Radamel Falcao will lead his Colombian side out against England’s Three Lions in the last round of sixteen game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia on Tuesday night.
The Monaco striker endured a torrid spell in the Premier League in England where he was ranked flop at top sides Manchester United and Chelsea before rediscovering his form back in the French league with Monaco.
Falcao faced the press in Moscow ahead of his meeting with some of his former teammates at the Spartak Moscow Arena, stating that he has put his career in England behind him.
“It is true that I didn’t shine as I wanted in Englnad but that’s part of the past,” admitted the striker.
“Regarding tomorrow’s game, I only can say it’s beautiful to be here to play against England and my former teammates and I think we are ready to play and give everything.”
Top footballing nations such as Germany, Argentina and Spain have exited the tournament in the early stages, a situation the 32-year old attributed to the narrowed gap among countries in modern day football.
“This World Cup has shown that teams are very balanced nowadays in the world. So, those huge difference we used to see before don’t exist anymore. That’s what the games have shown us.”
“On the other hand, it is normal that English people believe they are favourites but we want to remain focused and show them what we can do,” he added.
Colombia playmaker and one of the team’s influential players; James Rodriguez faces a race against time to be available for Tuesday’s game and manager Jose Pekerman gave an update about his fitness during the press conference.
“We have a good news after his (James’) medical tests. We discovered that he does not have a serious injury after his MRI so we still have one more day to see how he feels and we hope as always that he will be able to play,” said the Argentine.
Pekerman also stressed the importance of both Rodriguez and Falcao to his team’s progress while also insisting that they will just be fine in their absence.
“We really trust both players very much. Both of them are very crucial for our team and sometimes when they don’t play, we still manage to perform properly.”
The last time both teams met at the Mundial was in 1998 when a David Beckham free kick aided England’s 2-0 win over the South Americans in Lens. Tuesday’s clash will kickoff at 9pm local time (7pm in Nigeria).
Fisayo Dairo reporting from Moscow