Jun 3, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT
Colombia’s World Cup hopes took a huge hit on Tuesday as it was confirmed that star striker Radamel Falcao will miss the tournament in Brazil this summer.
Falcao, 28, injured his ACL back in January whilst playing for AS Monaco in a French Cup match and hasn’t played since. He was included in Colombia’s 30-man squad but when it was trimmed to 23, his injury meant he didn’t make the cut.
The former Atletico Madrid hotshot is one of the best strikers in world soccer and his confirmed absence is a big blow for not only the South American nation but also the tournament as a whole. He scored nine goals in Colombia’s 14 qualifying games and was a huge reason why Jose Peckerman’s side will be taking part in their first World Cup since 1998.
Speaking at a press conference in Buenos Aries, Peckerman explained that Colombia have Falcao every possible chance to play.
“We can say to all of Colombia that he did more than was within his power to play,” Peckerman said. “He deserved the right for us to wait and keep the hope alive.”
After being named in Colombia’s preliminary squad, Falcao has been in a race against time to be fit and will now sit out alongside plenty of other top players.
Ricarrdo Montolivo and Luis Montes both broke their legs last weekend for Italy and Mexico respectively, while the likes of Kevin Strootman, Nico Krancjar, Rafael van der Vaart, Victor Valdes, Thiago Alcantara, Theo Walcott, Kyle Walker, Andros Townsend, Ilkay Gundogan and Alvaro Saborio will also miss the tournament through injury.
Falcao’s absence is arguably the most high profile but Colombia have known his involvement was in jeopardy for many months. In Group C alongside Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan, the South Americans will still fancy their chances of advancing past the group stages this summer.
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