Colombia star James Rodriguez

FIFA World Cup preview: Colombia

Colombia had its best-ever World Cup finish in 2014 with a quarterfinal appearance. This squad will be looking to build on that and go even deeper.

They have a strong roster, with a nice blend of talent from 2014 and new blood. There is a great coach at the helm in Jose Pekerman and real hope this side could do big things.

The group holds few terrors for Colombia, although a resurgent Poland will be a handful to contain.

Radamel Falcao will likely be playing his last World Cup as well, giving the side even more reason to lift to send him out on a high.

The draw for Colombia

Japan, June 19

Poland, June 25

Senegal, June 29

The star player

James Rodriguez made a name for himself in 2014 and has elevated his game to new levels ever since. The Bayern star is regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe, with great vision and the ability to set up goals as well as score them. Wilmar Barrios will be the yin to his yang, with the 24-year-old a defensive rock in the centre of the park. Tottenham reportedly has their eye on Barrios, so a big showing here could deliver him a huge contract.

What needs to go right

Putting a lid on the hype and expectation will be critical. Many a sporting side has been tipped to great things, only to crash under the weight of expectation.

If Pekerman can manage the excitement in this group and the roster can keep calm heads, anything is possible.

Colombia is a genuine dark horse to reach the final if the players can remain composed and measured.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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