Phil Scolari dismisses claims of weakness within the Brazil ranks
Brazil are three wins away from achieving the ultimate dream, with the Selecao having rumbled into the last eight thanks to topping Group A and then knocking out Chile on penalties in the last sixteen.
It hasn’t been vintage Brazil nor will they ever serve up a glamorous performance with this crop of players, with the team heavily reliant on Neymar to make things happen.
However, Phil Scolari dismisses that there are signs of weakness within his team’s ranks and claims that the tears shed during the national anthem are simply an indication of the desire that the players have to perform for their country.
Júlio César, Neymar and David Luiz also shed tears before the penalty shoot-out, with captain Thiago Silva watching the spot kicks away from his team-mates and it might appear that the Brazilians are feeling the pressure as hosts of this major tournament.
“They are a better team than Chile,” Scolari said of Colombia. “Chile have strength and play with a spirit. Colombia are more technical. So there’s no war. Our wars are against Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. We don’t have anything against Colombia and that makes them very happy matches, with no great rivalry. And when you don’t have that war, our players feel more at ease.”
Colombia will look to upset the odds and have confidence coming into this match, with star man James Rodriguez one reason why Los Cafeteros might win.
“We have a nice blend of youth and experience,” James Rodríguez, the rising star of the tournament, said. “Our coach has got us all playing and fighting for each other, and for Colombia. We play the Colombian way and keep the ball. We are a solid unit defensively, and then there are players like myself who will try something a bit different – try to beat a man and change it up.
“We can play a number of different ways and can hit people with quick moves. We don’t concede too many goals, and we have one of the best groups of players the country has had over the last decade. We have a great goalkeeper and we can score lots of goals.”
All odds were correct at time of posting.