Brazil vs Colombia World Cup 2014 preview: The key men for each team in the quarter-final

Who will Brazil and Colombia look to as they fight for a place in the final four?

The hosts and dark horses Colombia go head-to-head in Fortaleza on Friday, as they battle for a place in the final four of the World Cup.

We look at the three key men Luiz Felipe Scolari and Jose Pekerman will rely on in the quarter-final and what each must do to ensure it is their team in the semi.

Read more: How Scolari is helping his team cope
Match preview: Brazil vs Colombia
Want to know Brazil's secrets?


Thiago Silva

Captain fantastic for the host-nation. The 29-year-old is a rock at the back for an otherwise shaky Brazilian defence. While David Luiz and Dani Alves have been prone to jump ship when it comes to defensive duties, the PSG skipper is able to fully compensate for his team-mates’ deficiencies, oozing class and composure all the while. Thiago Silva has been able to calm the titanic vessel that is Brazilian expectation so far, but with the sea getting rougher and the boat having more holes than previously thought, Brazil are depending more and more on their captain for safe passage.  


The speedy left back will have his work cut out as he takes on Juan Caudrado, the World Cup’s leading assist maker. After accidentally scoring the opening goal of the tournament when he turned Ivica Olic’s cross into his own net, Marcelo has raised his game with the side only conceding two goals since that mishap. He has also been potent going forward with his purposeful overlapping runs providing him with one assist in the competition so far.


The tricky striker has shown the likes of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo how to perform with the expectation of a nation on his shoulders. When things didn’t go according to the script in the opening game against Croatia, up stepped Neymar with a crucial double to send the whole of Brazil to away happy. Despite failing to break Mexico down he again dragged Brazil from trouble against Cameroon by scoring the goal that restored their lead, providing the cure for any nerves. It’s a lot to ask game after game for a 22-year old, but by the looks of it, he thrives on the pressure. Brazil's golden boy Neymar coolly put away his penalty during the shoot-out against Chile Neymar remains Brazil's biggest threat


Mario Yepes

At 38 years of age Mario Yepes is the oldest outfield player in the World Cup and will retire when the competition draws to a close. You wouldn’t know it though, as the classy centre-back has kept two clean sheets in his three appearances this summer to silence early critics of Colombia’s defence. He has provided much needed experience to a young Colombian side and with him as the defensive anchor, players such as Juan Cuadrado and James Rodriguez have been able to fly.

Read more: Who will be king? Neymar or Rodriguez
5 reasons Brazil will win
5 reasons why Colombia will win

Juan Cuadrado

Cuadrado has created more goals than any other player at the World Cup so far with an impressive four assists to his name. The Fiorentina winger also scored a crucial goal against Japan to bring his side level in a game Colombia went on to win 4-1. The 26-year-old’s string of notable performances has alerted the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona to his availability, but instead of thinking about joining Neymar, Dani Alves and co. at the Nou Camp he currently has his heat set on destroying them in their own back-yard. Colombia's Juan Guillermo Cuadrado celebrates his team's second goal against Uruguay Juan Cuadrado has an impressive four assits to his name

James Rodriguez

The player of the tournament so far now faces his nearest contender. Rodriguez and Neymar will go head to head for glory in this all-South American clash. While the headlines were orbiting around the Brazilian number ten before the tournament began, James has since snatched them away, taking the competition to a whole other level in the process. With an unheralded five goals and two assists in four games, including a breath-taking volley which brushed aside Uruguay, Rodriguez has stolen the limelight from his opposite number. As previously mentioned, Neymar works best when he is the centre of attention, so the results of this encounter could be very interesting indeed.

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Fabian Delph celebrates his goal
footballChristian Benteke and Fabian Delph turn semi-final after Liverpool goal
Life and Style
Model wears: top £29.50, leggings £25, jacket £29.50, bag £25, all
Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace