Pekerman: Falcao will be the best player at the World Cup

The 64-year-old coach thinks that the Monaco forward will be the tournament's best performer next summer and is looking forward to facing Netherlands on Tuesday
Colombia boss Jose Pekerman has tipped Radamel Falcao to be the best player at next summer's World Cup.

The Monaco striker scored as stand-in captain during Thursday's 2-0 win over Belgium and, with the South Americans being tipped as a team to watch in Brazil, the 64-year-old expects his star man to make his mark.

"I think Falcao will be the best player at the World Cup. He has great qualities and a team that supports him at all times," Pekerman enthused to the media. "He is smart and very technical and that is why he is one of the best centre forwards in the world.

"I am proud to be the coach of a team which has Falcao. He is a unique player and any coach would want to have him in their team."

Colombia have risen to No.4 in the world rankings after a run of just one defeat in seven games and take on eighth-placed Netherlands in an intriguing clash at the Amsterdam ArenA on Tuesday.

Despite coming up against one of the world's top teams, however, Pekerman insists that his charges are not scared of facing Oranje.

"We are not afraid of Holland," he declared, "but we do respect them - they always have good players and South American football has always admired this team.

"We want the chance to be measured against great players and continue to demonstrate the high levels we have been showing recently. It is a shame [that Arjen] Robben will not be playing but I am sure they will have a replacement at a very good level.

"Recently we have shown great strength. We have reversed some of our bad times and played at a good level, producing some positive results at the same time.

"There is no doubt that Colombia have very good players in several age categories now," Pekerman added of the side's future. "The good work has been done right from the bottom up and that should be the basis for Colombia to continue if we want to be in future World Cups as well as this one.

"We must not cut out this good work. Being in the international spotlight has to become a habit for us."