Colombian coach, Argentine Jose Nestor Pekerman commented on the Brazil game with a sense of caution, while at the same time projecting confidence and optimism, he told reporters Thursday.
Pekerman talked about Brazil’s history when he said, “Brazil is a very difficult rival and we are prepared to enjoy it; we are facing the five-time champion in the world,” referencing Brazil’s record five World Cup titles.
Also in reference to the “penta-champions” as Brazil are often called, he stated that “idiosyncrasies and traditions weigh heavily and have a lot to do [with success], but nobody wins because of what happened previously.”
Pekerman continued on the topic, saying that “football has changed a lot, today we work on tactics, technical and mental challenges. There has been an evolution with respect to every aspect, nevertheless, you cannot ignore or forget where we are from and which idols we have.”
The matchup of the two of the best wearing number 10 in the world, Brazil’s Neymar and Colombia’s James Rodriguez is highly anticipated.
“Brazil has great players, but Colombia can also count on them and at a high level,” said Pekerman.
He also added that for Colombia, “each match is a different challenge and a new rival […] it is fundamental to recognize that there is no favorite in the game.”
The match begins at 4PM EST, and will guarantee either Brazil or Colombia a spot in the top four of the 2014 World Cup.
Brazil has previously defeated Croatia 3 – 1, drawn with Mexico 0 – 0, and defeated Cameroon 4 – 1 in the group stage, and finished on top of the group. In the Round of 16, Brazil beat Chile in a thriller ending in penalty kicks, 1 – 1.
Colombia won every match of the group stage, finishing on top. Colombia defeated Greece 3 – 0 in the opener, Cote d’Ivoire 2 – 1, and finally Japan 4 – 1. In the Round of 16, Colombia dominated Uruguay 2 – 0.
- Colombia por un nuevo reto en Brasil 2014 (Federación Colombiana de Fútbol)