Upstart Colombia rocking Brazil's football party

Last updated 13:50 04/07/2014
Juan Guillermo Cuadrado
Getty Images

PARTY TIME: Juan Guillermo Cuadrado dances with Colombia team mates after a goal in their round of 16 match against Uruguay.

Relevant offers

Football

Coliseum Sports Media continuing to push the sports TV boundaries Jose Mourinho eyes early chance to strike blow on Arsene Wenger England striker Rickie Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Bromwich Albion Brazil midfielder Fred tests positive for banned substance at Copa America Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick still on the hunt for gun goal-scorer Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla sign new Arsenal contracts Community Shield: Arsenal out to make statement of intent against Chelsea New Zealand Football lodge appeal with Oceania Football over Olympic ousting Sepp Blatter is 'like a cannibal', says Fifa presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon South Korea's Chung Mong-joon running for Fifa president

Colombia has been playing the exciting brand of football that Brazilians believe their own team should be playing at this World Cup.

They've also been dancing after goals, bringing a spirit of fun to the pitch. Fullback Camilo Zuniga puts it down to coach Jose Pekerman's philosophy of mixing amusement with responsibility.

Zuniga, who will be a key figure in marking Brazil forward Neymar in Saturday's quarterfinal match, said Pekerman ''helped us believe in ourselves''.

''He drilled in our heads that we were good,'' Zuniga said.

''He drilled into our heads that a Colombian with the ball should have fun, that he shouldn't have to play with pressure, but that it comes with responsibility.''

Zuniga, who likes to attack down the flanks, said that the dancing is in the ''Colombian blood''.

But he stressed that his first duty as a defender would be to contain Neymar and help the team keep a clean sheet.

Colombian goal celebrations have been choreographed dances, including salsa, with up to 10 players moving in lines together. And there's been plenty of them - Colombia's 11 goals in four games was second only to Netherlands in the tournament.

James Rodriguez has scored a tournament-leading five goals and has been one of the stars of the tournament.

Neymar, the Brazilian forward who could rightly feel like he's carrying the weight of the host nation, has scored half of Brazil's eight goals.  

When asked if the dancing after goals bothered him because he's an Argentine and may not be used to it, Pekerman said he wasn't bothered in the least.

''It's joyful, but sincere,'' he said, adding that he lived in Colombia for many years as a player and one of his daughters was born there.

''It's a way of the boys communicating in something that is a goal. They have this energy, I like it, but always with respect.

''It's something like a hug. It shouldn't bother anybody.''

World Cup fans, including Brazilians, have taken a liking to Colombia's style of football and its dancing antics. But now Colombia will face Brazilian fans at Castelao Arena who will be booing them for the first at the tournament.

''This is going to be a new situation for us,'' Pekerman said.

''We have to deal with it. We hope to get quickly in the match to do what we've been doing so far.''

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Burnley retain their EPL status?

Yes, they've found a winning formula

Maybe, but there’s a long way to go

No. They lack quality in certain areas

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content