The World Cup Finals will be denied the presence of Radamel Falcao, after the Colombian suffered a cruciate ligament injury.
The 27-year-old was in action for Monaco on Wednesday night, when he lined up against Monts Or Azergues in a French Cup tie for a place in the last 16. Typically, the former Atletico Madrid man opened the scoring in a 3-0 win against the side from the fourth-tier, but it would transpire to be a nightmare evening for the striker.
Falcao was on the wrong end of a challenge from Soner Ertek just before half-time, and he left the field on a stretcher. Medical tests have revealed an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his left knee, and he is expected to be out of action for at least six months, much to the anger of Monaco boss Claudio Ranieri.
“On many occasions, before the injury to Radamel, I drew the attention of the fourth official to the hardness of the game which was beginning to develop and on the danger that it posed to the players,” the Italian coach told Monaco’s website. “I wasn’t listened to and that’s unfortunately not the first time that we have paid the consequences. It’s very regrettable for French football; the players who make the game are not protected well enough by the referees.”
Away from club football, Falcao will also, of course, now miss the World Cup Finals. Colombia, who have been tipped to impress in Brazil, have been drawn in Group C, a pool in which they are expected to get past Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan to progress into the last 16. Unfortunately for them, to do so they must now learn to cope without the presence of a player who has scored 20 times in 51 caps.