Radamel Falcao returns to Colombia squad for Sept. 5 friendly vs. Brazil
Radamel Falcao has been recalled to the Colombia squad after missing the World Cup, as speculation over his club future continues.
Falcao missed this summer's tournament in Brazil as he continued his recovery from a serious knee injury suffered while playing for Monaco in January, but has returned to action at the start of this season to earn a call-up from Jose Pekerman ahead of the friendly against Brazil at Miami's Sun Life Stadium on Sept. 5.
The friendly will be a rematch of the World Cup quarterfinal won 2-1 by Brazil.
"I am very happy to have him back in action and fully recovered. We are making the right decisions to protect his performance and his future," said Colombia coach Jose Pekerman, 64, who recently signed a contract extension that will keep him with the team until 2018. "I am happy to continue on [with Colombia]. I cried a lot after we were eliminated. Those were tears because I visualized us making it to the final and that match [vs. Brazil] didn't go well for us."
Falcao's call-up comes amid fresh reports linking the Monaco forward with a move to Real Madrid, who have already signed his international and former club teammate James Rodriguez this summer.
"James is doing very well, he is following the steps of a player who joins a great team," said Pekerman, who heads to Miami on Sunday with the coaching staff. "If Ancelotti [Madrid manager Carlo] has taken him it is because he trusts James can adapt. James will be a player who will mark an important stage for Real Madrid."
Rodriguez is also in the group, along with the likes of Sevilla forward Carlos Bacca, Inter's Fredy Guarin and Milan's Cristian Zapata.
Another player whose club future is in question, Fiorentina's Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, is included, and there are also places for Aston Villa's new signing Carlos Sanchez and Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina.
About his contract renewal, Pekerman said: "What you have done before doesn't matter. To be among the top 10 teams in the world is a challenge that we must continually meet."
Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal) and Camilo Vargas (Santa Fe).
Defenders: Pablo Armero, Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Camilo Zúñiga, (Napoli), Eder Alvarez (River Plate, Argentina), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven) and Carlos Valdés (Philadelphia Union).
Midfielders: Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Fredy Guarín (Inter Milan), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Fiorentina), James Rodríguez (Real Madrid), Aldo Leao Ramírez (Atlas, Mexico), Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa), Alexander Mejía (Atlético Nacional) and Juan Fernando Quintero (Porto).
Forwards: Jackson Martínez (Porto), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Teófilo Gutiérrez (River Plate, Argentina), Adrián Ramos (Borussia Dortmund), Víctor Ibarbo (Cagliari), Radamel Falcao (Monaco) and Luis Muriel (Udinese).
Information from Press Association and The Associated Press was used in this report.