There’s nothing worse for a footballer in his prime than to be robbed of a World Cup due to unforeseen injury.
But Radamel Falcao, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in January, remains upbeat about making a positive contribution for his country in their native South America.
"I feel really good," he said at the recent PUMA Tricks boot launch event. "I’m progressing very quickly – and I’m really happy about that. In the next few weeks we’ll see what shape I’m in and we’ll make a definitive decision on whether it’s convenient or not for me to go to the World Cup.
"The World Cup is my engine and what keeps me going every day in my recovery. It has been one of my objectives this whole time.”
Falcao’s national manager Jose Pekerman shares the striker’s optimism and has included the prolific marksman in his provisional 30-man squad .
Asked about his strike partner in the latest edition of FourFourTwo magazine, Teofilo Gutierrez gushed, “He’s a great leader, a great person, a wonderful team-mate and our top scorer.
His attitude and desire to do as much as possible to recover in time is inspiring. He deserves to be at the World Cup.”
A favourable group draw that features Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan means Falcao may not be entirely necessary for qualification to the knockout phase, but it would still be important for Colombia and for neutrals if he is fit to make a contribution.
Los Cafeteros will want to field their most formidable blend regardless of opposition.
Colombia's full squad reads as follows:
Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Independiente Santa Fe).
Defenders: Mario Yepes (AC Milan), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Pablo Armero (West Ham, on loan from Napoli), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Aquivaldo Mosquera (Club America), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Luis Amaranto Perea (Cruz Azul), Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo).
Midfielders: Fredy Guarin (Inter Milan), Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina), Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari), James Rodriguez (Monaco), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Juan Fernando Quintero (Porto), Carlos Sanchez (Elche), Macnelly Torres (Al Shabab), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia), Edwin Valencia (Fluminense), Alexander Mejia (Atletico Nacional), Elkin Soto (Mainz).
Forwards: Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Luis Fernando Muriel (Udinese), Jackson Martinez (Porto), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate).