Old rivalry, host pride in Q/Fs

Under-fire Germany will face rejuvenated France in Friday’s World Cup quarter-final in a mouth-watering clash of two European powerhouses. This represents an acid test for Germany coach Joachim Loew since his side has been heavily criticised for below-par performances in this edition. A place in Tuesday’s semi-final against either Brazil or Colombia in Belo Horizonte is at stake. On the other hand, Brazil and Colombia get set to enter the World Cup quarterfinals with totally different mindsets. Brazil is surrounded by doubts after a more difficult start than expected to the tournament it is hosting. Colombia is upbeat after convincing performances and four straight wins.

SPOTLIGHT ON SUPERSTARS

When Brazil takes on Colombia in Friday’s World Cup quarter-final, all eyes will be on the tussle between the No 10s — Neymar of Brazil and James Rodriguez of Colombia. Both are 22 years of age, both have glowed in this World Cup and both are shouldering the burden of their nation’s expectation. But how do the two stars measure up against each other? Neymar is World Cup poster boy and has lived up to expectations with four goals – he scored the decisive penalty in shoot-out as Brazil beat Chile in last-16. He had also scored twice on opening night as Croatia was beaten 3-1. More important, despite the weight of expectations, he has kept his composure and guided Brazil into the quarter-finals. Rodriguez has been a revelation, scoring five times and getting better with each game. He is Colombia’s main threat and has offset the absence of Radamel

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