Yepes in 2013
|Full name||Mario Alberto Yepes Díaz|
|Date of birth||13 January 1976|
|Place of birth||Cali, Colombia|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Centre back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 17 August 2015|
Mario Alberto Yepes Díaz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmaɾjo ˈʝepes] ; born 13 January 1976) is a retired Colombian professional footballer who played as a defender. Yepes was well known for his time in Paris Saint-Germain, where he was considered to be one of the best defenders at the time, being dubbed by fans as "Super Mario". During his time in Italy with Chievo, he earned a reputation in the media as a solid and physical old-fashioned man-marking centre-back, known as a "stopper" in Italian football jargon. He served as the captain of the Colombia national team between 2008 and 2014. Having begun his career in 1999, and having played for the Colombian national team during that period, Yepes is one of only two players that can truly be considered to be part of the late 1990s and early 2000s golden generation of Colombian football which won the 2001 Copa América and ended in 2003, but has also been part of Colombia's present golden generation (which began in 2013). Faryd Mondragón is the other Colombian footballer of the two, but officially retired in 2014.
Yepes began his managerial career with hometown club Deportivo Cali, whom he managed from 2016 to 2017.
Mario Yepes started his playing career in 1994 with Cortuluá, as a forward before Cortulua's coach converted him to a libero (sweeper).
Yepes signed for his home town club Deportivo Cali in 1998. He won a Colombian championship with Deportivo Cali. He was part of the squad for the 1999 Copa Libertadores.
In 1999, he joined River Plate in Argentina, where he won two Argentine Primera championships.
In 2002, Yepes moved to Europe, signing for Nantes in the French Ligue 1. After two-and-half personally successful seasons with Nantes, Yepes joined fellow Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain in 2004. Yepes would become a mainstay in the PSG side winning the Coupe de France in 2006 and the Coupe de la Ligue in 2008, though he did not feature in the second final.
In 2008, Yepes joined Chievo in Italy. He signed a new long-term contract in summer 2009.
In March 2010, Chievo teammate Sergio Pellissier confirmed that Yepes would join Milan in the summer, when his contract ran out.
Yepes got to Milan in the 2010–11 season but was quickly deployed as a substitute due to the starting centre-back being Thiago Silva. Yepes played few games in the Italian Serie A, but participated in the UEFA Champions League. Yepes was close to scoring with Milan in the UEFA Champions League match against Tottenham Hotspur, in which he had two clear chances of scoring with a header, but was denied twice by Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes.
Yepes scored his first goal for Milan on the 23 October 2011, where he finished off a comeback against Lecce, scoring the fourth and winning goal for Milan in the 83rd minute to drive the Rossoneri to a 4–3 victory, with Kevin-Prince Boateng scoring a hat-trick to level the scores after a 3–0 losing position.
On 12 May 2012, Yepes signed a one-year extension contract with Milan, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2013.After being an irregular player during the following season, however, Yepes stated that he would not sign a new contract with the club despite being offered the chance, expressing that he needed more "guaranteed" playing time in order to better prepare himself for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He later confirmed that Milan would not offer him as such and his reason for departure.
On 14 July 2013, Yepes signed a one-year contract with Serie A club Atalanta.He made 26 appearances during the 2013–14 season and left the club at the end of the term.
On 13 September 2014, Argentine club San Lorenzo announced the signing of Yepes on a deal valid until the end of 2015.On 20 January 2016, Yepes officially retired from professional football, joining Deportivo Cali as manager four months later.
Yepes has played 102 matches for the Colombia national team since his debut in 1999, making him the second-most capped Colombian player of all time, after Carlos Valderrama.He was part of the Colombia squad that won the Copa América in 2001. and was also in the squads for three other editions of the tournament in 1999, 2007 and 2011.
During the team's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Yepes made 12 appearances as Colombia qualified for its first finals since 1998. In the final qualifying match, Yepes scored both goals in a 2–1 victory against Paraguay.
Due to his age during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Yepes expressed his passion for the national team and wanting to retire either after the World Cup qualifiers or during the 2014 World Cup. José Pékerman promised to meet with his retirement request. On 17 December 2013, Yepes announced that he would retire after the 2014 World Cup.
On 14 June 2014, Yepes made his first appearance in the FIFA World Cup finals stage at age 38, captaining Colombia to a 3–0 win over Greece in Belo Horizonte.Yepes was the oldest outfield player at the 2014 World Cup, and the second-oldest overall, after compatriot Faryd Mondragón.
On 19 June 2014, Yepes earned his 100th cap for Colombia in the second group stage match against the Ivory Coast, becoming the third Colombian player to reach the milestone after Valderrama and Leonel Álvarez.He led Colombia to its best ever World Cup performance as they reached the quarter-finals for the first time in their history, where they lost 2–1 to tournament hosts Brazil.
|1.||20 June 2003||Stade de Gerland, Lyon, France||2003 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|2.||17 November 2004||Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|3.||30 May 2005||Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, United States||Friendly|
|4.||23 June 2007||Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, Barranquilla, Colombia|
|5.||15 October 2013||Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||2–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
In late April 2016 Mario Alberto Yepes was named as manager of Deportivo Cali, which became his first managerial experience. Yepes came to replace Fernando "Pecoso" Castro, who had been dismissed for the poor recent results, especially the early elimination of Copa Libertadores and the farewell of the event at the hands of Boca Juniors with a 6–2 rout. Yepes's coaching team had Freddy Hurtado and Julián Barragán as assistants, and Daniel Curbelo as physical trainer. During his period as coach, Deportivo Cali was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the domestic league twice (at the hands of Independiente Medellín in the Apertura and Atlético Bucaramanga in the Finalización), and qualified for the 2017 Copa Sudamericana. However, a streak of poor performances in the start of the 2017 season plus a poor record while playing away from home, led to his exit from the club on 9 March 2017.
|Colombia national team|
Yepes is married to Colombian Carolina Villegas.Yepes and his wife have three children, his son Luciano Yepes was born in May 2002, his second son Valentino Yepes was born on 23 September 2012, and his daughter Miranda Yepes was born in April 2005. Yepes announced on May 21, 2019, that in July he would be heading to Oviedo to meet young Colombian fan Daniel Ruiz.
Atlético Nacional S. A., best known as Atlético Nacional, is a Colombian professional football team based in Medellín. The club is one of only three teams to have played in every first division tournament in the country's history, the other two teams being Millonarios and Santa Fe.
Asociación Deportivo Cali, best known as Deportivo Cali, is a Colombian sports club based in Cali, most notable for its football team, which currently competes in the Categoría Primera A.
Faryd Camilo Mondragón Alí is a Colombian former footballer who played as a goalkeeper.
Abel Enrique Aguilar Tapias is a Colombian former footballer who played as a central or defensive midfielder.
Rafael Édgar Dudamel Ochoa, commonly known as Rafael Dudamel, is a Venezuelan football manager and former player who played as a goalkeeper.
Óscar Eduardo Córdoba Arce is a retired Colombian footballer who played as a goalkeeper. He has played more than 70 games for the Colombia national team. He is also the only person to never concede a goal in a Copa América edition, having done so in 2001.
Valter Birsa is a Slovenian professional footballer who plays as a winger for Cagliari.
Cristián Eduardo Zapata Valencia is a Colombian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Serie A side Genoa. A quick and physically powerful defender, known for his hard marking of opponents and strength in the air, he usually plays as a centre back. Although naturally right footed, he can also play as a full-back on either side of the pitch, as he is comfortable with both feet.
Edinson Roberto Cavani Gómez is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for the Uruguay national team and is currently a free agent. He last played for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain.
Mario Edison Giménez is a Paraguayan footballer that currently plays for Colombian Primera A side Itagüí as striker.
Camilo Andrés Vargas Gil is a Colombian footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Liga MX club Atlas and the Colombia national team.
Carlos Arturo Bacca Ahumada is a Colombian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Villarreal and the Colombia national team.
Luis Fernando Muriel Fruto is a Colombian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Italian club Atalanta and the Colombian national team.
Fernando Uribe Hincapié is a Colombian footballer who plays as a striker for Brazilian club Santos.
Andrés Ramiro Escobar Díaz, nicknamed Manga, is a Colombian footballer who plays as a forward for Cúcuta Deportivo.
Gustavo Leonardo Cuéllar Gallegos is a Colombian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal and the Colombia national team.
Diego Alejandro Rolán Silva is a Uruguayan footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Deportivo de La Coruña.
Rafael Santos Borré Maury is a Colombian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Argentine club River Plate.
Frank Yusty Fabra Palacios is a Colombian footballer who plays as a full back for team Boca Juniors of the Argentine Primera División.
Yerry Fernando Mina González is a Colombian professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Premier League club Everton and the Colombia national team. He shares the record for most goals in a single World Cup by a defender, with three goals at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.