Injured Falcao, James missing for Colombia friendlies

BOGOTA (AFP) – Colombia will be without star duo James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao for next month’s friendlies against Brazil and Venezuela, coach Carlos Queiroz announced on Tuesday.

Falcao, his country’s record goalscorer, has an ankle injury while Rodriguez, who is third on that all-time list, was injured in Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Real Valladolid last weekend.

Rodriguez, 28, came off in the 58th minute at the Bernabeu with a “muscle injury in the right calf”, Real said.

“We’re going to play against the Copa America champions, the number two team in the (FIFA) rankings and it’s a fantastic opportunity to see where we are,” said Queiroz, the former Real Madrid coach and assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

“When Colombia play against Venezuela it’s like Liverpool against Manchester: a regional rivalry.”

Colombia play Brazil on September 6 in Miami before facing Venezuela in Tampa four days later.