Welcome to On the Road to Brazil – a new series that will deal with all World Cup everything.
I’m Falcao’s anterior cruciate ligament. Without me in perfect working condition by June 14, a country’s hopes of World Cup success will stand severely diminished. I’m Falcao’s swelling sense of despondency.
Falcao’s injury has officially welcomed the season of the bereaved: from now until the World Cup’s opening kick-off, we will lay in wait for news of fallen footballers, of unavailable stars and snubbed players. The Colombian striker’s misfortune has the added collateral damage of hitting a country who had been reviving its hopes of World Cup success after years of disappointment. As of yesterday, the Portuguese doctors who grafted a tendon on Falcao’s knee are not ruling out the possibility of him suiting up to play for the Selección Colombia. A “fifty-fifty” affair, they said.
In keeping with what is important, Colombian president Santos made a brief stopover in Portugal on his way to Davos. He wanted to be by Falcao’s bedside when the anesthetic wore off. Had this been the 17th Century, the image documenting the heartfelt visit might be renamed ” The Post-Surgical and Public Relations Lesson of President Juan Manuel Santos”.
For now, the doctors advised “oxygen treatment” as well as judiciousness since they don’t want Falcao to “rush his recovery”. Fans and country are advised to undergo the same treatment: breathing exercises and patience. Although Falcao is certainly irreplaceable, Colombian fans might be comforted by the options still available for Coach Pékerman: undoubtedly, many countries would expedite naturalization proceedings for Porto’s Jackson Martínez or for Herta’s Adrian Ramos if they had the chance.
A question that will linger for a while, though, concerns the Chasselay defenseman Soner Ertek: was he acting alone?
I’m Falcao’s nascent feeling of impatience.