In December, the 1st FC Cologne was bottom of the table, since then only Bayern has scored more points: After the sovereign victory against SC Freiburg, “Effzeh” clears the air in the relegation battle – also thanks to a Colombian.

They rose from their seats, applauded for minutes, some called his name: Jhon Cordoba visibly enjoyed this moment, although he was being replaced in the 81st minute. The Colombian hugged his coach Markus Gisdol, put on his red tracksuit and watched the last ten minutes of the Sunday game between his FC Köln and SC Freiburg in a relaxed manner. 

He was able to hear the club’s internal goal hymn twice more, and overall it sounded twice as often in the 4-0 (1-0) success. ” Because if there were any drummers, then everything was ready, and we were trekking through the city, and everyone would have seen: kölle Alaaf Alaaf, Kölle Alaaf!” Cordoba can now also sing this Cologne chorus – once the song was played because of him today. 

That was in the 55th minute when the Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow bounced a ball from Jonas Hector forward and Cordoba was in the right place – a classic scoring goal. It is the seventh goal for the 26-year-old this season, all of which he has scored so far at home. 

“The Rhein Energie Stadium is my home. I feel very comfortable there,” Cordoba told the Cologne Express this weekend. “I love playing in front of our fans and making them happy. The atmosphere is unique.”

This mutual affection had to develop first. In the beginning, when Cordoba switched from FSV Mainz to FC Köln for 17 million in 2017, both the striker and the fans were frustrated, disappointed and angry. Because in his first season Cordoba did not score a single goal, his lack of success symbolized the descent of “Effzehs” into the second division. 

The second season went all the better for Cordoba. With his 20 goals, he played a large part in the direct promotion, the FC fans even voted him the best player of the season. He also became a dad for the first time. But the overall happiness did not last long. Back in the 1st division, Cordoba, who played in Spain for two years before the Bundesliga, did not achieve much again – and did not score a single goal in the first ten match days. With the return of Anthony Modeste, the striker competition had grown again. 

2nd Bundesliga 2018 |  Jhon Cordoba & Fans 1. FC Köln (picture-alliance / dpa / M. Volkmann)Once rejected, now loved: Jhon Cordoba and the “Effzeh” fans

But Cordoba is a fighter, on and off the field. The difficult time, as he says himself, “made him stronger”, and he also appears more relaxed. Modeste can not come close to his old days at FC, and striker Simon Terodde is currently struggling with his performance. On the 12th matchday, Markus Gisdol, a new coach, came to FC, who gave Cordoba trust and a lot of time. The result: seven goals in nine games. 

Cordoba harmonizes very well, especially with winter newcomer Mark Uth. In the past home win against VfL Wolfsburg, the two were the dream duo on the pitch and again this weekend against SC Freiburg, Uth repeatedly created spaces for Cordoba from the second row.

Although his goal suggests otherwise today, Cordoba is not just a clipper waiting for balls in the front. He also works to the rear and can switch to the wings. He is agile and fast, despite his height of 1.88 meters and his robust playing style. These characteristics also make him, whose contract expires next season, interesting for Premier League clubs.

FC Köln and its fans also know that. Having once wanted to get rid of Cordoba as quickly as possible, they are now afraid of losing it soon. 


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