Colombia omit James and Falcao for Chile, Algeria friendlies

Radamel Falcao (Getty Images)
Radamel Falcao (Getty Images)

Bogota - Colombia stars James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao have been omitted for a pair of friendlies against Chile and Algeria, coach Carlos Queiroz said on Tuesday. 

"All the decisions I make in my life as a coach are in response to a very simple question: 'what is best for the team?' Nothing else," said Colombia's Portuguese coach.

"I want to have the best players ready when three points are at stake."

Colombia play Chile on Saturday in Spanish city Alicante and then face Algeria in Lille on October 15. South American qualifying for the 2020 World Cup starts in March.

Queiroz told reporters in Alicante that "crying" over whether players were there or not "is not a good thing for the future of Colombia."

The coach denied Spanish reports that James, who has returned to Madrid this season, asked to be omitted so he can work at regaining a regular place in the Real first team.

"That is not true," Queiroz said. "No player has ever asked me to be left out."

Queiroz said that 33-year-old Falcao, Colombia's all-time top scorer, has missed nearly half of his country's matches since knee surgery in 2014 and is in a "difficult moment" after joining Galatasaray, who are in the Champions League, this season with "many games, many trips"

"You have to know how to handle the players well if you want to have a good team," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 10275 votes
Cricket
11% - 2792 votes
Football
19% - 4641 votes
Athletics
2% - 609 votes
Boxing
1% - 232 votes
Cycling
2% - 562 votes
Golf
5% - 1228 votes
Motorsport
8% - 2052 votes
Tennis
3% - 825 votes
Water sports
1% - 218 votes
American sports
1% - 302 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 791 votes
Vote