Powerhouses Brazil and Colombia Lean on their Young Superstars
Two of football’s youngest, brightest superstars are on a collision course with destiny in the Copa America, where Neymar of Brazil and James Rodriguez of Colombia go up against each other at Estadio Monumental David Arellano in Santiago de Chile.
Consider this Group C showdown a rematch of the memorable 2014 World Cup quarterfinal, where Brazil edged Colombia, 2-1. It was a memorable afternoon. James scored Colombia’s only goal and Neymar was forced to leave after fracturing his vertebra while taking a hard foul.
Powerhouses Brazil and Colombia are certain to be leaning on their top players. Neymar, 23, scored four goals in group play in the last World Cup, two against Croatia and two against Cameroon. Captain of the Brazilian team, Neymar plays for FC Barcelona of the Spanish League.
James, who turns 24 in July, scored six goals for Colombia at the World Cup and was the top goal-scorer in the tournament, winning the Golden Boot. He also stars for Real Madrid in the Spanish League.
Brazil’s Oscar injured his thigh during practice with Chelsea of the Premier League, but he has been replaced by 31-year-old veteran striker Robinho. After missing the World Cup because of a knee injury, Radamel Falcao is healthy once again for Colombia and is likely to team up with James to head the offensive attack.
Remember that Brazil has won four of the last six Copa America titles.