Liana Salazar A long road to joys and successes santa fe, especially at the local level, but the composition of the Colombian Women’s League, which barely gives two months of competition, allowed it to open up to other areas.
At the age of 28, Liana has the potential to lift the Libertadores Women’s Cup tonight once again, with the Lionesses finally hoping to fulfill the dream they have followed since starting professionally in this branch.
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The final will take place at 6 pm Colombia time at the Gran Parque Central in Montevideo. You will see the game Directv Sports and Win Sports.
With experience to win
The task will not be easy: they will face Corinthians, from Brazil, the most developed country in women’s football in South America, which has won nine of the 12 editions of the tournament. The Santa Fe competitor did it twice, 2017 (as the Audax-Corinthians) and 2019.
But the Brazilians are invincible. America de Cali showed it already at the beginning of this year, when the 2020 edition of the Cup was held. On March 17, she tied 1-1 and took it from the penalty spot, with Katherine Tapia, the same concierge who is today in charge of Cardinal Security, was a figure.
“I think it will be a fun match, alert. We are not afraid of any Brazilian team and I think we have shown that Colombian teams can live up to the level of Brazilians,” Liana told El VBar Caracol.
“It was a bit easy for the Corinthians, and there was no rival to complicate it. We will have a good match for him. Since we are standing still, I think tactically we are one of the strongest teams in the tournament,” he added.
And she, more than anyone else, knows what she’s talking about. In 2018, he went to strengthen Atletico Huila and with this club achieved a historic title for Colombia by defeating Santos, also Brazilian, in the final. In addition to Liana, three other members of Team Leonas already know what it means to win the Libertadores title: Levis Ramos, Fanny Gato and Nellie Cordoba. And the coach is the same who won that tournament, Alberu Irazo.
From Recocha to Europe
But with her coming and going, Liana is one of Santa Fe’s standards. Among the team in Montevideo, where the cup final will be played today, is the one that has played the most matches in the red jersey with white sleeves: 51, scored 12 goals.
The only one she outgrew, Gabriela Huertas (60), did not go to the Libertadores.
Salazar already has extensive experience. Having, inadvertently, started in women’s football (they called her “Ricucha” at the school of the National Pedagogical Institute and it turned out on conditions), she played on three continents and the sport allowed her to pursue another profession: she entered the university from Kansas, USA, where he graduated as a professional in International business. Was there from 2011 to 2015.
The professional league had not yet started playing in Colombia when Liana made the leap to Europe: she played in Sudet, Finland, in 2016. But then she was called up by Santa Fe, who armed herself to be the first champion and succeeded, in 2017.
The title of Libertadores with Huila opened the doors to another continent: in 2019 she was appointed by the Beijing Sports University of China, which upon arrival was in the third division. There he not only noticed the great advantage that Colombia had in the organization, but also found ideal working conditions to devote himself to football.
At that club he reached the second division, before returning to Santa Fe in the 2020 league.
Returning to her native Colombia, Liana was again a champion with Leonas, defeating América de Cali in the final. And this year was on the verge of a third star, but Santa Fe fell to Deportivo Cali. Revenge came two months later, with the Libertadores being 90 minutes away.
This experience also brought her to the national team, where she has a long history: she has participated in two Olympics, the U-17 World Cup and two seniors; Among them is Canada 2015, where Colombia reached the second stage for the first time. And now, DT Nelson Abadía has called his back for next Sunday’s friendly match against Uruguay in Palmaseca.
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Jose Orlando Asensio
Deputy Sports Editor