National coach Jose Pekerman named his tournament squad on Monday evening during a press conference held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Falcao, who suffered a serious knee injury when on duty for his club side Monaco in January, was left off the 23-man list, with Pekerman deciding he would not be ready.
The striker said: "Today, I'm in very good shape but conscious that I still need a bit (more time) to play again and I didn't want to deny a place to a team mate who was 100 per cent fit, nor do something imprudent to damage my health."
The former Atletico Madrid frontman, who was a big-money signing by Monaco last summer, looked to have no hope of making his country's squad for the tournament in Brazil when he sustained the injury, however his recovery then progressed swiftly.
Pekerman said last week he would "wait for Falcao until the last day, the last minute" before deciding on his fitness, after consulting with medical experts, and the final decision went against the 28-year-old.
"(Luis Fernando) Muriel, (Amaranto) Perea and Falcao are not going to be at the World Cup, Jose Pekerman has announced," said a message on the national team's official Twitter account.
Colombia face Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan at Brazil 2014.
TWEET: Expect Gutierrez will start in Falcao's absence, but Ramos, Bacca and Martinez are excellent alternatives. Shame Pabon misses out, too.
This completes what has been a very disappointing 12 months for Falcao, who opted to make a bizarre move to Monaco for the money and ended up without a trophy or a place at the World Cup. It is very unfortunate that the tournament will be missing one of the best centre-forwards in world football, as there are plenty of stellar names absent from proceedings now (see below). Colombia may struggle to get over this blow: Falcao scored nine of their 14 goals in qualifying.
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WHAT THE MEDIA SAYS
Peter Mason, Guardian: Falcao, who is a key player for Colombia and scored nine goals in 13 matches in qualifying, damaged an anterior cruciate ligament in January while playing for Monaco in the French Cup. He had surgery but a recovery in time for the finals was always likely to be a long shot and medical staff have decided he is not fit enough to play any meaningful part in the tournament. Falcao said, according to the Colombian newspaper El Pais: "I was very excited but now I’ll have to support the team from afar and I wish them well, hoping they play a good World Cup.”
David Kent, Daily Mail: After taking the tough decision, Pekerman called it "the saddest day I've had since becoming Colombia coach". Pekerman added: "We can say to all of Colombia that he did more than was within his power to play. He deserved the right for us to wait and keep the hope alive." Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone tweeted: "Most importantly your recovery as a professional. Football needs your talent and your passion. Embrace."
BEST11: PLAYERS WHO ARE MISSING THE WORLD CUP
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