TERESoPOLIS, Brazil: Neymar yesterday insisted that he is happy for Brazil to win ugly as long as it gets them past Colombia in Friday’s World Cup quarter-final in Fortaleza.
The occasional moment of genius from Neymar aside, Brazil have rarely sparkled at these finals but they remain in contention to win the title after last weekend’s agonising victory on penalties against Chile 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,” the Barcelona forward told a press conference at the Brazil team’s base in Teresopolis.
“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.
“I would be happy to do nothing in this game if Brazil won 1-0. That would be marvellous.”
Earlier, Neymar came through training with no ill effects, confirming that he has overcome the knee and thigh knocks that he suffered against Chile.
“I am fine. You can relax,” he told journalists after a session in which coach Luiz Felipe Scolari tried out different formations ahead of the clash with Colombia.
Scolari is likely to make just the one change to his starting line-up for the match at the Castelao Stadium, with the suspended Luiz Gustavo set to be replaced in midfield by Paulinho. However, the coach did also try out a 3-5-2 formation, with defender Henrique replacing striker Fred and Maicon replacing Daniel Alves at right-back.
The chances of Brazil lining up in such a fashion against Colombia are minimal, but Neymar insisted he is ready to adapt to any tactical changes.
“I can fit into any formation. We have an excellent coach whose job it is to decide how the team will play. With or without a centre-forward, we have to play football.”
Left-back Marcelo withdrew from training early but the Brazil camp confirmed that the Real Madrid player had no problem and a full squad travelled north to Fortaleza yesterday.