World Cup: Radamel Falcao misses out on Colombia squad
Star striker Radamel Falcao has been left out of Colombia's final squad for the World Cup finals.
Last Updated: 03/06/14 9:01am
Falcao has been absent since January when he had knee ligament surgery, with his availability for the tournament in Brazil in question ever since.
The Monaco striker was one of Colombia's key players in qualifying, scoring nine goals as they finished second behind Argentina in the 16-game tournament - only Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi managed more.
Falcao was included in their provisional 30-man squad and had been training with the rest of their players, but he was unable to prove his fitness by the time Jose Pekerman had to make his final cuts.
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".
Experienced defender Luis Amaranto Perea, who has been recovering from injury, and forward Luis Muriel also missed the cut from Pekerman's provisional squad.
Colombia face Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan in Group C.
Colombia's 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup:
Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Independiente Santa Fe).
Defenders: Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Pablo Armero (West Ham), Cristian Zapata (Milan), Mario Yepes (Atalanta), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo), Santiago Arias (PSV), 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), Alex Mejia (Atleico Nacional), Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Fiorentina).
Forwards: Jackson Martinez (Porto), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Adrian Ramos (Borussia Dortmund).