ELITE SOCCER CONGRESS | JUNE 2021

Elite Soccer Congress: Luis Fernando Montoya to receive award

Francisco 'Pacho' Maturana will be in charge of presenting the Stellars award to the 2004 Copa Libertadores champion coach with Once Caldas.

'Pacho' Maturana entregará el Premio Stellars a Luis Fernando Montoya.

For the first time the man known as The Champion of Life will receive recognition in Europe, as part of the Elite Soccer Congress to be held from 9 to 10 June, which will feature an impressive array of coaches from around the world who will share their experiences via a live stream. Luis Fernando Montoya had a short but successful career as a coach winning the 2004 continental title with Once Caldas and playing the intercontinental final against Porto, before he was shot during a robbery in December of that year leaving him with an irreversible tetraplegia.

"For demonstrating that with hard work and sacrifice anything is within our reach. Thank you for the indelible mark you have left on us," are the words that the now 64-year-old coach will hear from another legendary Colombian football player, Francisco 'Pacho' Maturana.

Montoya was born on 2 May 1957 in the municipality of Caldas in the south of Antioquia. He trained as a fitness coach at the Politécnico Jaime Isaza Cadavid in Medellín and worked with several youth teams there, leading them to being champions. His performance as coach caught the attention of Atlético Nacional, who hired him in 2001 and kept him until the end of 2002, when they finished runners-up.

The story of a champion

It was in 2003 when he arrived at Once Caldas and won the Apertura title that gave him a place in the 2004 Copa Libertadores, where he he had an excellent campaign and surprised the continent by winning the most revered club trophy in South American football, beating Carlos Bianchi's Boca on penalties. Winning the tournament gave him the opportunity to play in the Intercontinental Cup, losing out to José Mourinho's Porto, also in a penalty shoot-out. That match was played on 12 December 2004 and was Montoya's last match in charge. He was officially recognised as the continent’s coach of the year by Uruguayan newspaper El País.

Ten days after being in Yokohama, the coach suffered the attack that almost took his life, but thanks to his strength and will to live he managed to overcome it and for that reason he is known as a ‘champion of life’. Prof. Montoya has remained involved in sport ever since and has been a member of INDER Medellín (the Institute of Sports and Recreation), providing life testimonies for young people. He also writes opinion columns in local media.

Elite Soccer Congress for sports coaches

Elite Soccer Congress is a virtual congress aimed at coaches of any sporting discipline in Spain and America, with access in Spanish and English. Among the speakers offering their knowledge, experience, advice and methods to those who register for the event, are current and former managers Marcelino García (Athletic Bilbao), Juan Carlos Osorio, Carlos Carvalhal (Sporting Braga), Diego Cocca (Atlas FC), Rita Guarino among others.

The event, which will have the support of Madrid’s Universidad Europea which will certify the 2021 congress, will be presented by Ramón Fuentes. Each speaker's presentation will last approximately 45 minutes and once completed there will be a 15-minute question and answer session. Fútbol-Táctico Group will be in charge of the streaming production of the congress presentations, which can be viewed live or via the recorded version up to 72 hours after the end of the event. This allows those registered to enjoy the content without it interfering with their work schedules or time differences no matter where they are around the globe.