David Ospina

David Ospina has had some walk-on roles in his life. The tiny kid from Itaguí had been filling in a vacant spot for a goalkeeper at a club game when his talent was first spotted. The paisa went on to grow into a 1.83m frame to become one of Colombia’s finest goalkeepers since ‘El Loco Higuita’.

The same pattern occurred with his entrance into English football as a much awaited goalie for Arsenal. Despite his wealth of talent, much of his time at Arsenal has been been spent as understudy to Peter Cech, the latter considered one of the greatest goalies of his generation. Having had many successful seasons for Chelsea, Cech’s move to Arsenal meant that Ospina had the misfortune of spending his time on the bench for the Gunners, wearing lucky number 13 on his back. However, in February 2018, his fortunes turned as a dip in Cech’s form in 2018 led to Ospina regaining the starting position for the team. For the moment, all the rumours of his imminent departure from Highbury had been dispelled as he prepared to take the field against Ostersund from Sweden in the Europa Cup. In 25 appearances for the club he has made 69 saves.

Ospina started his career at Atletico Nacional in 2005 and after 3 seasons for Nacional, Ospina moved to French club Nice. He moved to East London to play for Arsenal since the 2014/15 season of the English Premier League.

The talented goalie started playing for Colombia Seleccion in 2007 as a precocious 16-year-old. His form was a crucial part of Colombia’s success at the FIFA World Cup 2014, having allowed the least number of goals past him during the competition. He has made 81 appearances for his country and, despite 2 crucial errors against Paraguay (one of them being an own goal) during the World Cup qualifying rounds, Ospina remains the first-choice goalkeeper for the side in Russia.

Interestingly, Ospina used to be related by marriage to star striker James Rodriguez when the latter married the goalie’s sister Daniela. The two will presumably be hoping to put Rodriguez’s subsequent divorce in July last year behind them as they face more formidable foe in Russia 2018.

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