Liga Postobón
Countries Colombia
Confederation Conmebol
Founded 1948
Number of teams 18
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to Categoría Primera B
Domestic cup(s) Copa Colombia
International cup(s) Copa Libertadores
Copa Sudamericana
Current champions Millonarios (14th title)
Most championships Millonarios (14 titles)
TV partners Directv
RCN Televisión
33px 2012 season

The Categoría Primera A (Spanish pronunciation: [katexoˈɾi.a pɾiˈmeɾa ˈa]) is the professional football league of Colombia. It is the country's premier football tournament and sits at the top of the Colombian football league system. Eighteen clubs play in the league. The División Mayor del Fútbol Profesional Colombiano, better known as Dimayor, operates a system of promotion and relegation with the Categoría Primera B. Because of sponsorship by soft drink company Postobón will sponsor the league for the next five years and the league will be called Liga Postobón[1] [ˈliɣa postoˈβon].

The league was started in 1947 by Alfonso Senior Quevedo, president of Adefútbol. Due to some political problems between 1947 and 1948, the league's first season was in 1948, and has been held yearly since. Since the 1968 season the league has used the Apertura and Clausura system, although they have only crowned a champion for each tournament since the 2002 season. In 1989, the season was cancelled mid-way through because of the assassination of a referee.

Fourteen teams have been crowned Colombian football champion. The most successful club and the current champion is Millonarios with their 14th title.


In 1948, Dimayor was founded in Barranquilla to officially organize football. FIFA declared the Colombian league a breakaway league after a dispute with the existing amateur football authority in Colombia. Therefore, all Colombian teams were suspended from playing international football. The Colombia national football team was also under sanction. However, the sanction did not hurt the league. Due to a strike in Argentine football, the best footballers were signed in Colombia. This era was known as El Dorado and lasted until 1953, when Alfredo Di Stéfano was transferred to Spain.


League stageEdit

During the league stage, which lasts eighteen games, each team plays against every other team once, plus an additional game against their local rival in the league. The league table is kept like a normal European league table, one point for ties and three points for a win. The top eight teams advance to the playoffs.


The finals involve two games. The team with the highest aggregate score after both home and away games wins and is crowned champion. If the game is a tie it proceeds directly to a penalty shoot-out. The away goals rule is not used.


File:Tuchin Balon Futbol Colombiano.jpg

The setup and fixtures for the Copa Mustang have been changed many times. The current system was established in 1999. Prior to this setup, many complex fixtures and stages were used. One of the worst was the 1996–1997 cup, that actually was played for 18 months, from July 1996 to December 1997. The excuse to make an exceptionally complex league has usually been an effort to spice up the tournament. Several famous Colombian coaches have expressed a dislike of the new format and several teams have been in first place throughout the entire league stage, and then not even reached the final.

Current teamsEdit

As of Mar 18, 2012

Departament Home city Club Head Coach Stadium First season
in the Primera A
Last title
Logo Atlántico Logo Barranquilla Junior 22x20px José 'Cheché' Hernández Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez 1948 2011-II
Logo Antioquia Logo Medellín Atlético Nacional 22x20px Juan Carlos Osorio Atanasio Girardot 1948 2011-I
Independiente Medellín 22x20px Hernán Darío Gómez 1948 2009-II
Logo Itagüí Itagüí Ditaires 22x20px Leonel Álvarez Estadio Metropolitano Ciudad de Itagüí 2011 None
Logo Envigado Envigado 22x20px Pedro Enrique Sarmiento Solís Polideportivo Sur 1992 None
Logo Bogotá Logo Bogotá D.C. Millonarios 22x20px Hernán Torres Oliveros Nemesio Camacho 1948 2012-II
Santa Fe 22x20px Wilson Gutiérrez 1948 2012-I
La Equidad 22x20px Alexis García Metropolitano de Techo 2007 None
Logo Bolivar Logo Cartagena Real Cartagena 22x20px Huber Bodert Jaime Morón León 1971 None
Logo Boyacá Logo Tunja Boyacá Chicó 22x20px Alberto Gamero La Independencia 2004 2008-I
Patriotas 22x20px Miguel Augusto Prince 2012 None
24px Caldas 24px Manizales Once Caldas 22x20px Ángel Guillermo Hoyos Palogrande 1948 2010-II
Logo Huila Logo Neiva Atlético Huila 22x20px Álvaro de Jesús Gómez Guillermo Plazas Alcid 1993 None
Logo Nariño Logo Pasto Deportivo Pasto 22x20px Flabio Torres Libertad 1999 2006-I
Logo Norte de Santander Logo Cúcuta Cúcuta Deportivo 22x20px Oscar Héctor Quintabani General Santander 1950 2006-II
Logo Quindio Logo Armenia Deportes Quindío 22x20px Fernando Castro Lozada Centenario 1952 1956
Logo Tolima Logo Ibagué Deportes Tolima 22x20px Carlos Castro Manuel Murillo Toro 1955 2003-II
Logo Valle del Cauca Logo Cali Deportivo Cali 22x20px Julio Avelino Comesaña Pascual Guerrero 1948 2005-II

Champions by seasonsEdit

Fourteen clubs have been the Primera A champions. Eight of those clubs have been the champion more than once. The most successful clubs are Millonarios with fourteen titles. Deportivo Cali, Atlético Nacional, América, and Millonarios are the only clubs that have won the title consecutively. América holds the record for the longest title streak winning five titles from 1982 to 1986. Since the start of the Apertura/Clausura championships in 2002, only Atlético Nacional in 2007 has won both championships in the same season.

Los Millonarios is the most consistent team of the long tournaments, with 13 wins out of 52 tournaments disputed from 1948 to 2001, followed by America with 11 (plus two short tournaments), while Atletico Nacional is the most consistent of the short tournaments, with 5 wins out of the 19 disputed from 2002 to date (2012-I). Out of all the six teams with just one championship, four have won their first title during the short tournament period.

The club with the longest dry spell between two titles was Once Caldas with 53 years between titles (1950 to 2003), followed by Independiente Medellin with 45 (1957 to 2002) and Independiente Santa Fe with 37 (1975 to 2012). The club with the longest continuing dry spell is Deportes Quindio, which hasn't won since 1956, followed by Union Magdalena, last championship on 1968; a noteworthy fact, in spite of being notoriously successful on the local tournament, Los Millonarios only achieved their 14th title in 2012-II, after 24 years of wait.

America de Cali has been the most successful Colombian team ever ranked, being included in the top 10 South American clubs in the 20th century; on a different note, the same team is the most successful Colombian club ever to be relegated to the second division on the local tournament; only another three clubs have been relegated after winning a championship: Deportivo Pasto, Deportes Quindio and Union Magdalena.

Out of the finalists, only three teams have never won the championship, namely La Equidad, Atletico Huila and the defunct Boca Juniors de Cali; La Equidad has been in three finals, the most of a team that has never won. Likewise, Atletico Junior participated in three finals (including the 1948 inauguration championship final) and didn't win until the fourth one in 1977, 29 years later. The longest spells for a team that never won a championship before was America de Cali, who won their first title in 1982, 32 years after their inaugural championship in 1950 and having been finalists just two times in between, Cucuta Deportivo, who waited 58 years since their first participation in 1949, and Deportes Tolima with a wait of 48 years since 1955, their first participation; Tolima was also the first team in the Colombian league to have gained a championship after winning also the second division (on non-consecutive years).

Envigado is the most consistent "mid-table" club in the league that has never reached the finals or won any championships since its first promotion from the second division in 1991; as a matter of fact, Envigado was the first team from the second division ever promoted.

The only tournament that was not awarded to a champion occurred on 1989, after the assassination of referee Álvaro Ortega on October 1, 1989 in Medellín. All games, post-season games and international representation for the following year were cancelled.

Season Champion (Title count) Runner-up Third place Leading goalscorer(s)[2]
1948 Santa Fe (1) Junior Once Caldas 22x20px Alfredo Castillo (Millonarios; 31 goals)
1949 Millonarios (1) Deportivo Cali Santa Fe 22x20px Pedro Cabillón (Millonarios; 42 goals)
1950 Once Caldas (1) Millonarios Deportivo Cali 22x20px Casimiro Ávalos (Deportivo Pereira; 27 goals)
1951 Millonarios (2) Boca Juniors de Cali Cúcuta Deportivo 22x20px Alfredo Di Stéfano (Millonarios; 31 goals)
1952 Millonarios (3) Boca Juniors de Cali Deportivo Pereira 22x20px Alfredo Di Stéfano (Millonarios; 19 goals)
1953 Millonarios (4) Deportes Quindío Boca Juniors de Cali 22x20px Mario Garelli (Deportes Quindío; 20 goals)
1954 Atlético Nacional (1) Deportes Quindío Independiente Medellín 22x20px Carlos Alberto Gambina (Atlético Nacional; 21 goals)
1955 Independiente Medellín (1) Atlético Nacional Deportes Quindío 22x20px Felipe Marino (Independiente Medellín; 22 goals)
1956 Deportes Quindío (1) Millonarios Boca Juniors de Cali 22x20px Jaime Gutiérrez (Deportes Quindío; 21 goals)
1957 Independiente Medellín (2) Deportes Tolima Cúcuta Deportivo 22x20px José Vicente Grecco (Independiente Medellín; 30 goals)
1958 Santa Fe (2) Millonarios Atlético Bucaramanga 22x20px José Américo Montanini (Atlético Bucaramanga; 36 goals)
1959 Millonarios (5) Independiente Medellín Deportivo Cali 22x20px Felipe Marino (Cúcuta-Medellín; 35 goals)
1960 Santa Fe (3) América Atlético Bucaramanga 22x20px Walter Marcolini (Deportivo Cali; 30 goals)
1961 Millonarios (6) Independiente Medellín Santa Fe 22x20px Alberto Perazzo (Santa Fe; 32 goals)
1962 Millonarios (7) Deportivo Cali Deportivo Pereira 22x20px José Omar Verdún (Cúcuta Deportivo; 36 goals)
1963 Millonarios (8) Santa Fe Deportivo Cali 22x20px Omar Lorenzo Devanni (Atlético Bucaramanga; 36 goals)
22x20px José Omar Verdún (Cúcuta Deportivo; 36 goals)
1964 Millonarios (9) Cúcuta Deportivo Independiente Medellín 22x20px Omar Lorenzo Devanni (Magdalena-Bucaramanga; 28 goals)
1965 Deportivo Cali (1) Atlético Nacional Millonarios 22x20px Perfecto Rodríguez (Independiente Medellín; 38 goals)
1966 Santa Fe (4) Independiente Medellín Deportivo Pereira 22x20px Omar Lorenzo Devanni (Santa Fe; 31 goals)
1967 Deportivo Cali (2) Millonarios América 22x20px José María Ferrero (Millonarios; 38 goals)
1968 Unión Magdalena (1) Deportivo Cali Junior 22x20px José María Ferrero (Millonarios; 32 goals)
1969 Deportivo Cali (3) América Millonarios 22x20px Hugo Horacio Lóndero (América; 25 goals)
1970 Deportivo Cali (4) Junior Santa Fe 22x20px José María Ferrero (Cúcuta Deportivo; 27 goals)
22x20px Walter Sossa (Santa Fe; 27 goals)
1971 Santa Fe (5) Atlético Nacional Millonarios 22x20px Hugo Horacio Lóndero (Cúcuta Deportivo; 30 goals)
22x20px Apolinar Paniagua (Deportivo Pereira; 30 goals)
1972 Millonarios (10) Deportivo Cali Junior 22x20px Hugo Horacio Lóndero (Cúcuta Deportivo; 27 goals)
1973 Atlético Nacional (2) Millonarios Deportivo Cali 22x20px Nelson Silva Pacheco (Cúcuta-Júnior; 36 goals)
1974 Deportivo Cali (5) Atlético Nacional Millonarios 22x20px Víctor Ephanor (Junior; 33 goals)
1975 Santa Fe (6) Millonarios Deportivo Cali 22x20px Jorge Ramón Cáceres (Deportivo Pereira; 35 goals)
1976 Atlético Nacional (3) Deportivo Cali Millonarios 22x20px Miguel Angel Converti (Millonarios; 33 goals)
1977 Junior (1) Deportivo Cali Millonarios 22x20px Oswaldo Marcial Palavecino (Atlético Nacional; 33 goals)
1978 Millonarios (11) Deportivo Cali Atlético Nacional 22x20px Oswaldo Marcial Palavecino (Atlético Nacional; 36 goals)
1979 América (1) Santa Fe Unión Magdalena 22x20px Juan José Irigoyén (Millonarios; 36 goals)
1980 Junior (2) Deportivo Cali América 22x20px Sergio Cierra (Deportivo Pereira; 26 goals)
1981 Atlético Nacional (4) Deportes Tolima América 22x20px Víctor Hugo del Río (Deportes Tolima; 29 goals)
1982 América (2) Deportes Tolima Millonarios 22x20px Miguel Oswaldo González (Atlético Bucaramanga; 27 goals)
1983 América (3) Junior Atlético Nacional 22x20px Hugo Gottardi (Santa Fe; 29 goals)
1984 América (4) Millonarios Independiente Medellín 22x20px Hugo Gottardi (Santa Fe; 23 goals)
1985 América (5) Deportivo Cali Millonarios 22x20px Miguel Oswaldo González (Atlético Bucaramanga; 34 goals)
1986 América (6) Deportivo Cali Millonarios 22x20px Héctor Ramón Sossa (Independiente Medellín; 23 goals)
1987 Millonarios (12) América Santa Fe 22x20px Jorge Aravena (Deportivo Cali; 23 goals)
1988 Millonarios (13) Atlético Nacional América 22x20px Sergio Angulo (Santa Fe; 29 goals)
Championship cancelled
1990 América (7) Atlético Nacional Atlético Bucaramanga 22x20px Antony de Ávila (América; 25 goals)
1991 Atlético Nacional (5) América Junior 22x20px Iván Valenciano (Junior; 30 goals)
1992 América (8) Atlético Nacional Deportivo Cali 22x20px John Jairo Tréllez (Atlético Nacional; 25 goals)
1993 Junior (3) Independiente Medellín Atlético Nacional 22x20px Miguel Guerrero (Junior; 34 goals)
1994 Atlético Nacional (6) Millonarios América 22x20px Rubén Darío Hernández (Medellín-Pereira-América; 32 goals)
1995 Junior (4) América Atlético Nacional 22x20px Iván Valenciano (Junior; 24 goals)
1995–96 Deportivo Cali (6) Millonarios Atlético Nacional 22x20px Iván Valenciano (Junior; 36 goals)
1996–97 América (9) Atlético Bucaramanga No third-place awarded 22x20px Hamilton Ricard (Deportivo Cali; 36 goals)
1998 Deportivo Cali (7) Once Caldas No third-place awarded 22x20px Víctor Bonilla (Deportivo Cali; 37 goals)
1999 Atlético Nacional (7) América Junior 22x20px Sergio Galván Rey (Once Caldas; 26 goals)
2000 América (10) Junior Deportes Tolima 22x20px Carlos Alberto Castro (Millonarios; 24 goals)
2001 América (11) Independiente Medellín No third-place awarded 22x20px Carlos Alberto Castro (Millonarios; 29 goals)
22x20px Jorge Horacio Serna (Independiente Medellín; 29 goals)
2002 Apertura América (12) Atlético Nacional No third-place awarded 22x20px Luis Fernando Zuleta (Unión Magdalena; 13 goals)
Finalización Independiente Medellín (3) Deportivo Pasto No third-place awarded 22x20px Orlando Ballesteros (Atlético Bucaramanga; 13 goals)
22x20px Milton Rodríguez (Deportivo Pereira; 13 goals)
2003 Apertura Once Caldas (2) Junior No third-place awarded 22x20px Arnulfo Valentierra (Once Caldas; 13 goals)
Finalización Deportes Tolima (1) Deportivo Cali No third-place awarded 22x20px Léider Preciado (Deportivo Cali; 17 goals)
2004 Apertura Independiente Medellín (4) Atlético Nacional No third-place awarded 22x20px Sergio Herrera (América; 13 goals)
Finalización Junior (5) Atlético Nacional No third-place awarded 22x20px Leonardo Fabio Moreno (América; 15 goals)
22x20px Léider Preciado (Santa Fe; 15 goals)
2005 Apertura Atlético Nacional (8) Santa Fe No third-place awarded 22x20px Víctor Aristizábal (Atlético Nacional; 16 goals)
Finalización Deportivo Cali (8) Real Cartagena No third-place awarded 22x20px Jámerson Rentería (Real Cartagena; 12 goals)
22x20px Hugo Rodallega (Deportivo Cali; 12 goals)
2006 Apertura Deportivo Pasto (1) Deportivo Cali No third-place awarded 22x20px Jorge Moreno (Cúcuta Deportivo; 15 goals)
Finalización Cúcuta Deportivo (1) Deportes Tolima No third-place awarded 22x20px Diego Álvarez (Independiente Medellín; 11 goals)
22x20px Jhon Charría (Deportes Tolima; 11 goals)
2007 Apertura Atlético Nacional (9) Atlético Huila No third-place awarded 22x20px Fredy Montero (Atlético Huila; 13 goals)
22x20px Sergio Galván Rey (Atlético Nacional; 13 goals)
Finalización Atlético Nacional (10) La Equidad No third-place awarded 22x20px Dayro Moreno (Once Caldas; 16 goals)
2008 Apertura Boyacá Chicó (1) América No third-place awarded 22x20px Miguel Caneo (Boyacá Chicó; 13 goals)
22x20px Iván Velásquez (Deportes Quindío; 13 goals)
Finalización América (13) Independiente Medellín No third-place awarded 22x20px Fredy Montero (Deportivo Cali; 16 goals)
2009 Apertura Once Caldas (3) Junior No third-place awarded 22x20px Teófilo Gutiérrez (Junior; 16 goals)
Finalización Independiente Medellín (5) Atlético Huila No third-place awarded 22x20px Jackson Martínez (Independiente Medellín; 18 goals)
2010 Apertura Junior (6) La Equidad No third-place awarded 22x20px Carlos Bacca (Junior; 12 goals)
22x20px Carlos Rentería (La Equidad; 12 goals)
Finalización Once Caldas (4) Deportes Tolima No third-place awarded 22x20px Wilder Medina (Deportes Tolima; 17 goals)
2011 Apertura Atlético Nacional (11) La Equidad No third-place awarded 22x20px Carlos Rentería (Atlético Nacional; 12 goals)
Finalización Junior (7) Once Caldas No third-place awarded 22x20px Carlos Bacca (Junior; 12 goals)
2012 Apertura Santa Fe (7) Deportivo Pasto No third-place awarded 22x20px Robin Ramírez (Deportes Tolima; 13 goals)
Finalización Millonarios (14) Independiente Medellín No third-place awarded

Titles by clubEdit

Club Winners Runners-up Third place Winning years
Millonarios 14 9 9 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1972, 1978, 1987, 1988, 2012–II
América 13 7 5 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996–97, 2000, 2001, 2002–I, 2008–II
Atlético Nacional 11 10 6 1954, 1973, 1976, 1981, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2005–I, 2007–I, 2007–II, 2011–I
Deportivo Cali 8 12 5 1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1995–96, 1998, 2005–II
Junior 7 6 4 1977, 1980, 1993, 1995, 2004–II, 2010–I, 2011–II
Santa Fe 7 3 4 1948, 1958, 1960, 1966, 1971, 1975, 2012–I
Independiente Medellín 5 7 3 1955, 1957, 2002–II, 2004–I, 2009–II
Once Caldas 4 2 1 1950, 2003–I, 2009–I, 2010–II
Deportes Tolima 1 5 1 2003–II
Deportes Quindío 1 2 1 1956
Deportivo Pasto 1 2 0 2006–I
Cúcuta Deportivo 1 1 2 2006–II
Unión Magdalena 1 0 1 1968
Boyacá Chicó 1 0 0 2008–I


  2. Arteaga, José; Ballesteros, Frank (March 6, 2008). "Colombian League Top Scorers". website. RSSSF. Retrieved November 27, 2010.

External linksEdit

Template:Colombian Primera A


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