BOGOTA (Reuters) - Radamel Falcao, Colombia’s big hope for the World Cup, but also a major injury doubt, will join their squad in Buenos Aires in preparation for the tournament in Brazil, the Colombian Football Federation (FCF) said on Tuesday.
That ended rumors that the striker was set to travel to Bogota to announce that he would not be going to Brazil, having failed to fully recover from knee ligament surgery.
“Radamel Falcao Garcia will join his team mates in Buenos Aires. At present, the forward is continuing with his physical work at his club Monaco,” the FCF said in a statement.
The 28-year-old, who scored nine goals in 13 matches as Colombia finished second to Argentina in the South American qualifying group, damaged knee ligaments playing for Monaco in a French Cup tie in January.
The final decision on whether or not he will go to the finals, Colombia’s first in 16 years, will be made by June 2, the date when the team’s Argentine coach Jose Pekerman has to name his 23-man squad, FCF sources said.
Pekerman included Falcao, nicknamed “Tigre” (tiger), in his provisional 30-man squad last week.
Colombia, who travel to Argentina next week, will play warm-up friendlies against Senegal on May 31 and Jordan on June 6 in Buenos Aires, Pekerman’s home city, before traveling to Brazil.
They face Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan, in that order, in Group C at the tournament starting on June 12.
Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires; editing by Toby Davis