By Martin Seldes
Colombia legend Carlos Valderrama has backed Radamel Falcao to become one of the leading lights at next summer's World Cup finals.
The striker has scored nine goals in 14 Ligue 1 games following his summer move to Monaco and played a pivotal role in Colombia's exceptional qualification campaign for the 2014 tournament.
Head coach Jose Pekerman has previously voiced his belief that Falcao will be the tournament's best player and Valderrama - who holds a record 111 caps for Colombia - is convinced the former Atletico Madrid star can set Brazil alight next summer.
"Falcao has to be ready to be the figure of the World Cup. And he will be," he told Goal.
The former midfielder went on to praise the work of Pekerman in the build-up to the tournament, claiming he has done well to recapture the style of football adopted by the much-lauded side of the 1990s.
"People like Jose Pekerman because he has the style that brought Colombia to the highest level in the '90s. He plays football that Colombians know well," said Valderrama.
Finally, the ex-Montpellier man claimed a South American nation are "obliged" to win the World Cup on Brazilian soil and admitted to the sides he would rather avoid in tomorrow's group stage draw.
"South Americans have an obligation to be at our World Cup. We are required to win it," he added.
"I do not want to face Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Spain until well into the tournament."