Praise from Colombia: “Kane is a fantastic player”
There’s only one issue left in Colombia in the last few days: will James Rodriguez be fit or not in time to play England in the last sixteen? That is still not clear. Also on Monday, there was no clear statement on the chances of the Munich actor being deployed.
Since Colombia qualified for the Round of 16 against Senegal, Colombia have been talking about just one thing: James Rodriguez’s right calf.
In the last group match, the Bavarian player had been replaced after half an hour and quite a few thought that was it with this World Cup for James. But after an MRI examination, the medical department was able to convey the message that gives hope to the country. No torn muscle fibers, just a bruise. Yet coach José Pekerman did not know on Monday whether his star would be there. All just a game of poker or real insecurity?
“He’s not badly hurt. We still have a day and a half to see how he feels. Of course we hope he’s able to play.” And what if they don’t? “Then we’ll still play well. We have great potential as a team, something can grow there,” Pekerman told the outside world in a relaxed manner.
“…one of the best strikers in the world”
As an alternative, James Luis Muriel would be on standby in the event of a failure. The Sevilla FC man had already been the substitute against Senegal and had done his job properly. “Luis Muriel is an option. He did a great job against Senegal. He’s fast, technically good. He has many qualities,” praised the Colombian coach, who, when asked about English striker Harry Kane, never wanted to end with praise. “He’s a fantastic player. He has played very well in Tottenham, is a very good scorer, one of the best strikers in the world. We have to take care of him. It’s very hard to stop him.”
“That’s in the past.”
But Colombia also have Radamel Falcao, an attacker who is capable of scoring at any moment. The striker didn’t want to think that he couldn’t make an impression on Manchester United and Chelsea in those two years.
“That’s in the past. It’s the game we’ve always dreamed of playing against England. We’ve wanted a game like this since we were kids. We are looking forward to it. We must grow step by step.” For his coach, it is clear that he wants to fully exploit the offensive potential of his team, even if this involves a risk. “We’ll try to create opportunities ahead, even if we get into defensive problems.”