Colombia left devastated as star striker Falcao misses World Cup

Sport360 staff 12:47 03/06/2014
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Major blow: Falcao was expected to spearhead the Colombia attack but injury has prevented his participation in Brazil.

Colombia's star striker Radamel Falcao has lost his battle to be fit for the World Cup.

National coach Jose Pekerman named his tournament squad on Monday evening during a press conference held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Falcao, who suffered a serious knee injury when on duty for his club side Monaco in January, was left off the 23-man list, with Pekerman deciding he would not be ready.

The former Atletico Madrid frontman, who was a big-money signing by Monaco last summer, looked to have no hope of making his country's squad for the tournament in Brazil when he sustained the injury, however his recovery then progressed swiftly.

Pekerman said last week he would "wait for Falcao until the last day, the last minute" before deciding on his fitness, after consulting with medical experts, and the final decision went against the 28-year-old.

"Muriel, Perea and Falcao are not going to be at the World Cup, Jose Pekerman has announced," said a message on the national team's official Twitter account.

Colombia face Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan at Brazil 2014.

Falcao said following the announcement, according to Colombian newspaper El Pais: "I was very excited but now I'll have to support the team from afar and I wish them well, hoping they play a good World Cup."

After taking the tough decision, Pekerman called it "the saddest day I've had since becoming Colombia coach".

Colombia squad

Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Santa Fe) 
Defenders: Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Pablo Armero (Napoli), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Mario Yepes (Atalanta), Carlos Valdes ( Philadelphia Union – on loan to San Lorenzo), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Eder Alvarez-Balanta ( River Plate ) 
Midfielders: James Rodriguez ( Monaco ), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Carlos Sanchez (Elche), Fredy Guarin (Inter Milan), Juan Fernando Quintero (Porto), Aldo Ramirez (Morelia), Alexander Mejia (Atletico Nacional), Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Fiorentina) 
Forwards: Jackson Martinez (Porto), Teofilo Gutierrez ( River Plate ), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Adrian Ramos (Borussia Dortmund)

SQUADS IN BRIEF

Argentina

Nicolas Otamendi, Ever Banega and Jose Sosa were the three players to miss out as Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella cut his World Cup squad to the final 23 names.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain, Paris St Germain's Ezequiel Lavezzi and Rodrigo Palacio of Inter Milan join Aguero in a fearsome strikeforce.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero ( Monaco ), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Agustin Orion (Boca Juniors)
Defenders: Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Federico Fernandez (Napoli), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon), Jose-Maria Basanta (Monterrey), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan), Martin Demichelis (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan), Augusto Fernandez ( Celta Vigo ), Enzo Perez (Benfica)
Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Ezequiel Lavezzi ( Paris St Germain ), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan)

Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko have retained their places in Bosnia and Herzegovina's final 23-man World Cup squad.

Coach Safet Susic had previously named 24 players due to an injury concern over Mensur Mujdza.

The Freiburg full-back is fit to take his seat on the plane to Brazil, meaning Genk defender Ervin Zukanovic is the unlucky man to miss out.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Asmir Begovic (Stoke), Jasmin Fejzic (Aalen), Asmir Avdukic ( Toronto Raptors )Algeria
Defenders: Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen), Toni Sunjic (Zorya Luhansk), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke), Ognjen Vranjes (Elazigspor), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg)
Midfielders: Miralem Pjanic (Roma), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Senad Lulic (Lazio), Anel Hadzic (Sturm Graz), Tino-Sven Susic (Hajduk Split), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Zvjezdan Misimovic (Guizhou Renhe), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyespor), Avdija Vrsajevic (Hajduk Split)
Forwards: Vedad Ibisevic (Stuttgart), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Edin Visca (Istanbul Buyuksehir)

Algeria

Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic has confirmed his final 23-man squad for the World Cup.

Crystal Palace midfielder Adlene Guedioura and on-loan Nottingham Forest forward Rafik Djebbour, who were both part of their country's squad at the 2010 World Cup, are among those to miss out.

The other five players cut from the 30-man provisional squad that Halilhodzic named last month are goalkeeper Azzedine Doukha, defender Nacereddine Khoualed, midfielders Ryad Boudebouz and Amir Karaoui, plus forward Foued Kadir.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche (USM Alger), Rais Mbolhi (CSKA Sofia), Cedric Si Mohamed (CS Constantine) 
Defenders: Carl Medjani (Valenciennes), Aissa Mandi (Reims), Madjid Bougherra (Lekhwiya), Faouzi Ghoulam (Napoli), Rafik Halliche (Academica), Essaid Belkalem (Watford), Liassine Cadamuro (Real Mallorca), Djamel Mesbah (Livorno), Mehdi Mostefa (Ajaccio) 
Midfielders: Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia), Saphir Taider (Inter Milan), Medhi Lacen (Getafe), Abdelmoumen Djabou (Club Africain), Yacine Brahimi ( Grenada ), Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham), Hassan Yebda (Udinese), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) 
Forwards: Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon), Hilal Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb, Nabil Ghilas (Porto)

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