Tue, 27 Oct 2020

James, Falcao set for Colombia return

Xinhua
26 Sep 2020, 14:44 GMT+10

BOGOTA, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Everton midfielder James Rodriguez and Galatasaray striker Radamel Falcao are poised to return to Colombia's national team for FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela and Chile next month, head coach Carlos Queiroz said on Friday.

The pair have not played for Colombia since the team's penalty shootout defeat to Chile in the quarterfinals of last year's Copa America in Brazil.

Falcao, 34, has has been in impressive form for Galatasaray so far this season, netting three times in the opening two rounds of the Turkish Super Lig.

James, 29, has also sparkled in his first two matches in the Premier League following his move from Real Madrid.

"For now, I think we can say that the big news will be the return of James to his place in football, playing and competing regularly, and the recovery and return of our captain Falcao," Queiroz said in an interview released by the Colombian Football Federation (FCF).

Colombia will host Venezuela in Barranquilla on October 9 before facing Chile in Santiago four days later in the opening fixtures of the South American Confederation's (CONMEBOL) 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Queiroz is expected to name his squad for the matches next week.

Despite the likely return of some familiar faces, Queiroz hinted at possible surprises in his squad.

"The national team is always an open house, without doors and without windows. A house of merit and responsibility, at the service of the team," the 67-year-old Portuguese said.

The CONMEBOL zone qualifiers had been scheduled to begin in late March but were suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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