Carlos Alberto Valderrama Palacio (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkarlos alˈberto βaldeˈrama paˈlasjo]; born 2 September 1961 in Santa Marta, Colombia), also known as El Pibe ("The Kid"), is a Colombian former footballer who played as a midfielder. A creative playmaker, known for his precise passing, technical skills, and elegance on the ball, he is regarded as one of the best Colombian and South American footballers of all time, and by some as Colombia's greatest player ever; his distinctive hairstyle, as well as talent and skilful playing style made him one of South America's elite and most recognisable footballers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He won the South American Footballer of the Year award in 1987 and 1993, and in 1999, he was also named one of the top 100 players of the 20th century by World Soccer. In 2004, he was included in the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 "greatest living footballers" chosen by Pelé to celebrate the 100th anniversary of FIFA.
Valderrama was a member of the Colombia national football team from 1985 until 1998. He represented Colombia in 111 full internationals and scored 11 times, making him the most capped player in the country's history. He played a major role during the golden era of Colombian football in the 1990s, representing his national side in three FIFA World Cups and five Copa América tournaments.
After spending most of his career playing club football in South America and Europe, towards the end of his career Valderrama played in Major League Soccer, joining the league in its first season. One of the most recognisable players in the league at the time of its inception, he helped popularise the league during the second half of the 1990s. To this day, he is an icon and is considered one of the most decorated players to ever play in MLS; in 2005, he was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI.