Real Cartagena

Colombian football club
Football club
Real Cartagena
Real Cartagena Crest.png
Full nameReal Cartagena Fútbol Club S.A.
Nickname(s)El Real (The Royal),
El Equipo Heroico (The Heroic Team)
Founded10 January 1971; 51 years ago (1971-01-10)
GroundEstadio Jaime Morón León,
Cartagena, Colombia
OwnerAgencia ColombiaGol (73.59%)
Rodrigo Rendón (21.08%)
Cartagena de Indias District (4.83%)
ChairmanRenato Damiani
ManagerOscar Passo
LeagueCategoría Primera B
2021–II8th (First stage)
(Semifinals Group A, 4th)
WebsiteClub website
Home colours
Away colours

Real Cartagena is a professional Colombian football team based in Cartagena, that currently plays in the Categoría Primera B. They play their home games at the Jaime Morón León stadium.


The origins of Real Cartagena date back to 1971, when Atlético Bucaramanga, which by the end of 1970 was going through a serious economic crisis which threatened its survival, rented its right to compete in the Colombian football championship. On 5 January 1971, DIMAYOR and Atlético Bucaramanga representatives met in Cartagena with counterparts from the city's local government and the Bolívar football league (Liga de Fútbol de Bolívar) and reached an agreement that saw Atlético Bucaramanga move to Cartagena with its squad and colours for the 1971 season, adopting the name Real Cartagena.[1]

The team's first match was a friendly against Atlético Junior on 31 January 1971 at Estadio Pedro de Heredia which ended in a 1–1 draw, whilst its first match in the domestic league was played on 7 February 1971, a 1–0 win over Once Caldas.[2] After this victory, Real Cartagena went winless for 10 games, and ended in 11th place in both the Apertura and Finalización tournaments.[3] By the end of the year, Atlético Bucaramanga had solved its financial issues and the squad returned to their original name and colours for the following season, playing its first home matches in the 1972 Apertura tournament in Cartagena as a token of gratitude before returning to Bucaramanga.[4]

After this experience in professional football, the club was bought by Pedro Juan Paternina and Miguel Guerra Pacheco and started playing in the amateur tournaments of the Bolívar Department league. By 1983, Real Cartagena started experiencing economic problems and was able to sign a partnership with Millonarios which turned it into the latter's official academy team in Cartagena. This partnership lasted until 1989. After this, the club changed its name to Atlético Cartagena and in 1991 it entered the newly formed third tier competition Categoría Primera C, reaching the final stage but failing to earn promotion to Categoría Primera B as they ended in third place.[4]

In 1991 the Colombian football championship, now named Categoría Primera A, returned to Cartagena with Unión Magdalena's temporary move to the city under the name Unión La Cartagenera. With interest in football in the city peaking with the presence of a top-flight team as well as Atlético Cartagena's good performance in the lower tiers, local entrepreneurs moved themselves to help Cartagena have a representative in professional football. Thus, they bought Atlético Cartagena and rebranded it back to its original name of Real Cartagena, and then with the approval of DIMAYOR, bought the affiliation rights of Sporting de Barranquilla which went bankrupt by then. Real Cartagena was officially registered as a DIMAYOR affiliate club on 2 February 1992 and played its first match in Primera A seven days later, a 1–0 defeat to Unión Magdalena. The 1992 season ended with the club placing last and being relegated to Primera B.[5]

The club spent seven years in the second tier, receiving economic support from América de Cali which turned Real Cartagena into a satellite club and helped it build a strong team to win the Primera B championship in 1999 and return to the top flight. Real Cartagena's third spell in Primera A lasted three years until 2002, when they were relegated once again.[4] In 2003, the club failed to qualify for the Primera B play-offs, but in 2004 it reached the final against Deportivo Antioquia after clinching their qualification on the final day of the semifinal stage in a controversial match against Valledupar in which Real Cartagena scored four goals in the final five minutes of play to win 5–0 and edge Cúcuta Deportivo out on goal difference.[6] They eventually beat Deportivo Antioquia over two legs in the final to win the competition and claim promotion back to the top flight.

In 2005, Real Cartagena did its best campaign ever in Primera A, placing in the top eight of the Finalización tournament and advancing to the semi-finals, in which they were placed into Group B along with Santa Fe, Independiente Medellín, and Deportivo Pereira. Real ended on top of the group with 10 points after winning 4–0 against Santa Fe on the final matchday, beating Independiente Medellín on goal difference to advance to the final series of the tournament.[7] There they faced Deportivo Cali, losing both matches to end as tournament runners-up. The team's strong performance at home played a big role in this campaign, with 11 victories in 13 matches, and they also had in Jamerson Rentería one of the tournament's joint goalscorers, with 12 goals.[8] The club was unable to replicate this performance in the following two years and were relegated at the end of the 2007 season, however, they were immediately promoted back the following year, defeating Deportivo Rionegro in the 2008 Primera B final.[4]

Real Cartagena were relegated for the fourth time in history in 2012, after a 2–0 defeat at the hands of La Equidad left them unable to catch up with Patriotas and Cúcuta Deportivo in the relegation table, in which they earned only 117 points out of 321 possible ones.[9] Since then, they have stayed in the second tier of Colombian football. In 2020, 74% of the club's shares was sold by the Rendón family to the player agency ColombiaGol, owned by player agent Helmut Wenning, which became the club's major shareholder. Upon its takeover of the club, ColombiaGol aimed to use the professional squad to promote youth footballers from the region.[10]

Home stadium

Real Cartagena play their home matches at the Estadio Jaime Morón León in Cartagena, formerly known as Estadio Pedro de Heredia after Cartagena's founder Pedro de Heredia, with a capacity of 16,068 people.[11]


  • Home: Yellow shirt, green shorts and white socks.
  • Away: White shirt, black shorts and white socks.

Kit manufacturer

Period Kit Manufacturer
2002 Saeta
2006–07 Lotto
2008 FSS
2009 Saeta
2010 Runic
2011–12 Lotto
2013 FSS
2014 Macron
2015 Kelme
2016 Dotta
2017 Kelme
2018–2019 Dotta
2020– Kimo



Runners-up (1): 2005-II
1999, 2004, 2008-II

Current roster

As of 18 August 2021[12]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Colombia COL Juan David Lemus
2 DF Colombia COL Daniel Pedrozo
4 DF Colombia COL Deivi Barrios
7 FW Colombia COL Sebastián Girado
8 MF Colombia COL Juan Pablo Pino
9 FW Colombia COL Mario Álvarez
10 FW Colombia COL José Enamorado
11 FW Colombia COL Luis Caicedo
12 GK Colombia COL Jhon Figueroa
13 DF Colombia COL Kalazán Suárez
14 MF Colombia COL Etilson Martínez
15 FW Colombia COL Jairo Fuentes
16 MF Colombia COL Jesús Espinosa
18 DF Colombia COL Edwin López
19 DF Colombia COL Axel Arango
20 MF Italy ITA Ignacio Cuffaro
21 DF Colombia COL Jefferson Díaz
No. Pos. Nation Player
22 GK Colombia COL José Rivera
23 MF Colombia COL Jerson Lora
24 MF Colombia COL Stiven Sánchez
25 MF Colombia COL Camilo Ordóñez
27 FW Colombia COL Juan Salcedo
28 DF Colombia COL Jhonny Meza
30 FW Colombia COL Franklin Navarro
DF Colombia COL Roberto Saer
DF Venezuela VEN Leonel Toro
DF Colombia COL Juan David Torres
DF Colombia COL Jhohann Yabur
MF Colombia COL Jorge Cabezas
MF Colombia COL Esteban Giraldo
MF Colombia COL José Hernández
MF Colombia COL Antony Medrano
FW Colombia COL Javier Zárate


Affiliated teams


  1. ^ Anaya G., Lucho (5 January 2021). "Hace 50 años: DIMAYOR daba vía libre a la creación del Real Cartagena" [50 years ago: DIMAYOR greenlit the creation of Real Cartagena] (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  2. ^ Anaya G., Lucho (31 January 2021). "Hace 50 años: Real Cartagena jugaba el primer partido de su historia" [50 years ago: Real Cartagena played the first match of its history] (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Colombia 1971". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d "Historia del Real Cartagena" [History of Real Cartagena] (in Spanish). Infodeportes. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  5. ^ Anaya G., Lucho (21 March 2021). "¿Cuándo es el verdadero cumpleaños de Real Cartagena?" [When is Real Cartagena's actual birthday?] (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  6. ^ "LA FINAL YA ES TODO UN ESCÁNDALO" [THE FINAL IS ALREADY A SCANDAL] (in Spanish). El Tiempo. 29 November 2004. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Real Cartagena y Deportivo Cali jugarán la final del fútbol colombiano" [Real Cartagena and Deportivo Cali will play the final of Colombian football] (in Spanish). Caracol Radio. 11 December 2005. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  8. ^ Anaya G., Lucho (10 December 2020). "Los numeritos del Real Cartagena subcampeón del 2005" [The "little numbers" of the 2005 runner-up Real Cartagena] (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  9. ^ "Real Cartagena descendió por cuarta vez en su historia a la Primera B" [Real Cartagena were relegated to Primera B for the fourth time in their history] (in Spanish). Gol Caracol. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  10. ^ Vega Guardo, Ricardo (24 November 2020). "ColombiaGol compró el 74% de Real Cartagena" [ColombiaGol bought 74% of Real Cartagena] (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  11. ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 Technical Report and Statistics" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  12. ^ "REAL CARTAGENA". División Mayor del Fútbol Colombiano. Retrieved 18 August 2021.

External links

  • Official website
  • Real Cartagena profile in DIMAYOR
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CompetitionStatistics and records
Associated competitions