While Colombia’s prince of soccer, Radamel Falcao, was listed as a part of the nation’s preliminary World Cup squad earlier this week, he and his father admit that it would be “impossible” to return to 100% in time for Brazil in June.
In an interview with Spanish soccer magazine, Marca, the ever-optimistic Falcao acknowledged that he will likely not be 100% for the World Cup, and hinted that not playing at all is very possible.
“To get to 100% soccer-wise will be impossible, because I lack hours of competitive soccer. In order to resume, if I am feeling good, I will go. If I see that I am not sure, and I’m not going to contribute anything, I will be sensible and I will not go,” said the super star forward from AS Monaco.
Radamel Garcia, Falcao’s father who played as a centre-back when he was young, agreed with his son in an interview with RCN radio earlier this week, saying that he’s at just 60% now.
“Soccer-wise, he is not there,” said Garcia.
The decision of whether to keep Falcao on the roster will likely be made jointly between the soccer prodigy and Colombia national team coach Jose Pekerman. While Tuesday’s list of 30 preliminary players included Falcao, by June 2 the list must be reduced to 23 players, according to El Espectador newspaper.
“That decision will be made very soon,” said Falcao.
The star striker underwent surgery in January on his left knee after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a French league game, stunning a country that had just watched Falcao lead it to the soccer tournament it has missed out on for over a decade.
After having completed three months of recovery he says that his leg has responded well to the treatment, and is now training.
Despite the impending threat of hearing the news of his absence — the news that Colombia refuses to accept — Falcao still left fans with hope.
“I already have kicked the ball, and it has felt good to me. But that’s one thing, to touch the ball without more and to be placed into a group with the most demanding professionals, those are other questions. There is a difference, and in this second level is where my knee must respond adequately.”
“El Tigre” also added that his recovery process has gone much better than he had initially hoped.
Even with Falcao likely counted out, Colombia is still expected to do well at the start of the World Cup. “Los Cafeteros” are ranked fifth in FIFA’s world ranking and it has been placed in a recognized easier initial group with Japan, Greece, and Ivory Coast.
Colombia’s first game is on June 14 against Greece.