Radamel Falcao named in Colombia's provisional 2014 World Cup squad

Christopher Lee

His health is still up in the air, but Colombia is willing to gamble with Radamel Falcao.

Colombia striker Radamel Falcao has not played since tearing his ACL while playing for AS Monaco on Jan. 22, but he's going to the World Cup. Manager Jose Peckerman is apparently happy enough with the striker's recovery to include him on the World Cup squad. However, he's certainly hedging his bet -- Colombia has called in six forwards.

Falcao will have to prove over the next couple weeks that he's made significant progress to get in the final team for Brazil. Colombia's serious depth at striker means that Peckerman doesn't have to take an unfit Falcao and hope for the best. The country can make a deep run into the knockout stages without its best player.

The other big call-up is young defender Eder Alvarez Balanta, who has been excellent for River Plate recently. The 21-year-old has just one Colombia cap to his name.

Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragón (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Santa Fe).

Defenders: Mario Yepes (Atalanta), Aquivaldo Mosquera (América de México), Cristian Zapata (Milan), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo), Amaranto Perea (Cruz Azul), Eder Álvarez Balanta (River Plate), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Camilo Zúñiga (Napoli), Pablo Armero (West Ham).

Midfielders: Carlos Sánchez (Elche), Fredy Guarín (Inter), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia), Juan Fernando Quintero (Porto), Víctor Ibarbo (Cagliari), Edwin Valencia (Fluminense), Alexander Mejía (Nacional), James Rodríguez (Monaco), Macnelly Torres (Al Shabab) Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Fiorentina).

Forwards: Luis Fernando Muriel (Udinese), Teófilo Gutiérrez (River Plate), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Adrián Ramos (Hertha Berlín), Jackson Martínez (Porto).

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