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"Nothing to worry about" - Falcao plays down Copa America injury fears

1:47 PM WAT 04/06/2019
Radamel Falcao, Colombia
The Colombia captain was taken off at half-time in a warm-up game against Panama, but insists it was only a precaution

Radamel Falcao insisted the injury that forced him off the field at half-time of Colombia's 3-0 friendly victory over Panama was "nothing to worry about".

The Monaco forward scored Colombia's third goal from the penalty spot at Estadio Nemesio Camacho El Campin, but was replaced by Duvan Zapata at half-time.

Falcao scored 15 goals in 33 Ligue 1 appearances for Monaco in 2018-19, and his contract at the principality club expires in 2020.

He has been linked with a move away from Stade Louis II, with Falcao's former club Atletico Madrid reportedly interested in signing him again.

The 33-year-old recently rebuked the suggestion that he is nearing the end of his career, saying he intends to play on "for many years" at the top level.

After being hauled off against Panama, he told Marca: "I'm fine, it was just part of the game.

"But there's nothing to worry about. It was just a knock."

Colombia and Falcao will have one more warm-up game before this month’s Copa America in Brazil, where they will be looking to add to their solitary title won in 2001.

They travel to Lima on Sunday to face Peru, as final preparation for their tricky-looking group where they have been drawn with Argentina, Paraguay and Qatar.

As captain of his country, Falcao will be eager to play a leading role in what could be one of his last major tournaments at international level.

With 34 international goals to his name, he is his country’s all-time leading goalscorer and has the joint-sixth highest number of caps with 84 – though he is still 27 away from Carlos Valderrama’s record of 111.

But, while this may only have been a minor knock, he has struggled with injuries for years and at 33, it seems unlikely that he will still be playing at the very top level for much longer.

Colombia manager Carlos Queiroz may be keen to hand more opportunities to the greener members of his squad going forwards, with younger forwards like Luis Diaz and Roger Martinez included in the Copa America squad.

Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel are the other more experienced attacking players in the squad, eager for a chance to impress in the opening group game against Argentina on June 15.