Jhon Cordoba is finally reaping the rewards of his hard work and scoring regularly for Cologne. - © Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Jhon Cordoba is finally reaping the rewards of his hard work and scoring regularly for Cologne. - © Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Jhon Cordoba: Who is Cologne’s Didier Drogba-inspired striker?


He's scoring the goals that could well keep Cologne in the Bundesliga this season, but who exactly is Colombian forward Jhon Cordoba?

Jhon Cordoba

Age: 26
Club: Cologne
Position: Striker
Country: Colombia (17 U20 caps)

Key stats

Born in the rural town of Istmina in western Colombia, Cordoba played at his local club from the age of seven onwards, before joining Envigado FC, over 180 miles away to the north-east, at the age of 15 in 2008. He made his senior debut for the club in Colombia's top flight when he was 18 and, after scoring 11 times in 35 games, moved to Mexican first division club Chiapas FC in 2012.

Cordoba struggled to settle there, however, netting just once in 16 outings, and had short-lived spells at three more clubs before eventually arriving at Mainz in 2015. By that stage, he had already won the 2013 U20 South American Championship with Colombia, and he soon showed glimpses of his promise, scoring five Bundesliga goals in each of his first two seasons at the Opel Arena.

That was enough to persuade Cologne to lure him to the cathedral city in 2017, but it wasn't until 2018/19, in Bundesliga 2, that the burly forward truly began to establish himself. He scored 20 times in 31 league appearances to fire the Billy Goats back into the big time at the first attempt as second division champions. Cordoba was unable to find the target in his first 10 league games of the 2019/20 Bundesliga campaign, but soon went about making up for lost time, scoring 10 goals in the next 13 matches to help keep Cologne well clear of relegation trouble.

Plays a bit like: Didier Drogba

Cordoba is on record saying that former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba was his favourite player when growing up, and the hours he spent watching him on television are certainly reflected in the way he plays. A physically imposing forward, Cordoba is able to hold the ball up as a lone striker, but also has the speed and strength to outrun his markers to make goals for himself. Being able to finish chances was often Cordoba's downfall while at Mainz but with Cologne, and certainly in 2020, the poacher has come out in Cordoba in terms of his ability to take all manner of chances.

Watch: Cordoba's brace against Freiburg on Matchday 20 of 2019/20

Did you know?

Cordoba is the third of five children and his father, Manuel Acisclo Cordoba, used to be a professional player in Colombia in the 1980s and 90s, and even played for the Cafeteros’ national team.

What they’re saying:

"Jhon's doing brilliantly at the moment. He's very focused and it's no coincidence that he's turning that into goals now." – Cologne sporting director Horst Heldt

"Didier Drogba was my role model. I liked the way he played football. A battering-ram type who would always ride roughshod over everyone." – Jhon Cordoba

"Jhon is the kind of player who can get the ball on the halfway line, run towards goal and score." - Cologne teammate and fellow striker Simon Terodde