Radamel Falcao's Knee Injury Will Quell Colombia's 2014 World Cup Title Hopes

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2014

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 19:  Falcao Garcia of Colombia runs with the ball during the International Friendly match between Netherlands and Colombia at Amsterdam ArenA on November 19, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Radamel Falcao's knee injury suffered on Wednesday, Jan. 22, is a nightmare for French club Monaco, but it's worse news for the Colombia national team, whose 2014 World Cup hopes have been all but dashed.

According to BBC Sport, Falcao suffered an ACL injury in his left knee that will require surgery, which typically demands six or more months of recovery time.

Afterward, Monaco head coach Claudio Ranieri was critical of the match official, per BBC Sport: "Everyone wants to play like in England and let the game go. It's not possible here. The referee must see when there is a foul and blow his whistle."

Given what the loss means to his squad this summer, Colombia manager Jose Pekerman must be every bit as frustrated.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 14:  Radamel Falcao of Columbia celebrates scoring their first goal during the International Friendly match between Belgium and Columbia at King Baudouin Stadium on November 14, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by Christophe
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

While Los Cafeteros were already going to have to sustain exceptional football in order to hoist the crown in Brazil, losing their most prolific scorer and one of the planet's top playmakers is a devastating blow to their chances.

The 27-year-old Falcao had nine goals in 17 appearances with Monaco this season and contributed nine goals to Colombia's 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, per ESPN senior researcher Paul Carr:

As Bleacher Report's Matteo Bonetti points out, Colombia still boast capable weapons up front like Jackson Martinez, Luis Muriel, Teofilo Gutierrez and James Rodriguez. Regardless, Falcao's absence is sure to be felt throughout the tournament, especially if the South American squad is able to progress through the group stage and into the knockout rounds.

Colombia clearly still possess the players and the style to escape Group C (Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan). However, the lack of star power and presence with Falcao out of the mix will haunt Los Cafeteros in a potential round of 16 matchup with one of Group D's powerhouses in either Uruguay, Italy or England. With the exception of England's Theo Walcott, those squads' stars are currently intact and are on pace to be at full strength this summer.

Even with a healthy Falcao, Colombia were going to have their work cut out for them with so many other talented units standing in their way of football glory.

But now, the overlooked team gearing up to play on South American soil with high hopes following a 16-year World Cup drought will have to lower their expectations and prepare for an uphill battle this upcoming summer in Brazil.


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