Brazil vs. Colombia: Neymar and 5 Players to Watch
There will be a few players for fans to keep an eye on when Brazil takes on Colombia in a friendly this Wednesday.
The hosts of the upcoming World Cup, Brazil has a great record in friendlies in this calender year but Colombia will provide them with a stiff test.
Colombia has been involved in World Cup qualifications and currently sit third in the CONMEBOL standings.
Brazil coach Mano Menezes has picked a small squad of 19 to participate in this fixture with some of the familiar names accompanied by lesser known ones. They will be up against a side that is used to each other from qualification and that will make it quite a tough match.
It should be an interesting encounter for all those involved and here's a list of players to keep an eye on including, of course, Brazil star Neymar.
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Neymar has had quite a lot on his shoulders in his short career so far. The Santos man has 16 goals in 25 games for the National side but failure at this year's Olympics and last year's Copa America overshadow that impressive haul.
He has been in great form for his club in 2012 and while this is only a friendly it is against a quality Colombia side. Neymar will be expected to continue his form and break down a sturdy Colombia defense in the process.
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Radamel Falcao is arguably the hottest property in World Football at the moment.
The Colombian striker has been in impressive form since the 2009/10 season and has continued that with 19 goals in 19 games for club and country so far this season (statistics courtesy of ESPN Soccernet).
Atletico Madrid is currently going through a great run thanks to the Colombian's goals and he leads his national team in goals scored during qualification.
It will be interesting to see how he performs in this high profile friendly.
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The former AC Milan playmaker has seen a slight resurgence of form dating back to the end of last season and it seems he could still play a role for the national side.
He scored a goal in each game against Iraq and Japan but will face a different test against this Colombia side.
It is unlikely the 30-year-old would play a prominent role in the squad but if he continues to perform when selected it will increase his opportunities both at the club and international level.
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James Rodriguez is Colombia's bright young talent and hasn't really disappointed for his country so far.
In nine World Cup qualifying games the Porto player has two goals and two assists while working well with Radamel Falcao.
His seven goals and one assist in 12 games is another nod to his great form this season and is a good reason why Porto remain top of the league despite losing a talent such as Hulk (statistics courtesy of ESPN Soccernet).
Rodriguez still has a lot to learn but playing in big games like this, even though it's a friendly, will aid his development and aid Colombia in the long run.
With Marcelo currently out due to injury Fabio Santos has a chance to keep his name in the running as Brazil's left-back in the future.
The Corinthians left-back picked up his first cap for his nation in the Superclásico de las Américas but will have a lot more to contend with against Colombia (via Goal.com).
If he can play well enough he could see himself become more of a fixture in the Brazil setup as they move closer to the 2014 World Cup.