Football: Ailing Falcao included in Colombia squad

Colombian football player Radamel Falcao gives the thumbs up before the Fifa 2014 World Cup friendly football match Colombia v Tunisia at the Cornella-El Prat stadium in Cornella, near Barcelona, on March 5, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
Colombian football player Radamel Falcao gives the thumbs up before the Fifa 2014 World Cup friendly football match Colombia v Tunisia at the Cornella-El Prat stadium in Cornella, near Barcelona, on March 5, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

BOGOTA (AFP) - Colombia coach Jose Pekerman maintained hopes that star striker Radamel Falcao could make the World Cup finals by naming him in his 30-man provisional squad on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

Falcao is recovering from surgery on ruptured cruciate ligaments and has not played since late January.

Despite major doubts about his fitness, the 28-year-old Monaco striker has repeatedly said he still hopes to be in Brazil.

Colombia have been drawn in Group C at the World Cup with Greece, the Ivory Coast and Japan.

They will face Greece in their opening game in Belo Horizonte on June 14.

Provisional Colombia squad for World Cup Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice/FRA), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Santa Fe)

Defenders: Pablo Armero (West Ham United/ENG), Camilo Zuñiga (Napoli/ITA), Aquivaldo Mosquera (América/MEX), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan/ITA), Luis Amaranto Perea (Cruz Azul/MEX), Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate/ARG), Mario Alberto Yepes (Atalanta/ITA), Carlos Valdés (San Lorenzo/ARG)

Midfielders: Abel Aguilar (Toulouse/ARG), Fredy Guarin (Inter Milan/ITA), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Fiorentina/ITA), James Rodriguez (Monaco/FRA), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia/MEX), Carlos Sanchez (Elche/ESP), Macnelly Torres (Al-Shabab/KSA), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Edwin Valencia (Fluminense/BRA), Alexander Mejia (Atlético Nacional), Juan Fernando Quintero (Porto/POR), Elkin Soto (Mainz/GER).

Forwards: Radamel Falcao (Monaco/FRA) Luis Fernando Muriel (Udinese/ITA), Jackson Martinez (Porto/POR), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla/ESP), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate/ARG), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin/GER), Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari/ITA).