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Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Falcao named Colombia captain for Copa America

Reuters , Sunday 31 May 2015
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Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has named striker Radamel Falcao as captain of his Copa America team believing he will show his best form despite a disappointing season at Manchester United.

"We have full confidence in Falcao, he's been decisive in the national team," Pekerman said. "We expect him to reach his maximum level (for Colombia)."

The Argentine coach kept faith with the core of his 2014 World Cup quarter-finalists in his 23-man squad but has had to do without defender Eder Alvarez Balanta and midfielders Abel Aguilar, Fredy Guarin and Juan Quintero, who are all injured.

Real Madrid's James Rodriguez, Golden Boot winner at the World Cup finals where he scored six goals, will be at the heart of Colombia's midfield behind Falcao, who will be looking to add to his record 24 goals for his country after missing last year's tournament in Brazil.

Pekerman said one of his challenges would be to get the best out of overlapping full backs Pablo Armero of Flamengo and Napoli's Camilo Zuniga.

The form of both players has dipped due to injuries or a lack of match practice at their club sides.

Colombia face Brazil, Peru and Venezuela in the tournament in Chile starting on June 11 after playing a warm-up match against Costa Rica in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (Atletico Nacional), Cristian Bonilla (La Equidad)

Defenders: Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Carlos Valdes (Nacional de Montevideo), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Jeison Murillo (Granada), Pablo Armero (Flamengo), Pedro Franco (Besiktas), Darwin Andrade (Standard Liege)

Midfielders: Alexander Mejia (Monterrey), Carlos Sanchez (Aston Villa), Edwin Cardona (Monterrey), Edwin Valencia (Santos), James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Chelsea), Victor Ibarbo (AS Roma)

Forwards: Radamel Falcao (Manchester United), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Jackson Martinez (Porto), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate), Luis Fernando Muriel (Sampdoria)

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