Colo-Colo have been a symbol of Chilean football for almost 100 years now, they are the most successful domestic side in the country's history and, to date, the only Chilean side to ever lift the Copa Libertadores.

They are a fascinating club, a club who’s success rose out of tragedy and who, possibly more than any other club in football, deify one man above all others. 

From their origins as an offshoot club of disgruntled young players to one of South America’s most iconic clubs, there’s something very special about Colo-Colo...



The club was named in honour of Mapuche (Chilean indiginous people) leader Colocolo (mountain cat), a 16th century chief and folk hero who resisted the Spanish colonists. Colocolo’s likeness has been used by the club from the very beginning, with Arellano’s fellow founding member, Luis Contreras, proposing its usage at the clubs very first meeting. The chief logo has featured officially on the club's badge since 1950.

Just two years after the clubs founding, while the club were embarking on on an historic tour of Spain, Arellano was playing in an exhibition game against Valladolid when he collided with another player with such force that it caused inflammation to his abdomen that would tragically lead to his passing away shortly after at the age of just 25.



The club have honoured him ever since with a black band on their shirts. Initially, the band was located on the shirt's left sleeve, until in 1974, it was placed over the badge. The side were so fervent in their grief that in the decade following Arellano’s death they went by the  nickname ‘The Mourners’.



In 1933 Colo-Colo became one of the eight founding members of the Chilean Primera División league alongside, Unión Española, Badminton, Audax Italiano, Green Cross, Morning Star, Magallanes and Santiago National F.C.



Since this first season the side have claimed a record 32 Primera División titles alongside 11 Copa Chile wins, also a record. 

The clubs golden period ran from the early 70’s till the turn of the century. The side that would go on to be known as "Colo-Colo 73", would be the first Chilean team to reach a Copa Libertadores final in 1973, though they lost out to Argentina’s Independiente. They would then go on a remarkable run of claiming 11 league titles in 20 years starting in 1979.



Undoubtedly the greatest achievement in the clubs history is their 1991 Copa Libertadores victory. After knocking out Nacional and Boca Juniors, they defeated Olimpia in the final. In doing so they became just the second side from the Pacific coastline to ever to win the tournament and, with Croatian Mirko Jozic at the helm, the first team to ever win the trophy with a European manager.



The side has a strong rivalry with Universidad de Chile and together they compete in El clásico del fútbol chileno (Chilean Superclásico). They are the most and second most successful sides in Chilean football but despite this fact the derby is regarded as one of the world's most uneven. Colo-Colo have won 104 times to Universidad’s 62.


The Colo-Colo '20/21 home and away shirt is available in multiple sizes on Cult Kits for just £34.99 down from £64.99 here.


Words by Andy Gallagher





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