The Life of Colombian Athletes in London
Latin countries are - to say the least - very passionate about sport. As one of the most popular sports worldwide, it is no surprise that Colombia considers football to be its national game. The country has been widely successful in the sport, having advanced significantly in the FIFA World Cup and Copa América tournaments. Naturally, a handful of the very best Colombian players would be dragged to join European leagues, the Premier League being successful at signing some of the best. David Ospina is Arsenal’s current goalkeeper, a position he has fulfilled since his signing in 2014.
The goalkeeper has spoken out about life in London on several occasions since his arrival. Ospina settled into London nicely, praising the city. “London is great. It’s a beautiful, enjoyable city in which there are many things to do. Besides, there are very good schools, which is a positive thing for my daughter. Living in London is a nice challenge for both my career and life”, he shared with Arsenal’s website upon his arrival. But it isn’t only about the city; the goalkeeper admitted that the fact that there is such a big Spanish-speaking community in London has eased his settlement into English-speaking life. Arsenal had a handful of Spanish speaking players when he arrived, and London has a well-known community of Colombian expats, which has made transition for him - and other sports personalities - easier.
Ospina represents Colombia highly, but there are other sportsmen from the country that are also making the best of their life in London. Radamel Falcao is another Colombian football player who joined Manchester United’s troops in 2014, although he is currently on loan with Chelsea. Although the once top-scorer hasn’t seen much action on the pit, his life in London has been nothing but good. As has been Jorge Castaño’s.
The latter is a Colombian professional wrestler residing in London, where he works for different promotions. He has lived in the city since the age of ten, debuting in Kent back in 1997. His career in the United Kingdom has been successful, having participated and succeeded in different British wrestling tournaments. Lastly, Carlos Vasquez, a BMX rider who has made a life and a career in London (and whose full interview with World Expat you can read here), is another Colombian example of following dreams and succeeding at them abroad. London has offered great opportunities to Colombian athletes who would have otherwise stayed off the radar back home. Although Colombia takes sport seriously, there can be a lack of support from government authorities, and making it big elsewhere can be a challenge. That is why London has been a great support for a handful of athletes who are making their country proud today.