Oscar Cortés – One in a Million by Sebastian Ferro

Oscar Cortés – One in a Million by Sebastian Ferro

Image Rights: El Tiempo

Date of Birth: 03/12/2003 (19 years old)
Nationality: Colombian
Club: Millonarios FC
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Height: 176cm (5 ft. 8in)
Weight: 75 kg (165 lbs)
Strong Foot: Right
Youth: Millonarios FC
Market Value: €1m (Transfermarkt)

Similar Players: Dmitri Payet, Riyad Mahrez

Oscar Cortés is a versatile 19 year old attacking midfielder who has lit up the Colombian first division across the past two seasons with Millonarios FC. Besides excelling in the Colombian first division, he has stood out in the Copa Libertadores and with the Colombian Under-20’s national team, especially during the 2023 South American youth championship. It does not take long when watching Cortés for it to become clear why there has been so much buzz around the teenager. Join me in taking a deeper look at Oscar Cortés and his skillset to see why surely Europe’s elite clubs will be making calls for the young attacker soon.

Player History:

Oscar Cortés was born on December 3rd 2003 in the port city of Tumaco on Colombia’s Pacific Coast. At a young age he joined the academy of Bogota side Millonarios FC, who in recent years have produced many talented youngsters including Carlos Andres Gomez and Emerson Rodriguez. He made his first appearance for the first team during the 2022 season and signed his first professional contract in May of that year. So far in the 2023 season of the Colombian first division he has featured 8 times registering 4 goals and 1 assist. In this year’s Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champion’s League, he featured once and registered an assist in the 2-1 second round victory over Chile’s CD Universidad Católica. At the international level, he has featured for Colombia at both the U19 and U20 level. So far in 16 appearances he has managed to register 6 goals and three assists including being Colombia’s highest scorer at the South American Youth Championship where he excelled as part of a highly talented side that placed 3rd behind Uruguay and Brazil.

Playing Style:

Oscar Cortés is a right footed attacker capable of playing on both the right and left wing as well as a central attacking midfielder. His most commonly played position and that which suits his style of play the best is on the right wing. Standing at only 5’7, he can easily use his low center of gravity to meander his way through defenders with his creative dribbling and ball control to work his way into an attacking position. Additionally, he is very agile and has remarkable pace and acceleration and uses those qualities to great effect in order to get past his opponents on the wing.While he has found his goal scoring touch, in particular in his most recent game, he is not the most lethal finisher and is more renowned for the creative aspects to his game. He is still a very raw talent yet if he can develop into a more consistent player, which he has shown so far in this early portion of the 2023 season, and be more diligent with the ball at his feet, he will be able to elevate his game to the elite level.

Here Cortés shows his versatility by easily switching from RW to LW at different points of the match.

Cortés displays wonderful agility, close control, creativity to get past his marker and find the open teammate.

Cortés thrives playing in advanced positions, and his direct style of play emphasizes creating chances for teammates high up the field.

Game notes:

Game 1: Millonarios vs. Defensa y Justicia – Copa Sudamerican Group Stage (4-6-2023)

  • Featured as a LAM in a 4-2-3-1
  • Named starter and stayed on the pitch until 90+2’, replaced by ST Edgar Guerra
  • Stayed high alongside left side byline, drifted into central and right sided positions as game progressed
  • Had a decent game distributing the ball, did have the occasional poor first touch, could refine final ball/cross into the box
  • Looked very effective in counter attacks, using his pace on the left for intelligent off ball runs or streaking into the box late
  • Effectively used his off the ball positioning to create space and expressed intelligent movement including attacking sequences where he did not receive the ball
  • Tracked back effectively and pressed out of possession, occasionally conceded sloppy foul

Game 2: Millonarios vs Atlético Mineiro – Copa Libertadores 3rd Round (2nd Leg: 3-15-2023)

  • Featured as a RW in a 4-1-4-1
  • Came on as a substitute in 61’, replacing RW Daniel Cataño
  • Heavily marked, had to drop deep in order to receive the ball without much success
  • Had more success with the ball towards the end of the match, was able to create chances from the right
  • Showed decent defensive work rate in pressing opponent high and trying to win the ball
  • Demonstrated good close ball control after turning in space, poor first touch amplified by effective opposition pressing

Game 3: Millonarios vs Atlético Mineiro – Copa Libertadores 3rd Round (1st Leg: 3-8-2023)

  • Featured as a RAM/LAM in a 4-2-3-1
  • Started and stayed on the pitch until 72’, replaced by ST Jader Valencia
  • Was tightly marked on the right wing, used that to draw defenders away from underlapping/overlapping RB
  • Switched to LAM late in the first half, featured similar positional intelligence with teammates on that side
  • Played a more direct role in both shot and chance creation on the left hand side
  • Looked most dangerous in counter attacking positions, give and go with teammates
  • First touch and shooting needs to be refined, still a raw talent
  • Capable defensive work rate for position, effective high press

Game 4: Millonarios vs Deportivo Cali – Categoria Primera A ( 3-5-2023)

  • Featured as a RW in a 4-3-3
  • Came on as a substitute in 72’, replacing RW Luis Andres Paredes
  • Fluid in his positioning, kept his position wide hugging the byline or drifted centrally in build up
  • Demonstrated strong dribbling and close passing with teammates, drew fouls whiledriving with the ball
  • Effective on the counter attack, demonstrated okay shot and chance creation
  • Demonstrated okay defensive work rate for position, did concede a sloppy foul on occasion
  • Intelligent offensive position both with and without the ball

What’s Next?:

Oscar Cortés has shown tremendous talent, growth and an eye for the spectacular in his short professional career with the first team. He has made remarkable progress early on in 2023, particularly in creating goal scoring opportunities with both club and country. After a stellar U20 South American Championship, it is expected for Cortés to shine in the U20 World Cup for Colombia in May of this year. If he continues to perform at a high level, it will not be surprising if some of the globe’s elite clubs will be interested in the summer transfer window. While it is still early, he shows very high potential based on his creativity, positional intelligence and ability to feature on the left and right wing. He does need to improve on his close control and knowing when to release the ball, but that can be improved with the proper development. Regardless Cortés will one day excel at the highest level of football for both club and country. With his dribbling, agility and ever improving chance creation, do not be surprised when he is the crown jewel of Colombia’s offense in the years to come.

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