Fast forward to the present day in Russian Federation and Rodriguez is still thriving in the showpiece, producing a masterclass, Man of the Match performance in his first game of he tournament as Colombia knocked Poland out courtesy of a 3-0 win in Group H.
Robert Lewandowski said after Poland were eliminated from the World Cup with a 3-0 defeat to Colombia that his side lacked the quality needed to progress, admitting "it's not like we lost by a whisker".
- Quintero became the first Colombian player to score in two World Cup tournaments (2014 and '18) in the opening loss to Japan.
Earlier on Sunday, Senegal and Japan, the other two countries in Group H, tied 2-2.
Yerry Mina nodded in James Rodriguez's cross shortly before half-time to put the South Americans ahead.
Poland boarded the plane to Russian Federation on the back of a strong qualifying campaign that saw them finish at the summit of their qualifying group.
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Robert Lewandowski, making his World Cup debut in Russian Federation, struggled with a lack of service throughout, the Bayern Munich striker going closest in the final few minutes when a long-range effort was tipped over by David Ospina.
Four years after Radamel Falcao was supposed to lead Colombia at the World Cup, he's doing just that.
"It's very important [to finish top] because this World Cup is hard".
Asked why he was so sure, Nawalka said Poland had carried out detailed analysis of their opponents, but what was more important was what his own team would do on the pitch. "We wanted to share this victory with him". The Bayern Munich player's six goals in the 13 qualifying games he started - a hard feat in CONMEBOL qualifying, especially with four of them coming away from home - highlight how vital he is. The lively Quintero threaded a defence-splitting pass to Falcao, who rolled back the years with a delightful low finish with the outside of his right boot.
A Colombia victory over the Africans in their final first-round match in Samara on Thursday would secure a spot in the last 16 and keep them on target to at least match their charge to the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago.
Rodriguez bagged two assists on Sunday night but his pass to find Cuadrado for the third goal was truly a piece of artistry.
Poland played well for 15 minutes but then faded.