Mascherano: Falcao not finished

The Barcelona defender has little doubt the Colombian attacker will soon be back to his best as their respective nations get set to collide in Chile

Argentina’s Javier Mascherano remains convinced of Radamel Falcao’s enduring class, but hopes that the Colombia striker does not show it in Friday’s Copa America quarter-final.

The sides meet in the last eight of the competition with neither having hit the heights perhaps expected, with Falcao struggling in a Colombia side that scored just once in Group C.

The Monaco man’s role in Jose Pekerman’s set-up has been questioned, with James Rodriguez forced out wide despite flourishing in a more central role at the World Cup last year in Falcao’s injury-enforced absence.

Falcao failed to find his feet on loan at Manchester United last season, but Mascherano maintains the 29-year-old will recover the form he showed prior to a serious knee injury sustained early in 2014.

“I have not only played against Radamel Falcao, but also in the same team as him with River Plate. I know him very well,” Mascherano told reporters.

“Obviously, he is a player with a a very important role. He is still missing some continuity after a very serious injury. He tried his best to be able to play the World Cup, but he could not.

“After this, the most important thing is to play a lot of minutes and, for different circumstances, he could not do that at his club even though Falcao has demonstrated that he is one of the best you can find at a worldwide level.

“It is a matter of time. I have no doubt that at some point, the best Falcao will show. I hope that this won’t happen [on Friday].”

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