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Faustino Asprilla
Personal information
Full name Faustino Hernán Asprilla Hinestroza
Date of birth 10 November 1969 (1969-11-10) (age 40)
Place of birth    Tuluá, Colombia
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9+12 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Cucuta Deportivo
Atlético Nacional
Newcastle United
CF Atlante F.C.
Atlético Nacional
Universidad de Chile
Estudiantes de La Plata
036 0(17)
078 0(35)
084 0(25)
048 00(9)
022 00(3)
012 00(2)
012 00(8)
012 00(3)
011 00(3)
013 00(5)
002 00(0)
330 (110)   
National team
1993–2001 Colombia 057 0(20)

1 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. He was known by his supporters in his home country as The Octopus for his flexible and fluid style.[1]


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 Cucuta Deportivo at the age of 18 for a year before transferring to Atletico 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 dollars in 1992.

Atlético Nacional

Club career


In his first Italian season at Parma, Asprilla scored some important goals, like the 27-yard second-half free kick which helped Parma beat AC Milan, 1-0, ending the Italian champion's unbeaten streak at 58 matches. 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, in the Cup Winners' Cup, scoring four goals in eight matches. It was his "double" in Spain that rallied the Italian team to a 2-1 victory over Atlético Madrid in the semifinals.

Newcastle United

Asprilla left Parma for Newcastle United for 6.7 million pounds in 1995 where he played for three seasons displaying inconsistent form. There were problems off the field too. He famously scored a hat-trick for Newcastle against Barcelona in an unforgettable 1997 Champions League game at St James' Park, which ended in a 3-2 win for Newcastle.[2] This would be the high point in his time playing for the Magpies, marking the tail end of "the Entertainers" era of the club but making him a cult hero on Tyneside.

Asprilla had to be officially working as a construction worker to gain a visa into Italy, where he rejoined Parma in 1998, scoring the goal that brought Milan's "Invincible" run to an end. His career then wound down from that point, playing for various clubs in Brasil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia.

Asprilla was approached by Division Three side Darlington as a favour to chairman George Reynolds who had befriended him, however on the day he was to sign the contract he fled the country. This was the second time that Darlington was snubbed by a high profile ex-Newcastle player that summer - the other was Paul Gascoigne.


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

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 Qatar (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. Coming 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 Rincon , and Asprilla. With 1 win and 2 losses, Colombia finished at the bottom of their group went out in the first round. Asprilla himself had a disappointing tournament failing to score at all. He infamously 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.

Retirement and honours

In July 2009 Asprilla officially retired to his hometown in Colombia and now devotes his time to coaching youngsters in the academy he set up himself. He has also recently appeared in various Colombian Reality Shows like Desafio 2004 and Nomadas, in which his sense of humor and charismatic personality made him an audience favourite.

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 4
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 2
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 28
England 48 9
Brazil 24 10
Mexico 12 3
Chile 13 5
Argentina 2 0
Career Total 327 107


External links

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