Tino Asprilla: Where Are They Now?


Faustino ‘Tino’ Asprilla was a household name in the late 90’s, not only in the Northeast but across the globe. The skilful Colombian found fame whilst playing for Newcastle United as a striker, during which time he endeared himself to Toon fans. Now a cult icon of the era, we find out what Tino Asprilla is up to now.

If you want a player to be featured in the future, let us know in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.


He started his career in his home country of Colombia, he soon found that large European clubs were seeking his signature, and a tally of 35 goals in 78 games for Atletico Nacional saw several large Italian clubs put in bids. Parma won the race to sign him and he joined the outfit for £6.7m in 1992.

Once again Asprilla found success and in the four years of service during his first spell at Parma, he scored 25 goals in 84 matches, including a second-half free-kick to win against Milan ending their unbeaten streak of 58 matches. In 1996 he was named as the sixth best player in the World by FIFA and the English clubs came knocking.

Newcastle United was the most attractive choice and he was signed by Kevin Keegan in 1996. He famously finalised his contract at St James Park mid-snowstorm, and turned up in the most flamboyant of fur coats, and thus his reputation was gained. He made an immediate impact with an assist to ensure Newcastle beat rivals Middlesbrough on his debut.

He spent two years on Tyneside and managed to score 18 goals in 59 appearances, but it was his Champions League exploits that made fans both love and hate the player in equal measure. His high point, and the most remembered game in recent history for Newcastle, was the 1997 clash against Barcelona. Tino Asprilla scored a hat-trick that ensured The Magpies beat Barca.

However, with the good came the bad. After scoring a goal against FC Metz, he famously took off his shirt and swung it from the corner flag, resulting in a yellow card, and a one match ban meaning he would miss the tie with AS Monaco. His off-field antics were also a cause for concern, and many still blame him for Newcastle’s failure to win the Premier League in their fight with Manchester United in the 1995/96 season.

Kevin Keegan grew tired of Asprilla’s antics and eventually enough was enough, and he was sold back to Parma for £6m, having bought him for £6.8m. He is still loved by Newcastle supporters young and old, and with his record of 9 goals in 11 European games, his memory brings back others of Champions League nights under the lights at St James Park.

After moving back to Parma and only scoring one goal in 22 matches, his career was essentially over, however he carried on playing until 2004, but between moving back to Italy and retirement, he only scored 32 goals in a total of 126 appearances. He did move back to Colombia and played for Atletico Nacional again, but unsuccessfully to say the least.

Where Is He Now?

His official retirement came in 2009, but he had not been employed by a professional side in almost five years. However, once he retired he decided the fun was not to stop. He has since been involved with the law, and with various quirky projects that got his cult status in the first place.

In 2008, he was arrested in his home country of Colombia after he allegedly fired an automatic machine gun at security forces near his farm. He was later placed under house arrest and charged with weapon possession and criminal damage. Nobody was injured in the incident.

Next: Freddie Ljungberg: Where Are They Now?

He then went off the grid until in 2011 he started turning up at Newcastle United matches, but not in the directors box. He was seen in the away end of the fierce derby between Sunderland and Newcastle at the Stadium of Light sporting a Newcastle shirt and scarf. He made a return to St James in January of that year when he appeared at half-time of a match and spoke of his affection for the fans.

In early 2013, Asprilla was linked with a job back on Tyneside coaching the youth team, but it was thought that his playboy antics would not be a role-model for youngsters on the books.

Come 2014, and Tino is still in the public eye. He has followed his passion, and is now launching his own range of flavoured condoms in Colombia.