Colombia coach Pekerman insists Falcao will be “best player” at the World Cup
Radamel Falcao has proven himself to be a goalscoring machine with Monaco, silencing critics that suggested a move to France will prove to be disastrous for his career. The Colombian striker has taken no time in settling down in Ligue 1 and has already scored 12 goals in 16 games.
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman believes Radamel Falcao will be in top notch form in the World Cup as well. Pekerman expects Falcao to be the “best player” in the coveted tournament and lead Colombia to successful run in the World Cup.
The 27-year-old striker led Colombia to victory over Belgium by putting his name on the scoresheet. Falcao, who captained Colombia against Belgium, is also expected to make a move to Premier League club Chelsea during the January transfer window.
Pekerman is rallying his men for a battle against Netherlands on Tuesday. Ahead of the game, Pekerman lauded Falcao and acknowledged him as “one of the best centre-forwards in the world”.
“I think Falcao will be the best player at the World Cup. He has great qualities and a team that supports him at all times,” said Pekerman. “He is smart and very technical and that is why he is one of the best center-forwards in the world.
“I am proud to be the coach of a team which has Falcao. He is a unique player and any coach would want to have him in their team.”
Colombia has improved their FIFA rankings drastically with the rise in Falcao’s form. Presently ranked fourth, Colombia will further improve their rankings if they are able to defeat Netherlands on Tuesday.
“We are not afraid of Holland,” Pekerman said. “But we do respect them - they always have good players and South American football has always admired this team. “We want the chance to be measured against great players and continue to demonstrate the high levels we have been showing recently.
“It is a shame Robben will not be playing but I am sure they will have a replacement at a very good level.
“Recently we have shown great strength. We have reversed some of our bad times and played at a good level, producing some positive results at the same time.”
Pekerman also talked about further developing football in Colombia. With all the focus on 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Pekerman reminded there was still work to be done.
“There is no doubt that Colombia have very good players in several age categories now,” Pekerman said. “The good work has been done right from the bottom up and that should be the basis for Colombia to continue if we want to be in future World Cups as well as this one.
“We must not cut out this good work. Being in the international spotlight has to become a habit for us.”