Jose Pekerman Radamel Falcao Colombia
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman and striker Radamel Falcao at a press conference to announce the final 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, 2 JuneReuters

The FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil will be without one of the best central strikers in the world, after Radamel Falcao lost his battle with injury.

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman was hoping to have Falcao available, after waiting until the last moment to name his final 23-man squad, but it proved to be a bridge too far to cross for the Monaco striker in the end.

"I had lots of hopes but, well, we've got to press on and support the team from the outside and wish all my team mates the best for a good World Cup," said a downcast Falcao, who sat at a press conference alongside Pekerman at Colombia's training base near Buenos Aires.

"Today, I'm in very good shape but conscious that I still need a bit [more time] to play again and I didn't want to deny a place to a team mate who was 100 percent fit, nor do something imprudent to damage my health."

Falcao was Colombia's great hope heading into the World Cup, with the talisman their premier goalscorer, having scored nine goals in 13 games in qualifying.

All hopes seemed to have been dashed when Falcao suffered a serious knee injury, similar to the one endured by Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, which also ruled him out of the World Cup, in a Coupe de France clash in January while playing for Monaco.

However, the 28-year-old looked to be winning the battle to be fit for the biggest football tournament in the world, only to have his hopes dashed yet again.

Colombia still do have a decent attacking lineup, though, with Jackson Martinez, Carlos Bacca and Adrian Ramos all capable of lighting it up on their day.

Pekerman, who also cut Luis Muriel and Luis Amaranto Perea from the squad, will now hope his team can top the likes of Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan in Group C to at least enter the second round of the World Cup.

Squad: Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Independiente Santa Fe)

Defenders: Mario Yepes (Atalanta), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Pablo Armero (West Ham United), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo)

Midfielders: Fredy Guarin (Inter Milan), Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina), Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari), James Rodriguez (Monaco), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Juan Quintero (Porto), Carlos Sanchez (Elche), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia), Alexander Mejia (Atletico Nacional)

Forwards: Jackson Martinez (Porto), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin).