Colombia have named stars James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao in a World Cup squad that includes injured pair Abel Aguilar and Cristian Zapata.
Deportivo Cali midfielder Aguilar, 33, and AC Milan defender Zapata, 31, both received the nod from head coach Jose Pekerman on Monday despite facing fitness problems.
They missed the 0-0 friendly draw with Egypt on Friday, but the Colombian Football Federation confirmed the experienced duo had “intensified” their rehabilitation in an attempt to be ready for Russia.
Zapata’s availability means there is no place for Santa Fe youngster William Tesillo, while long-serving forward Teofilo Gutierrez also misses out.
Falcao’s inclusion will be particularly pleasing for Pekerman after the Monaco striker missed Brazil 2014 due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Instead, he heads to his first World Cup looking to help improve on a quarter-final exit last time out, and with the likes of James, Juan Cuadrado and Davinson Sanchez also involved, Colombia are considered a threat to the favourites.
Their Group H opponents are Japan, Poland and Senegal.
Colombia’s final 23-man World Cup squad in full:
Jose Cuadrado (Once Caldas), David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (Deportivo Cali); Santiago Arias (PSV), Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona), Oscar Murillo (Pachuca), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan); Abel Aguilar (Deportivo Cali), Wilmar Barrios (Boca Juniors), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Quintero (River Plate), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Carlos Sanchez (Espanyol), Mateus Uribe (Club America); Miguel Borja (Palmeiras), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton and Hove Albion), Luis Muriel (Sevilla).
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