Asprilla to turn his hand to politics

January 20, 2006

Former Newcastle striker Faustino Asprilla is hoping to make his name in politics in his homeland, Colombia.

The 36-year-old has announced his candidacy for the election as Deputy of the Valle del Cauca department in Cali.

Asprilla will be part of a political union with the Rocio Arias party, who support the peace process between the Colombia government and paramilitary organisations.

There has been practically been a civil war going on in the country for years.

'Asprilla is a man who wants to work for Colombia,' said Arias.

Asprilla, who played 57 times for his country, made his professional debut for Atletico Nacional in his homeland, he then moved on to Parma in Italy before joining Newcastle in 1996.

He left St James' Park in 1998 and - after spells with Palmeiras, Al Nasr from Saudi Arabia and Mexico's Atlante - he was set to return to England and play for Darlington but the deal fell through at the last minute.

He returned to Colombia and joined Tulua, before playing for Universidad de Chile and Estudiantes from La Plata.