James Rodriguez Bids To Prove His Fitness As Colombia Stars Train Ahead Of World Cup Opener Against Japan

Colombia's star striker James Rodriguez is facing a battle to be fit for their opening match

Four years on from his stunning World Cup campaign in Brazil, James Rodriguez is gearing up for a return to the global stage.

Rodriguez fired Colombia to the quarter-finals in the 2014 edition with six goals in five matches, which earned him the Golden Boot.

Now, on the eve of his side’s opener against Japan, the Bayern Munich forward, who is halfway through a two-year loan from Real Madrid, has his sights set on another stellar month in the yellow jersey.

Juan Cuadrado hones his ball control as Colombia train at Mordovia Arena in Saransk

The Bayern Munich forward trained with the rest of his Colombia team-mates on Monday

Colombia will hope both their key players star against Japan in Tuesday's fixture

He will, however, have to overcome a slight calf strain in his left leg, but is expected to be fit and firing for Tuesday’s clash.

Jose Pekerman’s squad will bid to emulate their exploits in Brazil, and this time have the added quality of Radamel Falcao to bolster their forward line.

Falcao, who is the country’s all-time leading goalscorer, is, somewhat amazingly, set to make his World Cup debut at the age of 32.

With Falcao desperate to prove himself at a World Cup and Rodriguez undoubtedly eager to repeat his achievement of four years ago, Pekerman will hope his star men combine for the perfect start to the tournament.

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