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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Colombia wants to triumph in Russia

Por Fidel Orihuela

With less than three months until the FIFA World Cup starts in Russia, Colombia is one of the teams with the most complete rosters, leaded by James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao, stars of the European soccer that will carry the South American team on their shoulders. But beyond them, there are other men that could make an impact in Russia 2018.

Without any doubts, we could say that the forward is one of the stronger positions among the team. They have an important world-class forward like Radamel Falcao, who is accompanied by a very resourceful team. For instance, Carlos Bacca and Luis Muriel are both attackers of great mobility who usually play as wingers and are very strong with both feet.

On the other hand, Duvan Zapata and Miguel Borja stand out because of their physical strength in the penalty area with good heading ability. This is undoubtedly one of Pekerman’s most important weapons to face the FIFA World Cup. Of course, a crucial part of this group is Falcao, who is expected to arrive to this tournament without any injuries, something that has kept him away from the fields for a long time.

As it is only logical, the functioning of the forward will depend also of the effectiveness of the midfield. There are no doubts about the fact that James Rodriguez will be the main player of the midfield, in which the player from the Juventus FC Juan Guillermo Cuadrado will have a protagonist role and maybe Edwin Cardona as well.

But beyond James and Cuadrado, Colombia has interesting players like Mateus Uribe, a promising kid that has impressed in Mexico due to his good distribution of the ball and ability to make strong shots on goal as well as Giovanni Moreno, James’ natural replacement due to his vision to be able to read the game and to see where goal-scoring opportunities may come from, a role in which the young left-legged player Juan Fernando Quintero, a key player for the Argentinian River Plate, might also work.

Abel Aguilar’s experience in the midfield cannot be dismissed either, or the defensive midfielders Wilmar Barrios, an essential asset in Boca Juniors, Carlos “La Roca” Sanchez and Jefferson Lerma, the last one an active player that can play some positions, with the possibility to play as central midfielder and as the right-back, taking advantage, in both cases of his good passing and distribution of the ball. Last but not least, the Colombian defence is a very decisive one. Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, Cristian Zapata and Oscar Murillo are the candidates to occupy the job of the center-back, although Sanchez can also play right-back, a position that he would be discussing the possibility of being a regular with Santiago Arias, while in the left-back, Johan Mojica, back from the national team after his good performance in the Girona FC should be regular in this position because of his ability to provide crosses upfield and then defend effectively against an opponent's attack down the flanks.