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Team play key in Neymar-James show, says Colombia's Valdes

AFP
Colombia's defender Carlos Valdes speaks during a press conference in Cotia, Sao Paolo on July 1, 2014
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Colombia's defender Carlos Valdes speaks during a press conference in Cotia, Sao Paolo on July 1, 2014 (AFP Photo/Eitan Abramovich)

Cotia (Brazil) (AFP) - Brazilian star Neymar and Colombian rival James Rodriguez have put on a great World Cup show but team play will be the key to their quarter-final clash, Colombian defender Carlos Valdes said Tuesday.

"It's no secret to anybody that Neymar is a great player and James Rodriguez is a very important player for us who has shown great quality," Valdez told reporters at Colombia's base camp in Cotia outside Sao Paulo.

"They are players who always bring a show, they always bring something to their teams, but today I think what's most important is that we continue doing what we've been doing ... always prioritizing the team, the group above all things," he said.

Rodriguez, an attacking midfielder at French club Monaco, has been the revelation of the World Cup so far, netting five goals in four games.

His stunning volley in the 2-0 defeat of Uruguay in the last-16 game is likely a candidate for goal of the tournament.

Neymar has scored four goals for a Brazil side that has struggled to impress so far, needing a penalty shootout to get past Chile in the last-16.

But Valdes, a backup defender, warned against overlooking the Selecao's other players when they face off in the northeastern city of Fortaleza on Friday.

"Neymar is a great player with great football capacities, he's a player that we have to watch without a doubt," he said.

"They have very good players, who up to now have had a big role in the World Cup," Valdes said. "We have to think about all of them, we have to think about the team and what they can do as a team."

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