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Quarterfinals Day 1: Favorites win through

Five Aside

James Rodriguez credits fighting spirit for wonder World Cup, Puskas goal

James' goal flies into the net to give Colombia a famous win.

MADRID -- Opponents who might be tempted to kick Colombia and Real Madrid superstar James Rodriguez have not really been paying attention.

James, who won the FIFA Puskas Award for scoring world football's best goal of 2014, a wonderful turn and volley in the last-16 clash with Uruguay at the summer's World Cup, has been dealing with such aggression and physical attention for a long time now.

James' stellar performances and goals in Brazil as Colombia sailed through the competition's group...

 By Tim Vickery

Assessing Colombia ahead of their United States showdown

Going into Brazil 2014, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman declared that the tournament would mark the moment when his team claimed a definitive place at football's top table.

Part one of the masterplan is complete. Colombia reached the quarterfinals for the first time, playing some fine football along the way, with James Rodriguez making his name as a global star.

Now comes part two -- the push to ensure that this was not an isolated moment, but a step on the way to consistent excellence at the highest...

 By Tim Vickery

Reviewing the results of CONMEBOL teams since the World Cup

With his comeback from suspension close, Luis Suarez has come to terms with his actions, which saw him sent home from the World Cup in disgrace.

After the FIFA dates of September and October, how have the South American national teams progressed as they warm up for next year's Copa America followed by the 2018 World Cup qualifiers?

ARGENTINA: Won 4-2 away to Germany, lost 2-0 to Brazil and beat Hong Kong 7-0

New coach Gerardo Martino has built on the work of predecessor Alejandro Sabella but has also made a tweak. The base formation remains 4-3-3 (which Sabella's Argentina abandoned in the World Cup due to injuries), but with a difference.


 By Tim Vickery

Pressure's on Colombia to continue their progress

When Brazil meet Colombia in Miami on Friday night, almost all the focus will be on the Brazilians. How will the five-time world champions react after their World Cup humiliation? Is Dunga the right coach to lead them back to greatness? Are there any promising new players coming through to capture global attention?

Given the above, it is easy to overlook the team defending the other goal. But the truth is that this match kick starts a key era in Colombian football -- and it has nothing to do...

 By Chris Wright

Man sues FIFA over World Cup refs

Carlos Velasco Carballo was so poor during the World Cup that it's prompted a billion-euro lawsuit.

A Colombian lawyer has filed an enormous lawsuit against FIFA after claiming that the lapse standard of refereeing at the 2014 World Cup hospitalised him with heart problems.

Aurelio Jimenez, 74, is suing world football's governing body for a billion euros (about 800 million pounds or 1.33 billion dollars) with his case centred around the controversial performance of Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo while overseeing Colombia's quarterfinal tie against Brazil.

During the game, Carballo let...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

ESPN FC Player of the World Cup: James Rodriguez

The top performers from the 2014 World Cup were whittled down to a five-man short list by stats website and our panel of experts.

Arjen Robben, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Thomas Muller were among the contenders, but with a huge 41 percent of the vote, you crowned Colombia star and FIFA Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez your ESPN FC Player of the World Cup.

Is James a worthy winner? Who else should have been considered? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter -- using the hashtag #ESPNFCplayer...