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James Rodriguez leads Colombia squad for World Cup qualifiers

2021 May 19, 14:35, Kathmandu

Everton midfielder James Rodriguez has been included in Colombia's squad for FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Argentina, the Colombian Football Federation said on Tuesday.

Rodriguez has endured a frustrating debut season for the Toffees, with injuries limiting him to just 26 appearances and six goals across all competitions.

Also included in the 26-man squad were other Cafeteros regulars such as Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina, Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado and Atalanta pair Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata.

Head coach Reinaldo Rueda gave recalls to Shenzhen FC playmaker Juan Fernando Quintero, Junior Barranquilla forward Miguel Borja, River Plate striker Rafael Borre, Boavista midfielder Sebastian Perez and Al Hilal midfielder Gustavo Cuellar.

But there was no place for Colombia's all-time top scorer Radamel Falcao, who has suffered an injury-interrupted season with Galatasaray, and Celta Vigo defender Jeison Murillo, who has been nursing a thigh problem.

Colombia will face Peru in Lima on June 3 and Argentina in Barranquilla five days later. The Cafeteros are currently seventh in the 10-team South American zone standings with four points from as many matches.

The top four teams at the end of the qualifying tournament will earn an automatic berth at next year's World Cup in Qatar. The fifth-ranked side will advance to an intercontinental playoff.

Following is the Colombia squad:

Goalkeepers: Aldair Quintana (Atletico Nacional), Camilo Vargas (Atlas) and David Ospina (Napoles).

Defenders: Carlos Cuesta (Genk), Daniel Munoz (Genk), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham), Oscar Murillo (Pachuca), Stefan Medina (Monterrey), William Tesillo (Leon) and Yerry Mina (Everton).

Midfielders: Baldomero Perlaza (Atletico Nacional), Gustavo Cuellar (Al Hilal), James Rodriguez (Everton), Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Juan Fernando Quintero (Shenzhen), Matheus Uribe (Porto), Sebastian Perez (Boavista), Wilmar Barrios (Zenit St. Petersburg) and Yairo Moreno (Leon).

Forwards: Alfredo Morelos (Rangers), Duvan Zapata, Luis Diaz (Porto), Luis Muriel (Atalanta), Miguel Borja (Junior) and Rafael Santos Borre (River Plate). 

football Columbia worldcup qualifier james qualification
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