Cúcuta Deportivo is a football club based in the city of Cúcuta, Norte de Santander, Colombia. The club was officially founded on September 10, 1924 and plays its home games at the General Santander Stadium, which has a capacity of 45,000.
There is some dispute regarding the founding year of Cúcuta Deportivo, but according to historian Alfredo Díaz, the club was founded on September 10, 1924 as Cúcuta Sports Club. The club’s first games outside of the Colombia were against a team comprised of players representing Caracas, Venezuela on November 23, 1926. Two days later, on November 25, the team played in La Guaira, Venezuela. Cúcuta Sports Club became the base of the Norte de Santander football team that took part in the first Colombian National Games (Juegos Deportivos Nacionales de Colombia) in 1928 in the city of Cali.
On May 15, 1949, the president of the Colombian football league invited the directors of Club Colpet, Chinaquillo, Guasimales, and Unión Frontera to strengthen Cúcuta Deportivo in order to compete in the new Colombian professional football league. In order to facilitate the economic reforms required to join the league, Hernando Lara Hernández bought 1,700 shares in the club in September of the same year.
Between September and November 1949, before beginning its first campaign in the Colombian league, Cúcuta played Hurucán de Medellín, Universidad de Bogotá, Boca Juniors de Cali, and Atlético Bucaramanga. The last of these, Atlético Bucaramanga, is Cúcuta's archrival and their games are called the clásico of Western Colombia.
In the late fifties and early sixties, the team was under the chairmanship of Marino Vargas Villalta. Under his supervision, the team reached second place in the 1964 DIMAYOR tournament. In the second half of 2006, the team won the Colombian League for the first time in its history by defeating finalist Deportes Tolima 2 goals to 1. Some of the key players in that championship were Blas Pérez, Roberto Bobadilla, Charles Castro, Macnelly Torres, Nelson Florez, Lincarlo Henry, and Róbinson Zapata.
In 1950, Cúcuta played in the professional league with a team consisting of Pedro "Carruja" Díaz, Pablo Mendoza, Gallito Contreras, Julio Terra, Marcos "Gorilla" Ortíz, "Earthquake" García, Juan José Tulio, Alcide Mañay, Juan Barbieri, "Chino" Perez Luz, Luis Orlando, Roberto Serrano, Luis Alberto "Marciano" Miloc, Juan "Chalamu" Barbosa, Carlos Zunino, Abraham Gonzalez, Ramon Alberto Villaverde and Juan Delucca. In its first year in the league, the team signed 12 players from Uruguay.
During its first professional season, Cúcuta won its first game against the now-defunct Sporting de Barranquilla (2-1) and also defeated Atlético Bucaramanga (0-1) at Atlético’s ground in the first clásico of Western Colombia. Luis Albert “the Martian” Miloc scored the game’s only goal. Cúcuta finished the year 5th out of 16 teams. More Uruguayan players were brought in for the 1951-52 season, including Schubert Gambeta and Ramón Eugenio Tejera. Cúcuta subsequently finished the year 3rd out of 18 teams.
Between 1952 and 1953, the club found itself in its first economic crisis. Resolved not to be disbanded, the team’s directors organized an exhibition tour in Central America. The team played in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala and earned enough money in order to maintain its leagues status, which it succeeded in doing for two seasons, but by 1954 the crisis had grown and the club was forced to exit the Colombian league for two years, returning in 1956. Cúcuta finished 4th in the league that year. Rolando Serrano, the earliest of the great local heroes, began his career at Cúcuta. Serrano later helped the Colombian national team qualify for the 1962 World Cup.
In 1964, Cúcuta turned in their second best season-long performance to date. Under the management of Marino Vargas Villalta, Cúcuta finished second in the Colombia league, a single point behind champions Club Deportivo los Millonarios.
In 1995, after finishing in 16th place in the league, Cúcuta was relegated to the second division, Primera B. One year later, however, the team won the second division title and returned to the top flight, only to be promptly relegated after finishing in last place. Despite finishing second in the Primera B in 1997 to Atlético Huila, Cúcuta failed to win promotion in the league’s playoffs. Cúcuta remained in the second division until 2005. That year they were finally crowned Primera B champions and returned to the top flight.
Cúcuta played the final against Deportes Tolima in a two-legged match. The first game was played at Cúcuta’s stadium on December 17. Rodrigo Saraz scored the only goal of the 1-0 game, which Cúcuta won. In the return leg in Ibagué, the teams drew 1-1, with Macnelly Torres scoring for Cúcutat and Yulián Anchico scoring for Tolima. This result meant Cúcuta won 2-1 on aggregate and were crowned champions.
Overall, Cúcuta has played 46 seasons in the Colombian first division and 9 seasons in the second division.
Cúcuta qualified for Copa Libertadores 2007 by winning the Colombian League’s 2006 championship. They were placed in Group 3 alongside Deportes Tolima of Colombia, Grêmio of Brazil, and Cerro Porteño of Paraguay.
The team’s first game was a home game against Tolima which ended 0-0. After that they traveled to Porto Alegre, Brazil to play Grêmio, another game which ended 0-0. After that they returned to Colombia to play Cerro Porteño in a match that ended 1-1. The match that followed was in Paraguay, against Cerro Porteño which ended in a 2-1 loss for Cúcuta. The team rebounded, however, and defeated Grêmio 3-1 at home and visited Tolima in Ibagué in the final group stage match, winning in a high-scoring match, 4-3. This victory ensured their passage into the next round, giving them 9 points to Tolima and Cerro Porteño’s 7 each. Grêmio finished top of the group with 10 points.
Their second round matchup was against Mexican club Toluca. After going down 0-1 at home inside of two minutes, Cúcuta rebounded and won the first leg 5-1. Despite losing the second leg 2-0 in Toluca, Cúcuta advanced to the quarterfinals with a 5-3 victory on aggregate. The quarterfinals pitted Cúcuta against Uruguayan side Nacional. The first leg was again played in Cúcuta, where the Colombian side won 2-0 through goals from Blas Pérez and Macnelly Torres. The second leg, played in Montevideo, ended in a 2-2 draw thanks to goals from Rubén Darío Bustos and Leonard Pajoy for Cúcuta. Qualification for the semifinals was earned via this 4-2 aggregate victory.
In the semifinals, Cúcuta played Argentine side Boca Juniors. The first leg, in Cúcuta, ended in a 3-1 victory for the Colombians, but in the second leg, in the famous La Bombonera stadium, Boca earned a 3-0 victory to defeated Cúcuta 4-3 on aggregate and advance to the finals, which they subsequently won against Grêmio.
Ramiro Suárez Corzo as Mayor of Cucuta was supposedly managing the football (soccer) team Cúcuta Deportivo indirectly overriding the president of this club Angel Uriel Garcia. According to El Tiempo newspaper Suárez was supposed to sell part of the team's stocks to the people of Cucuta, 8.5% of the total 70%, instead he sold that 70% to his friends. He also authorized Cucuta to be exempt of taxes until the year 2010, when the Colombian law only allows 1 year to do so.