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Gregory Haft - Radamel Falcao is probably the best striker in the world and he helped his team to an easy victory in South Africa to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. However, Columbia took a huge hit when Falcao tore his ACL in one of the early rounds of the French Cup game. He tried to work to recover before their match with Brazil, but he is simply not ready and official took himself off of Columbia’s roster two days ago. This was a large set back for Columbia, but unlike other teams that may be crippled from this loss, they have enough depth of talent to still be major contenders to take home the trophy this summer on July 13. Without their superstar striker, the other four, extremely talented goal scorers on the team will have to step up for their captain and win games in his place. Columbia is lucky to not only have extra striking talent in addition to the amazing Falcao, but they also have great defense, which puts them a few steps ahead other strong striking teams like Uruguay and Chile. Columbia is ranked among the top ten teams in the world but is sometimes overlooked as a World Cup contender. It seems silly, but it is time to take notice of what this team has to offer.
Among Columbia’s players to watch out for is Juan Camilo Zúñiga who plays right back. He is short, at 5-foot-7, but he is a great attacker as a wing back. He often leaves his formation to go up and down the right flank, but is able to get away with it because he is able to move so fast! Zúñiga’s role when Falcao was around was to get to the end of the line and shoot the ball to him in the middle. Now his route may have to change, but he should be able to handle any fast maneuvering whether his is on the right or in the middle as needs be. James Rodríguez is a winger and another player to watch out for. Rodríguez is extremely versatile and performs extremely well on either wing or in the middle. He has been dubbed with the nickname the “South American Cristiano Ronaldo” which is a testament to his extreme talent. So, although it compromises a for sure World Cup win, Columbia still has a chance of advancing far through the games this summer.