Former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla has revealed he had to stop a HITMAN from killing Paraguay goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert after an altercation during a World Cup qualifying match.
Asprilla, who represented Parma and Newcastle United in the 1990’s, claimed the gunman called his hotel room after both he and Chilavert sent off in a qualifier in Asuncion.
The hitman, who was later killed in a drug-related shootout in 2004, wanted Asprilla’s permission to kill Chilavert.
However, speaking on a documentary broadcast on Colombian television channel TelePacifico on Tuesday, the Colombian confirmed he refused outright and was horrified at the proposal.
“What? Are you crazy?” Asprilla claimed to tell the assassin. “You’ll destroy Colombian football, you can’t do that.
“No, no, no, no. What happens on the pitch stays on the pitch.”
The 50-year-old was one of the most controversial and colourful characters in world football during his heyday.
His popularity in his home country has remained and he is well-known for as much nefarious activity after his career, as he is for during.
Narco-terrorism in Colombia came to the attention of the world’s media in the 90’s as the Medellin cartel, led by Pablo Escobar, rose to unprecedented levels of infamy.
The drug trafficker was a huge football fan, even buying boyhood club Atletico Nacional. But the violence and bloodshed soon spilled over into the world of football.
Colombia defender Andres Escobar was murdered in cold blood outside a bar in Medellin in 1994 in an act of retribution for an own goal he scored at the World Cup in the United States.