Sun, 29 May 2022

BOGOTA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- James Rodriguez has been named in Colombia's squad for World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Argentina despite doubts about his form and fitness.

The 30-year-old, who returned to Colombia's national team in November following a 12-month absence, has made just eight appearances for Al-Rayyan since joining the Qatari outfit from Everton in September.

He was again missing from the team sheet in Al-Rayan's goalless draw at Al Khor on Tuesday, with the club not giving a reason for his absence.

Colombia manager Reinaldo Rueda also included Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina, Rayo Vallecano striker Radamel Falcao, Porto forward Luis Diaz and Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado in his 28-strong squad.

But there was no place for playmaker Juan Fernando Quintero, who suffered a knee injury in the Cafeteros' 2-1 friendly win over Honduras on Sunday.

Colombia will play Peru in Barranquilla on January 28 and Argentina in Cordoba four days later.

Rueda's men are currently fourth in the 10-team South American qualifying group. The top four teams will earn a direct berth in football's showpiece tournament later this year while the fifth-ranked side will advance to an intercontinental playoff.

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