Colombia’s dreams of FIFA World Cup victory might not be over after all, as Radamel Falcao — otherwise known as “El Tigre” (“The Tiger”) and the star of the national football team – has reassured Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos that despite a confirmed ACL tear, he is not out of the picture for Brazil 2014 quite yet.
Colombia’s head of state and its lead striker spoke over the phone on Thursday, with Santos expressing the country’s worries over the knee injury that might see him follow Colombia’s first World Cup in 16 years from the side-bench.
“He told me that it’s a slow and difficult recovery, but he still hasn’t ruled out playing in the World Cup,” the president said. “I told him that all us Colombians are hoping for his full recovery and that we need him safe and sound scoring goals in the World Cup.”
The head of state has been following the 27-year-old, one of the world’s “deadiest” strikers, since he was carried of the pitch during a French Cup match on Wednesday.
Earlier on Thursday, news from Portugal – where Falcao had flown to see specialized surgeon Jose Carlos Noronha – confirmed that the player had suffered a torn ACL in his left leg, according to news agency EFE.
The required surgery for this kind of lesion usually means a six-month recovery period, after which the player often still needs more time to rehabilitate fully.
Though Falcao’s rehab has not indicated an official timeline, the proximity of the World Cup – less five months away and kicking off on June 12 – has left many Colombian fans distressed
The AS Monaco FC and Colombian national team forward was the hero that lead the nation to qualify for its first World Cup since 1998. The possibility of him not taking part in the tournament this summer has been a devastating blow for this football-crazed nation.