Carlos Bacca - Player Profile

Bacca Looking To Continue Fine Form In Copa America

Personal information
Full name: Carlos Arturo Bacca Ahumada 
Date of birth: 8 September 1986
Age: 28
Place of birth: Puerto Colombia, Colombia
Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in) 
Playing position: Striker 

Club information
Current team: Sevilla
Number: 9

Senior career
2006–2011: Atletico Junior 130 Appearances, scoring 73 goals
2006 → Barranquilla (loan) 46 Appearances, scoring 26 goals
2007–2008 → MinervĂ©n (loan) 29 Appearances, scoring 12 goals
2012–2013: Club Brugge 54 Appearances, scoring 31 goals
2013– Sevilla 111 Appearances, scoring 53 goals

National team
2010– Colombia 19 Appearances, scoring 7 goals

Carlos Bacca is coming off an incredible campaign in which he managed 20 La Liga goals for Sevilla and won the UEFA Europa League. Awarding him Man of the Match in the final, where he scored twice to seal a 3-2 victory over Dnipro, was a just reward for his efforts. Sevilla's Europa League final hero Bacca dedicated his matching-winning double to God and his family after helping the Spaniards to a record fourth win in the competition. The In-form Colombian hitman will be looking to do the same for his country this weekend when they face Venezuela in their opening Copa America group game.  But Bacca is more than just a finisher. He's a tireless runner, a clever mover and a poacher extraordinaire. The Colombian has expert positional awareness in the penalty box and he will thrive should he get a chance in the Copa America against teams that do not play fundamental defence.

When he was 20, Bacca was still living in his hometown of Puerto Colombia on the Caribbean coast. He played football for the local team and, to make ends meet, sold fish and worked as a bus conductor on the half-hour journey to Barranquilla. He only turned professional when he was 22, but he struggled with the discipline of a footballer’s life and looked as though he may fade away until he found God. He is so committed to his faith and to football that he very rarely goes out. Everything is focused on making the best of the gifts, as he sees it, given to him by God. He moved to Europe with Club Brugge in 2011 and two seasons later to Sevilla. Few expected him to be first choice, especially when Sevilla signed Kevin Gameiro from Paris Saint-Germain. But his sheer desire has made him not only a regular, but one of Sevilla’s most important players. He averages roughly a goal every other game, but he offers much more than that, not merely on the pitch but off it too: His example is an inspiration to others.

Only three La Liga based players have scored more goals than Bacca this year and even Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann will have looked on admiringly as his double gave Sevilla their fourth Europa League trophy and took him to 28 goals for the season. Dnipro’s defensive record in the Europa League had been good until the final. There were signs they might be able to frustrate Sevilla as well, sitting deep and closing the space, absorbing pressure. But Bacca is a player who will gobble a half-chance, the sort of man who turns possession into goals. He was a late bloomer as he made his first foray into European football via Club Brugge at 25 years of age. He gritted his teeth through the tough times: only scoring three times in his first season and had three different managers during his two-season stint at Brugge. During Bacca's final season for Brugge, he scored 28 goals in a total of 44 club games. Belgium football expert John Chapman speculated that a transfer away was likely due to Bacca's rising transfer stock—his stunner against Feyenoord in a friendly game helped increase his name recognition.

What makes Bacca so difficult to handle is him being a dual threat to score and create. And should he sparkle for Colombia just as he has this season for Sevilla, you can be sure that he will receive plenty of offers to ply his trade for some of Europe’s greatest teams.