From James Rodriguez to Rafael Borre now, the Bundesliga has been blessed with some of Colombia's best footballing talent. - © DFL
From James Rodriguez to Rafael Borre now, the Bundesliga has been blessed with some of Colombia's best footballing talent. - © DFL

From James Rodriguez to Rafael Borre: the Bundesliga's top 5 Colombians


Ahead of Tuesday's friendly international between Germany and Colombia in Gelsenkirchen, offers five players - past and present - from the South American nation to have showcased their incredible skills in your favourite European league.

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James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich, 2017-19)

A little over three years on from his incredible individual success at the 2014 FIFA World Cup - where he was the tournament's Golden Boot winner as Colombia's No. 10 - James touched down in Munich for a two-year loan deal with Bundesliga giants Bayern. Arriving from Real Madrid, James was reacquainted in Bavaria with his former coach at the Spanish giants, Carlo Ancelotti. Although that particular union didn't last long - Ancelotti was replaced by Jupp Heynckes the following October - James nonetheless made his mark in his debut season in the red of Bayern. He netted seven goals and 11 assists as the record champions won their 27th Bundesliga title, while the attacker also helped Bayern to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, where they would ultimately lose out to Real.

The Cucuta native went on to match his top-flight goals tally in the following campaign while he added four assists as the Bavarians retained their Bundesliga crown. Despite missing out on Bayern's DFB Cup final triumph against RB Leipzig in 2019 through injury, James made three appearances en route to the Berlin showpiece, meaning he ended his loan spell in Bavaria by celebrating a league and cup double. In all, the Colombian attacking wizard scored 15 goals and provided 20 assists in 67 games in all competitions during an exciting spell in Germany's top flight that Bundesliga fans won't soon forget.

Watch: James on fire in the Bundesliga

Rafael Borre (Eintracht Frankfurt, 2021-present)

The 27-year-old forward continues to fly high for the Eagles, the club with whom he became a UEFA Europa League champion in his first season in Frankfurt last year. Borre signed for Eintracht as a free agent in 2021 having previously scored 56 goals in 189 games for Argentinian side River Plate.

He netted the first of his eight Bundesliga goals for Die Adler in the 2021/22 campaign against Cologne on Matchday 6, but it would be the Colombian's scoring exploits in Europe that season which would bring him legendary status in Mainhatten. Among his four Europa League goals that term, the Barranquilla-born striker netted the second-leg winner against West Ham in the semi-finals. Then, along with scoring an equaliser against final opponents Rangers, he also struck the winning spot-kick in the shootout that helped Eintracht to title glory.

Borre scored a goal and provided two assists during Frankfurt's run to the 2023 DFB Cup final - where the Eagles ultimately lost to Leipzig - in the recently concluded campaign.

Watch: Every Borre goal and assist in the Bundesliga

Faryd Mondragon (Cologne, 2008-11)

Long before becoming - at the time - the FIFA World Cup's oldest-ever player (Egypt's Essam El-Hadary now holds that record), three days after turning 43 at Brazil 2014, Mondragon wrote history as the first South American goalkeeper to play in the Bundesliga.

The Colombian stopper had won multiple titles with Turkish giants Galatasaray, when he joined a Cologne side pushing for promotion from Bundesliga 2 in July 2007. His leadership skills drove the Billy Goats to the top tier, and his flamboyancy endeared him to football fans in the Cathedral City and beyond. Mondy's final season in Cologne was arguably his best, with only Manuel Neuer keeping more clean sheets (15) than the Cologne cult hero (12) in 2009/10. The 54-time Colombia international hung up his gloves in 2014, following stints with MLS side Philadelphia Union and hometown club Deportivo Cali.

There was never a dull moment when goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon graced the Bundesliga. - Thorsten Wagner/Bongarts/Getty Images

Jhon Cordoba (Mainz, Cologne, Hertha Berlin, all: 2015-2021)

The 6'2" striker racked up 30 goals in 119 Bundesliga games across five seasons with three different German clubs. And, lest we forget, there was one outstanding season in Bundesliga 2, where Cordoba's 20 second-tier strikes helped Cologne fight their way back to the top flight as second-division champions in 2018/19.

After coming to the fore during stints with Spanish sides Espanyol and Granada, the former Colombia U20 international arrived at Mainz on an initial loan in 2015. His five goals in 22 appearances and overall play impressed the 05ers, but what arguably swung a permanent move for Cordoba was his 86th-minute, match-winning goal in a 2-1 away win against Bayern.

A switch to Cologne followed in 2017 and although the striker would suffer relegation with the Billy Goats, his 20 goals - which included a first career hat-trick - were key to helping the team bounce straight back to the Bundesliga. In all, Cordoba celebrated 33 goals in 78 league games with Cologne. He later spent one season at Hertha Berlin, scoring seven Bundesliga goals before his time in Germany drew to a close ahead of a move to Krasnodar in Russia.

Jhon Cordoba scored goals for Mainz, Cologne and Hertha Berlin. - imago sportfotodienst/imago/Rene Schulz

Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin, 2009-14, Borussia Dortmund, 2014-17)

A senior Colombia international on 37 occasions, Ramos enjoyed an eight-year stay in Germany, with Hertha and Borussia Dortmund profiting from his talents. The dynamic forward moved to Berlin from America de Cali in August 2009, a switch that preceded five seasons at the Olympiastadion. Despite being relegated twice during that time, Ramos's goals were a constant and he chipped in with 58 in 157 league games for Hertha, his 2013/14 haul of 16 proving a personal best.

Those exploits prompted a transfer to Dortmund, who had just lost talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski to Bayern. A superb start for Ramos brought Supercup glory, with Dortmund downing Bayern 2-0 to lift the trophy at the Signal Iduna Park. An injury-troubled campaign meant that the forward was limited to 18 Bundesliga appearances in his first season in Black-and-Yellow, with Ramos scoring just twice.

Adrian Ramos enjoyed an eight-year spell in the Bundesliga, playing for Hertha Berlin and Borussia Dortmund. - imago sportfotodienst/imago/Eibner

He fared better the following season, scoring nine Bundesliga goals. After his third and final campaign with Die Schwarzgelben, the striker left the club having netted 19 times in 79 appearances across three seasons.