Colombia 'saddened' by injury problems, admits James Rodriguez

The midfielder believes his side are lacking "vital" players ahead of this summer’s World Cup but is confident they can secure a positive result in the opener against Greece

Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez has rued the absence of "vital" team-mates who are set to miss the World Cup through injury.

Radamel Falcao is the notable absence from Jose Pekerman's squad, while Aldo Leao Ramirez, Edwin Valencia and Luis Amaranto Perea have also been ruled out of the tournament.

James, who plays his club football at Monaco with Colombia team-mate Falcao, said the squad had not forgotten the men who had helped them to qualify for the finals for the first time since France 1998.

"The group is sad because four really good players – who were vitals in the play-offs - left the camp, but we have to change our way of thinking and start to think about Greece," he said.

"We are adults who already suffered these kind of situations, so we just have to play and win against Greece and the rest of the games."

James, 22, plied his trade at Porto prior to his switch to the Ligue 1 outfit, and said his experience playing in one of Europe's top leagues has enhanced his game.

"Playing in different teams has been really good," he said.

"You get more experience and that is going to help the team to play good, and I will give my best for the team."

Colombia are competing in Group C, with their clash against Greece in Belo Horizonte on Saturday followed by meetings with Cote d'Ivoire and Japan.