Valderrama hails Pekerman impact

Carlos Valderrama has heaped praised on Colombia coach Jose Pekerman for restoring their identity during the FIFA World Cup.

Colombia have caught the eye in Brazil with attractive attacking performances, which have brought wins over Greece and Ivory Coast respectively.

Pekerman's men are assured of a place in the knockout stages and can guarantee top spot in Group C by claiming at least a point against Japan on Tuesday.

Valderrama, captain of the only other Colombia team to reach the last 16 in 1990, has been impressed with the exploits of his nation's current crop of players.

And the 52-year-old believes it is Pekerman that deserves the credit for Colombia's transformation.

"We're happy because we had never won two straight games in the World Cup, and we've got these guys and they are making history," Valderrama told reporters.

"I feel admiration for the teacher (Pekerman), with everything he's done.

"He has regained the identity of Colombian football."