Colombia will be without star duo James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao for next month’s friendlies against Brazil and Venezuela, coach Carlos Queiroz announced on Tuesday.
Falcao, his country’s record goalscorer, has an ankle injury while Rodriguez, who is third on that all-time list, was injured in Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Real Valladolid at the weekend.
Rodriguez, 28, came off in the 58th minute at the Bernabeu with a “muscle injury in the right calf”, Real said.
“We’re going to play against the Copa America champions, the number two team in the (FIFA) rankings and it’s a fantastic opportunity to see where we are,” said Queiroz, the former Real Madrid coach and assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
“When Colombia play against Venezuela it’s like Liverpool against Manchester: a regional rivalry.”
Colombia play Brazil on September 6 in Miami before facing Venezuela in Tampa four days later.
It will be their first matches since last month’s Copa America where they were beaten by Chile in the quarter-finals.
Colombia have won six of their eight matches since Portuguese Queiroz took over at the beginning of the year.
Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Napoli/ITA), Alvaro Montero (Deportes Tolima), Aldair Quintana (Atletico Nacional), Eder Chaux (Patriotas)
Defenders: Stefan Medina (Rayados/MEX), Luis Manuel Orejuela (Cruzeiro/BRA), Wiliam Tesillo (Leon/MEX), Cristian Borja (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham/ENG), Yerry Mina (Everton/ENG), Oscar Murillo (Pachuca/MEX), Jhon Lucumi (Genk/BEL)
Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (Zenit St. Petersburg/RUS), Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth/ENG), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus/ITA), Mateus Uribe (Porto/POR), Luis Diaz (Porto/POR), Orlando Berrio (Flamengo/BRA), Yairo Moreno (Leon/MEX), Daniel Munoz (Atletico Nacional)
Forwards: Rafael Santos Borre (River Plate/ARG), Roger Martínez (America/MEX), Duvan Zapata (Atalanta/ITA), Luis Fernando Muriel (Atlanta/ITA)