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Zona Blog / Here's what I say...

Three day hangover after a bad Caipirinha.

In the most expected match of the Copa América 2015, Colombia vs. Brazil, the Neymar-driven squad faced the spiked 2014 World Cup sensation, with a fair result after the football displayed, but also a body count of bans and absurd actions...
Three day hangover after a bad Caipirinha.
Three day hangover after a bad Caipirinha.
In the most expected match of the Copa América 2015, Colombia vs. Brazil, the Neymar-driven squad faced the spiked 2014 World Cup sensation, with a fair result after the football displayed, but also a body count of bans and absurd actions...

It is Saturday now, three full days after the Santiago clash that saw Colombia leave with a 1-0 victory over the allmighty (?) Brazil, that also led to an indignation outbreak from many due to a, seemingly excessive, 4-match ban for Brazil and Barça superstar Neymar.

Let's get the irrelevant stuff out of the way first; what Neymar did was unforgivable, childish and flat out stupid. There is no need to act and react the way he did throughout the match; he commited minor fouls, kicked Zúñiga from the back (this one isn't part of culers' memory because reasons...) and in general, was having a below par performance. Now, there's nothing wrong about not performing well, he just came bak from scoring braces vs Bayern and the 3rd goal vs Juve in a Champions League final... Dude has nothing to prove.

However, Colombia came out with a plan and a clear strategy, which came about rather easily when you think about it, Dunga, just like Scolari did before, threw ALL the responsibility at Neymar, a 23 year old player whose game is provoquing at best, and even demeaning and offensive to some. We see this every Saturday when watching Barça, Neymar will always be a target for abuse, but in Barça, the moment the ball shifts from one side to the other, the abuse target moves to a different player. In Brazil this isn't true; you neuter Neymar and there is nothing else left. Colombia knew this and put it to practice.

Now, Dunga said something about him getting kicked more than 20 times and that violence was Colombia's MO. Far from the truth, We did see Neymar get kicked, the day he doesn't get fouled more than once is because he's not on the pitch, but the part everyone is painfully ommiting here is that Colombia was dominating, Brazil had one attempt on target, which was then handled by Neymar; that was it in the first half for them. Meanwhile, former Elche player, Carlos Sánchez was on top of his game, not by coincidence, as he had already nullyfied Messi a few years back on a 0-0 draw during WC qualifyers, nd keeps on putting on amazing performances. He was the key to keep Neymar away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyK1aas-Ba4

Colombia scores and keeps the pressure up, Dunga doesn't like it, nor does Neymar, but frustration can be more dangerous than the opponent's defenders and Neymar fell prey of that, he couldn't see things clear, the rest of his teammates were just a buncho of people walking around waiting for him to come up with something brilliand, but it was another Barça star, Dani Alves, who was BY FAR the best player in La Canarinha who came up with what would've been the assist of the cup, but Neymar headed it straight to Ospina, and then tried to score from the rebound, but this time he used his hand to do it and received a yellow card for it, rushing then to pull the referee by the shoulder and getting verbally warned once more. Seconds later and out of frustration, he kicked Juan Cuadrado from the back and then punched the ball away from the colombian defender who was getting ready to take the free kick. Neymar was already playing for free.

The second half was uneventful, Brazil chraged but had no clue of what to do, Neymar was still at bay and their clearest chance came from a soft back pass that wasn't cleared properly by Ospina and Firminio skyed the ball with an open goal. Then some more Colombian counters and the final whistle. 

Then the fight that everyone saw happening and the 4-match ban for Neymar, which sees him out of the tournament for good.

My own conclusion (hindsight is a thing of beauty!) is that Scolari doomed Brazil by handing it all to Neymar. The last thing you want to do with a young supertalent is give him the burden of having to carry the entire ship on his own. That takes away from the freedom he needs to do what he does best. 

And on another thought, the red card was well deserved, Colombia won the game in an impressive manner and the sanction is just ludicrous and plain nonsense, one of the tournament's big stars is out because of a Chilean dude who took it too serious.

And my last thought: Colombia played their game the way they had to, and it wan't the "Neymar Cannibalized" thing that most barça fans are making it look like. Neymar was effectively taken out of the game and that's that.

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Alejandro Del Pino
There was one day in which I fell in love with football. It was one player's fault: Romario. Since then I followed his club errands, finding and falling in a deeper love with FC Barcelona, then came Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Xavi, Andrés and D10S himself. Blaugrana by choice. Som i serem!
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