Monaco striker Radamel Falcao has been ruled out of the World Cup after failing to recover from injury.
The Colombian international had been included in the 30 man provisional squad but was left out of the team heading to Brazil by coach Jose Pekerman, who announced his World Cup squad this week in Argentina. Pekerman was holding off making the announcement to make sure that Falcao's fitness could be assessed and a final decision on his recovery could be made.
The 28-year-old striker required surgery to his knee after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament during a 3-0 victory in the French Cup in January.
It was hoped that Falcao would have recovered in time for the World Cup after successful surgery despite the usual recovery time being between six and nine months.
Falcao had progressed at a better rate than expected, displaying his progress on social media. However, a lack of match fitness led to the decision being made against the 28 year old. The striker will still travel with the squad, offering his support from the sidelines.
Falcao had been influential in helping Colombia reach the World Cup finals, scoring nine goals in the qualifying campaign, and at one stage helped them to reach third place in the FIFA world rankings.
They finished in second place in qualifying behind Argentina. It is a massive blow to Colombia's chances of progressing, with Falcao the nation's star player and was billed as one of the players to watch out for.
The South American side are in Group C alongside Greece, Cote D'Ivoire and Japan, with their campaign starting against Greece on the 14th of June.
The Colombian had only been in France for six months when he sustained the injury after moving to Monaco from Atletico Madrid from a fee of £50 million. He made 17 appearances last season for the south French side, scoring nine goals.
Falcao's fellow countryman and teammate at Monaco, James Rodriguez, has retained his place in Colombia's 23 man squad. The £35 million signing is now one of the most recognisable names alongside Fredy Guarin of Inter Milan. Toulouse midfielder Abel Aguilar has also maintained his place in Pekerman's squad.
Luis Amaranto Perea has also failed to recover from injury in time for the start of the World Cup, whilst Udinese striker Luis Muriel was left out of Pekerman's 23 man squad.
Colombia were at 25/1 to win, the same odds as Italy and England, and were favourites to win their group. The loss of Falcao in attack may lead to less pundits and fans believing they can reach the elimination rounds.
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