Rene Higuita says that tiredness is behind Colombia star James Rodriguez's subdued performances at the Copa America so far.
James, who scored six times at last summer's World Cup and sealed an €80 million move to La Liga giants Real Madrid, has yet to find the net as Colombia progressed to the last eight scoring just once in three group games.
Speaking ahead of Friday's Copa America quarterfinal against Argentina at the Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar, Colombia legend Higuita said that for...
Of the seven remaining Copa America teams -- six quarterfinalists plus Chile, which advanced to the semis on Wednesday -- nobody is talking about Colombia as a title contender. The team is playing incredibly well defensively, having led all group-stage participants in tackles, interceptions, fewest shots conceded and fewest goals conceded, and has potent attacking talent in young playmakers like Real Madrid star James Rodriguez and experienced scorers such as Sevilla's Carlos Bacca.
Despite its defensive prowess, Colombia scored just one goal in Group C play and qualified for the quarterfinals as a third-place team in its group. This slow attacking start means Colombia will have to face Argentina in its quarterfinal, followed by the Brazil-Paraguay winner in order to reach the final and a potential meeting with Chile. This difficult path is contributing to oddsmakers' giving the Colombians around 10-to-1 odds to win the Copa America, and ESPN's Soccer Power Index-fueled Forecaster recently put its title likelihood at just 13 percent.
But Colombia's stout defense and attacking potential make it a dangerous underdog capable of stealing any remaining game in the knockout rounds. Here's a look at why Colombia is a Copa America title contender.
Copa America 2015 has reached the quarterfinals, whittling the original 12 teams down to eight for the knockout round, and the tournament favorite may not be who you'd expect, at least according to ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI).
Colombia's James Rodriguez says it would be "unfair" to bill Friday's Copa America quarterfinal against Argentina as a personal duel against Albiceleste superstar Lionel Messi.
Two of the pre-competition favourites meet in the clash at the Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar, with neither Colombia nor Argentina having hit top form so far, and neither superstar individual having yet put in an outstanding match-winning performance.