Jose Pekerman was a midfielder with Argentinos Juniors and Independiente de Medellin until a knee injury curtailed his playing career at the age of 28. The Argentinian then became a youth coach and guided Argentina to three FIFA U-20 World Cup titles and two South American continental crowns. He also led Argentina's U-17s to a third-place finish at the U-17 World Cup.
In 2004, Pekerman was chosen to oversee the senior national team and took them to the 2006 World Cup before resigning after they exited on penalties against Germany in the quarter-finals. Following two brief stints in Mexico, he was named head coach of Colombia in 2012 and steered them to the 2014 World Cup, where Los Cafeteros produced their best performance to date, reaching the last eight. Thanks to Colombia’s qualification for Russia 2018, Pekerman will be appearing in his third World Cup and second in a row.