Club Deportivo Popular Junior F.C. S.A., commonly known as Junior de Barranquilla, by its old name Atlético Junior, or simply as Junior, is a Colombian professional football team based in Barranquilla, Colombia. The club currently plays in the Categoría Primera A, the country’s highest level of professional club football.
Atlético Junior Youth Development System
Atlético Junior Recruitment Trials
At the time of this writing, there are no official publishings on Atlético Junior trials. Please come back at a later date while we monitor this club or click here to visit their official academy news section.
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Atlético Junior Histroy
It should not come as a surprise that a group with the name Juventus was formed in the early 1920s at the Colegio Salesiano in the San Roque area of Barranquilla. The group’s members were mostly composed of Italian immigrants. Even though both names translate to “youth” in English, the original name was changed to the Spanish Juventud shortly after it was first introduced. In August of 1924, several of the younger members of Juventud, together with some other young men from San Roque, established a branch of Juventud known as Juventud Infantil.
A reputation as one of the top clubs in the country began to develop for them in the 1940s, around the same time that the club’s name was abbreviated to simply Junior. In 1945, the members of Junior were chosen to compete for Colombia in the South American Championship, which is now known as the Copa América. Although they suffered defeats at the hands of Uruguay (7–0) and Argentina (9–1) along the road, the Colombian team finished in a respectable fifth place. In 1949, they were chosen to represent Colombia once again (and ended up in last place), but this time, the decision to play would have repercussions for them in the future.
In 1948, Junior was one of the founding members of the Colombian Premier Division of the Professional Football Association (commonly known as the Dimayor). On August 15, 1948, they played their first game as a professional organization at home against Deportivo Cali, which resulted in a victory for the home team by a score of two goals to zero.
At the beginning of the year after that, they were picked once more to compete as the de facto national team for Colombia. Junior were warned that they would be kicked out of the Dimayor if they participated in the game due to the ongoing conflict between Adefutbol, the first amateur football association in Colombia, and the Dimayor.
They went ahead and did so, and as a result, they were initially handed a suspension from the league that lasted for two years. After some time, this was shortened to just one year, and they went back to the Dimayor for the 1950 season. This was the golden age of Colombian football, usually referred to as El Dorado.
It was a time when the Dimayor was a “rebel league” unconnected with FIFA and a large number of high-profile players from across the world violated their contracts and came to play. Junior were not an exception, as they recruited players during these years from countries like as Brazil, Argentina, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. El Dorado, however, did not last forever for Colombian football and eventually collapsed.
A way forward became apparent in the middle of the 1960s, when a rift had once again developed in Colombian football. This time, the rift was between Adefutbol and the newly created Federación Colombiana de Ftbol, an organization that was dedicated to developing professional football in the country. Adefutbol was the more established organization.
During this time, the Colombian national team was organized by Adefutbol, which was still considered to be the official body in FIFA’s eyes. Additionally, Colombian clubs were not allowed to compete in the Copa Libertadores. When peace was finally achieved, the majority of the amateur team that had been working on qualifying for the England World Cup joined Junior, who had previously played for the Dimayor and returned there in 1966. Since then, Junior have always competed at the highest possible level. 1977 was the year that Junior took home their first Colombian championship after finishing atop the Apertura standings.
They went on to win additional titles in 1980, 1993, and 1995, as well as the 2004-II (Finalización), 2010-I (Apertura), and 2011-II competitions (Finalizacion). Junior have competed in the Copa Libertadores nine times, and in the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa CONMEBOL each once. In 1994, they advanced to the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores.
Atlético Junior Stadium
Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, also known as Estadio Metropolitano or, more informally, El Metro, is a multi-use and all-seater football stadium located in Barranquilla, Colombia. Roberto Meléndez was named after Roberto Meléndez, who was the first mayor of Barranquilla. The local football team, Atlético Junior, calls this stadium their home field.
It was constructed with a capacity of 46,692 in preparation for Colombia’s candidacy for the World Cup in 1986. In the first year of operation, the stadium was opened with a match between Uruguay and Junior, which Uruguay won 2–1 to mark the occasion.
After recent renovations at the Estadio Deportivo Cali, it has become the largest stadium in all of Colombia. The name of the venue, which had previously been referred to as Estadio Metropolitano, was altered around the year 1991 in order to pay tribute to Roberto Meléndez, a famous footballer from Colombia. The Colombian national football team plays its home games in this stadium, which holds official team events.