June 23, 2021

Colombia World Cup team guide – fixtures, kits, key player, plus probable line-up

first_img Fallon d’Floor RECORD IN QUALIFYINGColombia made hard work of qualification. A draw away in Peru on the final night secured their spot, finishing just a point above sixth-placed Chile, who missed out.Given their quality in attack, it may come as a surprise to hear that Los Cafeteros scored only 21 times in 18 qualifiers. Rodriguez provided over a quarter of his team’s goals with six.Pekerman showed his experimental nature, using 45 players over the qualifying campaign.Expect to see more of the same in Russia.TOURNAMENT PREPARATIONSColombia travelled to the Atletic Azzurri d’Italia in Italy to face Egypt on Friday 1st June and played out a goalless draw. It was their only fixture ahead of the World Cup.BASE CAMPSki Resort Kazan, Tatarstan RepublicPROBABLE LINE-UP SUPERSTITION Good times ‘It could have been me’ – Allardyce admits World Cup was tough to watch talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. You’re the one Dele Alli reveals pre-match rituals and lucky charms he has before matches NO JOY World Cup Latest News Paul Pogba buys France World Cup winners specially designed rings 4 4 CAPTAINRadamel Falcao is looking to make up for lost time at this World Cup.A severe ACL injury left him unable to compete at Brazil 2014, having been Colombia’s top goalscorer in qualifying.Injury is not all the forward has had to recover from. Two woeful loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea, in 2014/15 and 2015/16 respectively, led many to doubt his ability.But he has gone from strength-to-strength since returning to Monaco – leading his side to the 2016/17 Ligue 1 title with 30 goals.He was less prolific in 2017/18, with only 18 league goals, but has that extra incentive of finally appearing at a World Cup after such a long wait.KEY PLAYERJames Rodriguez has had mixed fortunes since winning the Golden Boot at the last World Cup.We all remember that volley against Uruguay in the last 16, a strike forever etched in World Cup history.It was one of six goals that landed him a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid shortly afterwards, but he has since fallen out of favour at the Bernabeu.A timely loan to Bayern Munich has seen the attacking midfielder return to the form that saw him excel in 2014 – bagging seven goals and 11 assists in the Bundesliga this season.Colombia will undoubtedly be a force if he shows up in Russia. LU BEAUTY Learn the words for England’s catchy Gareth Southgate song misery Watch every goal England scored at the 2018 World Cup Why does Luis Suarez kiss his wrist when he celebrates a goal? Colombia take part in their seventh World Cup this summer in Russia. talkSPORT.com take an in-depth look at the Group H nation…MANAGERJose Pekerman teams are usually easy on the eye, and his Colombia side are no exception.The 68-year-old rose to prominence with the Argentina Under-20s, winning the World Cup three times at youth level in 1995, 1997 and 2001.That earned him a call-up to the big time, and he was announced as Argentina boss on 15th September 2004. At the 2006 World Cup, the Albicelestes topped their group and beat Mexico 2-1 in the round of 16.They even went ahead against hosts Germany in the quarters, but ended up losing on penalties. Pekerman was criticised for his defensive substitutions, including bringing Esteban Cambiasso on for Juan Roman Riquelme, and announced his resignation after the loss.In 2012, he got the Colombia gig and embarked on his second World Cup two years later. Yet again, he was eliminated by the hosts in the quarter-finals after a promising start, this time at the hands of Brazil.He will be desperate to shake-off his reputation as a nearly man. ONE TO WATCHBrighton’s Jose Izquierdo showed the Premier League what he’s all about this season: flashes of spectacular, inconsistent brilliance.The electric Columbian is a real edge-of-your-seat player, with the ability to go past opponents and make something happen in an instant. His performances on the south-coast have been rewarded with a place in the international squad.But he is yet to prove his consistency and, at a tournament that requires an extended string of high-class displays, he will need to perform more often. Much like his compatriot Juan Cuadrado.FIXTURESTuesday, June 19: Colombia v JAPAN (Mordovia Arena, Saransk) – kick-off 13:00Sunday, June 24: POLAND v Colombia (Kazan Arena, Kazan) – kick-off 19:00Thursday, June 28: SENEGAL v Colombia (Samara Arena, Samara) – kick-off 15:00*You can listen to EVERY 2018 World Cup match live on the talkSPORT networkKITS diamond geezer A reminder to Liverpool fans about the very comical threat Neymar offers 4 Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny admits he didn’t want France to win World Cup last_img

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