Football

Neymar must outshine James Rodriguez in World Cup

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James Rodriguez's performance in Colombia's victory over Uruguay the other night has caused quite a stir over his club future and has even drawn comparisons to that of Diego Maradona. 

Rodriguez's two goals on Saturday night proved too much for fellow South Americans Uruguay as they crashed out, ending their controversial World Cup campaign. 

The other all South American tie proved to be quite the opposite as Brazil and Neymar struggled to overcome a resilient Chile side. All of which has now set up what could be an enthralling encounter between the hosts and Colombia in Fortaleza on friday night. 

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James Rodriguez

The 22-year-old has caused quite a stir so far as his five goals have helped Colombia reach the quarter-finals in impressive style, which saw them empathetically win their group in the process.

Rodriguez has been at the centre of it all, as his displays have dominated the headlines sparking heavy rumours of a summer transfer away from his current club Monaco. However, any move will most likely be drawn out for quite a while with many clubs interested.

His stunning volley that has been seen as the best of the tournament so far, has been followed by praise from pundits all over the world, in particular Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez,  who witnessed Rodriguez tear his side apart.

Tabarez put the Colombian in the same bracket as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and even the great Maradona.

Neymar

The poster boy of the World Cup, also 22, is all that anyone was talking about before the tournament began. He has proven that he can handle the mounting pressure of an entire nation as his goals carried Brazil through a nervy start to eventually win their group. 

Although he failed to find the net in a frustrating game for Brazil last Saturday night, he did put away his vital spot kick in what was a highly dramatic penalty shoot-out victory. 

The expectancy on Brazil to win the World Cup in front of their passionate nation is ever growing but so are the questions being asked of them. How long can they rely on the goals from the Barcelona man and will they be so fortunate against Colombia? 

Neymar has done extremely well to focus on his performances as the his prominent attacking runs have shown to be full of confidence and endeavour. There is no doubt that if Neymar doesn't perform, Brazil's threat up front will struggle. 

Who will win the battle?

Friday's showdown may well be decided by who performs the best out of Rodriguez and Neymar as there is not much to choose between the sides.

Both players carry the weight of their country's hopes on their shoulder but in quite different ways. Rodriguez and indeed Colombia are playing with more enjoyment and confidence compared to their South American neighbours, who appear to still be a bit nervous.

Brazil will rely on Neymar to drive them forward more than ever before, as there are little signs of the Colombians losing their composure. 

If the crowd get behind the hosts like never before, they will have a good chance stopping Rodriguez but if they let Colombia play, they will be punished. One thing is an almost certainty; both players will play a huge role in the end result.

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Topics:
Brazil Football
Neymar
World Cup
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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