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The 64-year-old coach thinks his forward will be the tournament's best performer next summer and is looking forward to facing the Netherlands on Tuesday

Colombia boss Jose Pekerman has tipped Radamel Falcao to be the best player at next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of his side’s high-profile friendly against the Netherlands, the coach paid tribute to his star striker, who scored as stand-in captain of the side in the 2-0 win over Belgium last week.

Colombia are being tipped as a team to watch in Brazil next summer and Pekerman has predicted that Monaco star Falcao will make his mark at the tournament.

“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,” said Pekerman.

“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 Fifa world rankings after a run of just one defeat in seven games and take on eighth-place Netherlands in an intriguing clash at the Amsterdam ArenA on Tuesday.

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

“We are not afraid of Holland,” he insisted. “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 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."

Pekerman concluded with a positive statement over the future of Colombian football, saying it was important for the nation to continue developing young players, a project which has seen them make great strides.

He said: “There is no doubt that Colombia have very good players in several age categories now.

“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.”

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