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  • Sep 24, 2014
  • Updated: 12:51am
World Cup 2014
SportSoccer
World cup 2014

Brazil v Colombia: Neymar has no problem with hosts winning ugly

Home hero says providing a spectacle for their fans is not the priority and team are more focused on becoming world champions

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 July, 2014, 9:55pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 July, 2014, 4:12am
 

Brazil striker Neymar has admitted he is happy to win ugly as he looks to take another step towards delivering his country's sixth World Cup, on home soil, against Colombia today.

The Selecao have been criticised for some of their less convincing performances en route to the quarter-finals, most notably in squeezing past Chile on penalties in the last 16.

"You can't always enjoy yourself and win 4-0 or 5-0. Football nowadays is so difficult, so even, that the team who is most committed on the pitch ends up winning," said the Barcelona man.

The Brazil team doesn't have just one person who has to do everything
Neymar

"I don't want a show. That's the last thing we are trying to do. We are not necessarily here to produce a spectacle. We are here to run to the end, until we are tired, and come out as winners."

Neymar fell to the ground in tears as Chile's Gonzalo Jara missed the decisive spot kick in the shoot-out in Belo Horizonte, with teammates Julio Cesar and captain Thiago Silva also seen to cry in relief as much as joy.

Worried that carrying the expectations of 200 million Brazilians is becoming too much for his squad, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari called the team's sports psychologist Regina Brandao in for an extra session with the players.

And Neymar said the sessions were having the desired effect.

"I had never done anything like it before and I am quite enjoying it," added the 22-year-old. "It is not only us, in football, who are surrounded by emotion and need psychologists. I think it could do every person good, to make one more relaxed."

Neymar also insisted he will be fully fit to face the Colombians despite suffering thigh and knee injuries against Chile.

One of the major concerns for Scolari has been the lack of support for Neymar in attacking areas. He has scored half of his side's eight goals while other forwards Fred, Jo and Hulk have struggled to make an impact.

But Neymar said the team were not dependent on him.

"I don't feel overburdened either on the pitch or off it. I have teammates who help me by winning the ball back, scoring goals, setting them up," he said.

"The Brazil team doesn't have just one person who has to do everything."

Scolari will be forced into at least one change from the side who faced Chile. Luis Gustavo is suspended, so Tottenham Hotspur's Paulinho is expected to come back into the team.

Gustavo's absence is even more critical for the hosts given the sensational form of the tournament's top goalscorer, Colombia's James Rodriguez.

The Monaco playmaker has taken on the mantle of his side's focal point with ease in the absence of the injured Radamel Falcao, with five goals in four games, including a sensational dipping volley in his side's 2-0 win over Uruguay in the last 16.

A fourth consecutive win for Jose Pekerman's men took them into the last eight for the first time and, ahead of the biggest game in Colombian football's history, midfielder Carlos Sanchez insisted they will not be overawed by their opponents.

"Afraid? No. Respectful, yes, because it's Brazil, the organising country, because of its players, its coaches, and for everything Brazil represents," he said.

But Rodriguez believes Brazil should be just as worried about him as his countrymen should be about Neymar.

"We're facing very tough rivals, who have great players," he said. "But they also have to think that we have great players."

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