"Midfielders: Carlos Sanchez; Abel Aguilar; Alexander Mejia; Freddy Guarin; Juan Guillermo Cuadrado; James Rodriguez; Juan Fernando Quintero; Aldo Leao Ramirez; Victor Ibarbo."
Buenos Aires, June 3 - Colombia's key player Radamel Falcao has been ruled out of the World Cup after failing to recover from a serious knee injury.
At a press conference here Monday, a tearful Falcao could not hide his pain at missing the June 12-July 13 tournament, reports Xinhua.
The 28-year-old ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing for Monaco Jan 28. He underwent surgery three days later and had been given until the last moment to prove his fitness by Colombia coach Jose Pekerman.
The manager and coaching staff gave me until the last moment so I have to thank them for giving me that chance, the former River Plate, Porto and Atletico Madrid striker said.
But we have to be sensible and conscious of the fact that I'm still not ready to play. I was really excited, now I have to support the team from afar and wish them the best, he added.
Pekerman also omitted injured defender Amaranto Perea and forward Luis Fernando Muriel from his final 23-man squad.
I'm not going to say goodnight because it's not a good night, the 64-year-old Pekerman said. It hasn't been a good day. We have left it to the last moment to choose our final list as ordered by FIFA. It's with a lot of pain that I tell all the people of Colombia, who have always believed in our team, that Falcao, Perea and Lucho Muriel won't be able to play.
Playing in their first World Cup finals since 1998, Colombia have been drawn in Group C with Greece, Cote d'Ivoire and Japan.
Goalkeepers: David Ospina; Faryd Mondragon; Camilo Vargas.
Defenders: Juan Camilo Zuniga; Pablo Armero; Santiago Arias; Eder Alvarez Balanta; Mario Alberto Yepes; Carlos Valdes; Cristian Zapata.
Midfielders: Carlos Sanchez; Abel Aguilar; Alexander Mejia; Freddy Guarin; Juan Guillermo Cuadrado; James Rodriguez; Juan Fernando Quintero; Aldo Leao Ramirez; Victor Ibarbo.
Strikers: Jackson Martinez; Adrian Ramos; Teofilo Gutierrez; Carlos Bacca