Although professional soccer was not one of her goals because the study was in the first place in her life, Liana Milena Salazar Vergara is one of the key pieces for the Colombia Women’s team, and in this Copa América she is one of the best chips she has coach Nelson Abadía Aragón with the aim of winning the championship.
She was born in Bogotá in a family that surrounded her with soccer, her father who has a passion for the sport, her mother who supported her in everything and a brother who played with her in the living room of her house with paper balls . Liana understood that she had a commitment that she would not miss.
“My parents (Mireya and Ignacio) and my brother (Jeisson) always supported me when I told them when I was very young that I wanted to be a footballer, but the one who had the hardest time convincing was my grandmother. At first I scolded my mother because she let me play “that sport that is for men.” Later, when she saw that I was called up by the national team and that thanks to soccer I paid for my university degree, she changed her mind and now she is my number one fan, “said Salazar in an interview for MARCA in 2018.
Intelligent, fighter, analytical, dreamy, responsible and extremely organized, this is how the Bogota soccer player defines herself. Professional in International Business, she is one of the athletes who belongs to the generation that has had to break down barriers so that future generations have open doors on the path to professionalism.
The 29-year-old midfielder debuted at the start of her professional career in 2010 with the Bogota Soccer League. Between 2011 and 2015 she played at the collegiate level wearing the colors of the University of Kansas, United States, a team with which she played 83 games and scored 28 goals.
She has four participations in women’s soccer world cups: FIFA U-17 women’s world cup (New Zealand, 2008); U-20 women’s world cup (Germany, 2010); women’s world cup (Germany 2011 and Canada (2015), in addition to two participations in the women’s Olympic soccer tournament played in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro (2016). In addition, she had already integrated the national team in a Copa América (Chile 2018).
In 2016 she was hired by the Sudet club in Finland, where she did not have more recognition at the title level. A year later, in 2017 when Independiente Santa Fe debuted in the Women’s Professional League, Salazar was part of the squad and in the group stage they finished first with a perfect score. Then, in the quarterfinals, the midfielder scored a goal for the 1-2 victory over América de Cali. In addition, in the semifinal of the same contest, captain Liana helped with a score to defeat Atlético Bucaramanga to advance to the final.
That Saturday, June 24, Salazar played the final at the Nemesio Camacho El Campín Stadium in Bogotá, with an attendance of 33,327 people. The ‘lions’ managed to be crowned the first champion of the Women’s Professional League.
In addition, the Bogota athlete for 2018 was part of the Atlético Huila squad, where the ‘opitas’ managed to be champions in the Women’s Águila League, and with this their qualification for the Women’s Copa Libertadores. In the tenth edition of the continental championship, the team from Huila got their first title in this tournament.
Between 2019 and 2020 the midfielder was in China wearing the colors of the Beijing BSU club; in 2021 she joined the squad of Independiente Santa Fe, runner-up in the BetPlay League against Deportivo Cali and since February 14, 2022 she is part of the professional team of Corinthians de São Paulo in Brazilian soccer, where she has played 443 minutes.
On one occasion, the former captain was asked about the capital club and she replied, “Ufff… Oh no, Santa Fe is everything to me. It represents family, passion, claw, suffering, love, everything; it’s everything”.
On July 17, in the third outing of the Colombian Women’s National Team in the Copa América 2022, the “coffee women” will face their counterpart from Ecuador at the Pascual Guerrero stadium, in the city of Cali, in a group A game. The national team will be able to count on Liana Salazar from Bogota, who managed to overcome covid 19 that did not allow her to be in the first two days.
“Happy to be back with the group, it’s always hard to pull away in such a short tournament, but I’m fine now. I have seen the Colombian national team very well. We are gaining confidence and quality, ”said the midfielder at a press conference before her return.