Neymar: Brazil’s showdown against Colombia is not about me and James

The 22-year-old insists that his team-mates need to be wary of the whole Cafeteros side on Friday and described the pressure on the Selecao as “inhuman”

Brazil star Neymar believes James Rodriguez will be Colombia’s key threat in their quarter-final clash on Friday, but has played down the hype surrounding the two players.

The Selecao will need to defeat an impressive Colombia side in Fortaleza to keep their hopes of winning a sixth World Cup title on home soil alive.

Both players have shone for their respective sides in the tournament so far, with James currently sitting top of the scoring charts with five goals to his name – one more than Neymar.

The Barcelona forward has praised the Monaco winger but insists that the quarter-final match is not about him and James.

“Colombia are another tough South American opponent after Chile and it won’t get any easier,” Neymar told The Times of India.

“Also, it isn’t a match between Neymar and James Rodriguez but a game between Brazil and Colombia.

“We will once again have to perform as a team. James is a dangerous player and he has shown what a talent he is with a brilliant left foot and great vision. We need to give him little to no space or otherwise he will spell danger for us.”

When asked if the game in Fortaleza would be tough, Neymar said: “Yes, without a doubt.

“Against Chile we really suffered. In the end it was pure emotion. My tears after the game were those of sheer happiness. But we also know that the game against Chile was not one of our best matches, but the desire to win and get through to the next round was huge.

“It was the most I have ever suffered in football. We need to repeat all of this against Colombia to make it into the semi-finals.”

Neymar has been recovering from a thigh problem, which he suffered during the last-16 win over Chile, and revealed that he was “undergoing treatment for a heavy knock to the right knee and a smaller knock” to his left hamstring.

However, the 22-year-old confirmed that he would be ready and fit enough to play against Colombia, insisting that the pressure on Brazil to win the World Cup was keeping him focused.

When asked about the expectations on Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team, Neymar said: “It’s massive. It’s inhuman.

“We have a very big responsibility as we represent a country of 200 million Brazilian people, all of whom are hoping to see us lift the title for a sixth time.

“Only that would give our country and our people much-needed happiness and better days.”

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