years at the next World Cup. With James still young, and now Pekerman back in the fold, they just might.