Brazil midfielder Fernandinho has warned his teammates that they can’t give Colombia star James Rodriguez any space during Friday’s World Cup quarter-final.
The Monaco playmaker has grabbed the headlines at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil after a number of eye-catching performances. Rodriguez has scored five goals in four matches for his country as he tries to lead them to glory in South America.
While Brazil have bags of attacking quality themselves, Fernandinho insists that they must stop Rodriguez in his tracks.
He told FIFA.com: “I played against him in the Champions League. It was at the start of his time in Europe and he wasn’t yet a first-choice for Porto.
“Already in that game he showed his technical quality with his left foot. In this World Cup he is showing everyone that the money Monaco paid for him was well invested. The less space he gets against us, the better it will be for Brazil.”
Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has received a boost ahead of Friday’s clash with the news that Neymar will be fit to play.
The Barcelona star picked up thigh and knee injuries during the win over Chile and Confederation spokesman Rodrigo Paiva confirmed at the time that the forward would miss a few training sessions.
Team doctor Jose Luiz Runco now though insists the player isn’t a doubt for Friday’s crucial clash as he looks to lead the hosts into the semi-finals.
Brazil are currently the 3.80 favourites with Dafabet to win the World Cup while Colombia are available at 14.00.