Juan Guillermo Cuadrado Bello is a Colombian professional footballer who plays as a winger for the Colombia national team. He is known for his direct style of play, including his pace (both on and off the ball) as well as his dribbling skills. He started off in a central role as a defensive midfielder early in his career before being moved into wider positions in which he now plays as a right winger. Having begun his career at Independiente Medellín, Cuadrado moved to Italy in 2009 to join Udinese. Used sparingly at the club, he was loaned to Lecce for the 2011–12 season, where despite relegation from Serie A, his performances earned a transfer to Fiorentina. In February 2015, he was signed by Chelsea, but after playing sparingly, was loaned to Juventus, where he won the Serie A title and the Coppa Italia. Cuadrado made his senior international debut in 2010, and has since earned over 60 caps. He was part of the Colombian squads which reached the quarter-finals at two Copa América tournaments and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, also contributing to his nation’s third-place finish at the Copa América Centenario.
Did you Know?
Cuadrado is known for his direct, offensive style of play along the right flank, and is capable of both scoring goals himself as well as creating goalscoring opportunities for his teammates. He is capable of playing both as a wide midfielder, or as a winger in an attacking trident, due to his ability to make attacking runs down the wing. He often utilises his speed, flair, and technical skills to beat opponents in one on one situations and create space and time for him to shoot on goal, or deliver crosses to strikers in the area. Due to his playing style, which frequently involves taking on full-backs on the flank, and subsequently running towards the touch-line to deliver balls into the area, he has been labelled one of the few “traditional” wide midfielders in the current game. Tim Vickery, a reporter on South American football, stated that as Colombia’s defensive players played near the goal in order to cover for veteran centre-back Mario Yepes, Cuadrado’s pace, agility, creativity and dribbling ability on the right wing moved the team forward at the 2014 World Cup. Vickery also added that, in addition to his main role on the wing, Cuadrado is also adept as an attacking right back or wing back, due to his energy and work-rate. A versatile player, he is also capable of playing on the left, a position which allows him to cut into the middle and shoot on goal with his stronger, right foot. In his early career, he was initially deployed as central or defensive midfielder, and he has also been deployed as a forward, as an attacking midfielder, or as a second striker on occasion.