During the qualifying stages of the World Cup, Colombia rose as high as No. 4 in the FIFA World Rankings, finished second in the CONMEBOL to Argentina -- and were deemed a potential darkhorse in Brazil.
Much of that came on the shoulders of Radamel Falcao, the star striker who scored 70 goals in two years for Atletico Madrid and then nine goals in qualifying for Colombia. Eleven goals in 19 appearances for Monaco meant he wasn't slowing down.
In January, though, Falcao suffered a torn ACL, effectively ending his campaign for Monaco and putting his status for the World Cup in serious doubt.
It turns out Falcao is going to Brazil after all, as it was announced Tuesday that Falcao had been named to the preliminary squad.
Of course, Falcao hasn't seen the pitch since January and his fitness level and return timetable are unclear. However, if he is healthy, Falcao has the ability to carry Colombia.
"Falcao is very important for us... He's like Lionel Messi is for Argentina," longtime Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón said last month.
"We are hopeful he will recover. I think if anyone has the courage and pride to come through this injury it's Falcao, and he's important for us on and off the pitch."
Colombia was drawn into Group C with Greece, Japan and Cote D'Ivoire.