Faustino Asprilla

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Faustino Asprilla
Personal information
Full name Faustino Hernán Asprilla Hinestroza
Date of birth (1969-11-10) 10 November 1969 (age 49)
Place of birth Tuluá, Colombia
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1986–1987 Sarmiento Lora
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1989 Cúcuta Deportivo 36 (17)
1989–1992 Atlético Nacional 78 (35)
1992–1995 Parma 84 (25)
1996–1998 Newcastle United 48 (9)
1998–1999 Parma 22 (1)
1999–2000 Palmeiras 54 (12)
2000–2001 Fluminense 12 (8)
2001–2002 Atlante 12 (3)
2002 Atlético Nacional 11 (3)
2003 Universidad de Chile 13 (5)
2003–2004 Estudiantes de La Plata 2 (0)
2004 Cortuluá 0 (0)
Total 330 (110)
National team
1993–2001 Colombia 57 (20)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Faustino Hernán "Tino" Asprilla Hinestroza (born 10 November 1969 in Tuluá) is a former Colombian football player who most notably played for Parma A.C., Newcastle United F.C. and the Colombia national football team as a forward. Though never a prolific goalscorer, he was known for his skill, flair, creative ability, power, and pace, and for having the capabiltity to create chances and score spectacular goals;[1][2] despite his talent, he was also known for being temperamental and controversial both on and off the field.[3][4]

Asprilla was known by his supporters in his home country as The Octopus for his voracious appetite.[5] In 1993, he was named by FIFA as the sixth best player in the world.[6]

Club career

Early years

After starting out playing football with local team Carlos Sarmiento Lora School, Asprilla started his professional career in 1988 for the Colombian team Cúcuta Deportivo at the age of 18 for a year before transferring to Atlético Nacional. 35 goals in 78 games brought him to the attention to several Italian clubs who bid for him with Parma winning the race to sign him for US$10.9 million in 1992.


In his first season at Parma, Asprilla scored some important goals, including a 27-yard second-half free kick which helped Parma beat Milan 1–0, ending the Italian champions' unbeaten streak at 58 matches.[7] It was at Parma that Asprilla arguably enjoyed his greatest club success. Asprilla was part of the Parma team that won its first international tournament, the 1992–93 European Cup Winners' Cup, scoring four goals in eight matches. It was his brace in Spain that rallied the Italian team to a 2–1 victory over Atlético Madrid in the semi finals. However, an injury meant he was an unused substitute as Parma defeated Belgian club Royal Antwerp 3–1 in the final.[7]

In early 1994, Asprilla was part of the Parma team which beat Milan 0–2 in the San Siro to overturn a 0–1 first leg deficit and claim the 1993 European Super Cup.

Also in the 1993–94 season, Parma reached a second Cup Winners Cup final. However, a 0–1 defeat to Arsenal of England meant they would not retain their trophy.

In 1994–95, Parma again reached the final of a major European competition as they faced Italian compatriots Juventus in the final of the UEFA Cup. Asprilla was instrumental in Parma's run to the final, with three goals over two legs in the semi final against Germany's Bayer Leverkusen.[8] In the final itself, Asprilla was in the starting XI for both legs as Parma defeated Juventus 2–1 on aggregate.

At the start of the 1995–96 season, Asprilla found himself out of coach Nevio Scala's plans. In February 1996, after making only 6 appearances in the opening 5 months of the season,[9] Asprilla joined English Premier League leaders Newcastle United for £6.7m.

During his first spell at Parma, Asprilla scored 25 goals in 84 Serie A appearances.[9] He is considered one of the greatest players of Parma's successful period in the 1990s.[10] In his three full seasons with the club, Parma finished 3rd, 5th and 3rd in Serie A. The club also reached a European final in each of those seasons, as well as the 1994–95 Coppa Italia final.

Newcastle United

Parma sold Asprilla to English Premier League side Newcastle United for £6.7m in February 1996, with 'Tino', as the fans nicknamed him, famously appearing at St James Park to finalise the move during a snowstorm, dressed in a flamboyant fur coat. At the time, Newcastle were battling Manchester United for the league title, having led the championship for much of the season.

He made his league debut in Newcastle's 2–1 win over Middlesbrough at The Riverside Stadium, coming on as a second-half substitute with the score 1–0 in Middlesbrough's favour. He made an immediate impact, creating the assist for Newcastle's equaliser. Unfortunately his time on Tyneside would be blighted by inconsistency and off-field incidents, and Asprilla was blamed as one of the reasons Newcastle would go on to concede the 1995/96 Premier League title to eventual winners Manchester United.

Asprilla's second season for Newcastle ended with the club finishing in second place once again, behind Manchester United. His role was largely reduced to substitute appearances, although he retained his best performances for the clubs UEFA Cup campaign, scoring 5 goals. His wild celebration of the goal he scored against FC Metz, whereby he removed his shirt and swung it from a corner flag, resulted in Asprilla being given a yellow card, meaning a suspension from Newcastle's next UEFA Cup game against AS Monaco.

The 1997/98 season would be Asprilla's last for Newcastle. With the sale of striker Les Ferdinand to Tottenham Hotspur, and the serious injury to Alan Shearer during pre-season, Asprilla was preferred as first choice striker alongside the young, inexperienced Jon Dahl Tomasson. With the club competing in that season's Champions League, Asprilla's finest game for Newcastle came in a 3–2 win over Barcelona in an unforgettable game at St James' Park; Asprilla scored a hat-trick for Newcastle, which would be his last goals for the club.[11] By the end of January 1998, with Newcastle struggling in the league and knocked out of the Champions League, Asprilla's time at Newcastle came to an abrupt end, with the Newcastle manager Kenny Dalglish finally running out of patience with the wild Colombian's playboy antics and on-field inconsistency. He was sold back to Parma for £6m, having scored a total of 9 goals in 48 league appearances, and an impressive 9 goals in 11 European games.


Asprilla played in the successful Palmeiras team in the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

Later career and Darlington link

Although his brief time with Palmeiras saw the team achieve success, for Asprilla personally his time there marked the beginning of a pattern of short, relatively unproductive stays with various clubs across various countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Argentina.

During a time which was generally low-key, he appeared in the public eye again in 2002 amid reports he had been approached by English Division Three side Darlington. Darlington successfully appealed an initial work permit refusal and had offered around £17,000 per week plus 20% of gate receipts, a car and a rent-free flat. Chairman George Reynolds considered they were friends and in fact paraded Asprilla in front of 5,163 fans before Darlington's 2-0 win over Carlisle United on Tuesday 27 August, believing the intended 2-year contract was good as signed. However it was reported that following the player stalling on taking a medical on Thursday 29 August, in the early hours of Friday 30 August, Asprilla caught a flight from Newcastle Airport to the Middle East, to apparently take up a more lucrative offer. Reynolds described himself as "absolutely gutted" by the snub, complained Asprilla "did not even have the decency to say goodbye" and said he would never talk to him again.[12][13] This was the second time that Darlington was snubbed by a high profile ex-Newcastle player that summer – the other was Paul Gascoigne.

The identity of the Middle East club has never been revealed and whether Asprilla did join them remains a mystery. There is no record of him officially playing for another professional team after his departure from Argentine side Estudiantes de La Plata in 2004.

International career


Asprilla scored 20 goals in 57 matches for Colombia from 1993 to 2001 and played for his country at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups. Asprilla was expected to be one of the top players of the 1994 tournament, but failed to score a single goal as Colombia was eliminated in the first round.

1992 Summer Olympics

Asprilla was a member of the Colombian team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona where the team also went out in the first round with losses to Spain (4–0) and Egypt (3–4), and a draw with Ireland (1–1).

1993 Copa America

In the 1993 Copa America held in Ecuador, Colombia finished third overall. After topping Group C with a win over Mexico 2–1, and draws with Bolivia 1–1 and Argentina 1–1, Colombia beat Uruguay 1–1 (5–3 on penalties) before losing 0–0 (6–5 on penalties) to Argentina in the semi-final. Argentina went on to win the tournament. In the third place game, Colombia beat Ecuador 1–0 to claim third spot. Asprilla failed to score in the tournament.

1994 FIFA World Cup

Asprilla was part of the Colombian team which demolished Argentina 5–0 in a World Cup Qualifier game in Buenos Aires in 1993, a game in which he scored twice. Colombia finished undefeated in the South American qualifying group. Going into the 1994 FIFA World Cup, there were high expectations for Colombia as a dark horse favorite to win the cup with a team that included such notable players as Carlos Valderrama, Freddy Rincón, and Asprilla. With 1 win and 2 losses, Colombia finished at the bottom of their group and went out in the first round. Asprilla himself had a disappointing tournament, failing to score at all. He walked out on his teammates mid way through the group phase. Colombia failed to advance to the next round, despite having an excellent team.

1995 Copa America

In the Copa America held in Uruguay and won by Uruguay, Colombia again finished third. Colombia started out by finishing third in Group B with a 1–1 draw with Peru (Asprilla scored the goal), a 1–0 win over Ecuador and a 0–3 loss to Brazil. The team then went on to defeat Paraguay 5–4 on penalties after a 1–1 draw in the quarter-finals before losing to Uruguay 2–0 in the semi-final. In the third place match, Colombia faced the United States who they easily defeated 4–1 with Asprilla scoring one of the Colombians' four goals in the match.

1998 FIFA World Cup

In the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, expectations were again high for Colombia and Asprilla remained in the team. Again, Colombia was out in the first round with 1 win and 2 losses. Asprilla was dismissed from the team after complaining to reporters about the coach's decision to substitute him near the end of Colombia's opening loss against Romania.

Following the World Cup, Asprilla retired from international football for Colombia at the age of 32 in 2001.

International goals

Scores and results lists Colombia's goal tally first.[14]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 6 June 1993 Estadio Nemesio Camacho, Bogotá, Colombia  Chile
2. 5 September 1993 Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Argentina
1994 FIFA World Cup qualification
4. 7 July 1995 Estadio Atilio Paiva Olivera, Rivera, Uruguay  Peru
1995 Copa América
5. 22 July 1995 Estadio Domingo Burgueño, Maldonado, Uruguay  United States
6. 28 March 1996 Estadio Atanasio Girardot, Medellín, Colombia  Bolivia
7. 24 April 1996 Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia  Paraguay
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
8. 29 May 1996 Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, United States  Scotland
9. 7 July 1996 Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia  Uruguay
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
10. 1 September 1996  Chile
13. 9 October 1996 Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito, Ecuador  Ecuador
14. 8 February 1997 Estadio Hernán Ramírez Villegas, Pereira, Colombia  Slovakia
15. 20 August 1997 Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia  Bolivia
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
16. 9 February 1999 Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, United States  Germany
18. 17 June 1999 Estadio Palogrande, Manizales, Colombia  Peru
20. 19 February 2000 Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, United States  United States
2000 Gold Cup


In July 2009 Asprilla officially retired from top flight football following a retirement match in Medellín, Colombia. Although this marks his official retirement date, he had not been actively employed by a professional side in around 5 years.

Subsequently he was rumoured to at one stage be on the books of Slovenian side NK Bravo, who play in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, and to have been running an academy, coaching young players in Colombia. In 2008 he was arrested for allegedly firing a machine-gun at security forces near his farm in Colombia. He was placed under house arrest on charges of weapons possession and criminal damage.[15] He has appeared in various Colombian Reality Shows, such as Desafio 2005 and Nomadas. In 2011 he was spotted attending Newcastle United matches, his cult status amongst English supporters meaning his presence often draws comment. At the Stadium of Light for the Sunderland vs Newcastle game on 17 January 2011 he was in the away end sporting a Newcastle scarf. He made a return to St. James' Park on 22 January 2011 appearing on the pitch at half time during Newcastle United's Premier League home game against Tottenham Hotspur and attended a charity dinner in Gateshead that evening, alongside Les Ferdinand and Peter Beardsley, where he spoke of his affection for the Newcastle fans.[16]

In early 2013, Asprilla was linked with a return to his former club Newcastle. Asprilla spoke of performing a coaching role with the youth squad as well as developing a special role in introducing young talent into the academy from his homeland Colombia. His intention is to give Colombians a chance to showcase their skills in European/English football, based on the sheer amount of talent that has come from Colombia in recent years.

Asprilla played in former Magpies goalkeeper Steve Harper's testimonial match on 11 September 2013 against AC Milan Glorie. He had a header disallowed for offside before the Italians won 2-1 on penalties.[17]

In September 2014 it was revealed that he was preparing to launch a range of flavoured condoms in Colombia.[18]

Career statistics


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Colombia League Cup League Cup South America Total
1988 Cúcuta Deportivo 36 17
1989 Atlético Nacional 15 7
1990 20 9
1991 34 12
1992 6 4
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1992–93 Parma Serie A 26 7 3
1993–94 27 10 2
1994–95 25 6
1995–96 6 2
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1995–96 Newcastle United Premier League 14 3
1996–97 24 4 4
1997–98 10 2 2 3
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1997–98 Parma Serie A 14 0
1998–99 8 1
Brazil League Copa do Brasil League Cup South America Total
1999 Palmeiras Série A 6 2
2000 6 0
2000 Fluminense Série A 2 0
2001 10 8
Mexico League Cup League Cup North America Total
2001–02 Atlante F.C. Primera División 12 3
Colombia League Cup League Cup South America Total
2002 Atlético Nacional 11 3
Chile League Copa Chile League Cup South America Total
2003 Universidad Chile Primera División 13 5
Argentina League Cup League Cup South America Total
2003–04 Estudiantes La Plata Primera División 2 0
Total Colombia 122 52
Italy 106 26
England 48 9
Brazil 24 10
Mexico 12 3
Chile 13 5
Argentina 2 0
Career total 327 105



Atlético Nacional


  1. "Asprilla's magical European night". ESPN.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Mike Zizzo (15 June 1994). "Baggio Takes Great Strides Toward Soccer Greatness". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 24 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Falcao form boosts troubled Colombia". FourFourTwo. 29 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Whatever happened to Newcastle's Faustino Asprilla?". FootballFanCast. 31 December 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. One-to-one interview with FourFourTwo
  6. "Newcastle legend Asprilla arrested after peppering the defence with shots - using a machine gun". London: Mail Online. 27 June 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "The Mavericks: Faustino Asprilla". ESPN Soccernet. 8 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Italy 2 Germany 0". The Independent. 19 April 1995.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Newcastle demands block Asprilla move". The Independent. 5 February 1996.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Parma: 15 Greatest Players of the Parmalat Era". The Blecher Report.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. – Highlight of the Newcastle 3–2 victory against Barcelona
  12. "Asprilla snubs Darlington". BBC Sport. 30 August 2002. Retrieved 2011-02-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Van Wijk, Jim (31 August 2002). "Darlington left furious as Asprilla flies away". The Independent. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Ballesteros, Frank (3 October 2002). "Faustino Hernán Asprilla - Goals in International Matches". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 7 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Sportsmail Reporter (27 June 2008). "Newcastle legend Asprilla arrested after peppering the defence with shots - using a machine gun". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 2011-02-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Moore, James (22 January 2011). "Faustino Asprilla entertains at charity event". North East: ChronicleLive, the Evening Chronicle newspaper online.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/steve-harper-testimonial-newcastle-milan-2267895
  18. http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/sep/25/faustino-asprilla-launch-line-condoms-colombia-guava-flavour
  19. Faustino Asprilla at National-Football-Teams.com

External links

Media related to Faustino Asprilla at Wikimedia Commons