Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez has been recalled to Colombia’s national squad for friendlies against Peru and Ecuador, head coach Carlos Queiroz said on Wednesday.

Rodriguez has not represented his country since the team’s Copa America quarterfinal defeat to Chile on penalties in June, having missed subsequent friendlies against Brazil, Venezuela, Chile and Algeria.

The 28-year-old’s inclusion comes despite his absense from Real Madrid’s past three matchday squads.

“He is very happy to be called up again,” Queiroz told a news conference in Medellin. “He is one of many important players for us. What happens at Real Madrid doesn’t concern us. We have to think about what is the best way forward for Colombia.”

Queiroz’s squad includes the uncapped duo of Brighton midfielder Steven Alzate and Amiens forward Steven Mendoza, but there is no place for veteran striker Radamel Falcao, who has an Achilles injury.

Colombia face Peru in Miami on November 15 and Ecuador in New Jersey four days later.

 

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