Colombia’s Inter Milan defender Jeison Murillo has warned his team-mates that FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi is not Argentina’s only threat ahead of their quarter-final clash in the Copa America.
The defender who scored in the win over Brazil says that James Rodriguez and company must not underestimate the Argentina squad that consists of many talented players and not just Lionel Messi.
The two nations will go head-to-head in the third last eight tie on Friday, June 26 in Vi a del Mar. The winner of the clash will play the winner of Brazil – Paraguay game on Saturday.
While Colombia will be hoping to win the of South American champions for just the second time in their history, Argentina are hoping to end a barren run of 22 years without a major international winner’s trophy.
When asked about his thoughts of being up against Lionel Messi in the tie against Argentina, the 23 year old defender said: “It will be nice to be on the same pitch and go up against Lionel Messi, though it’s not only him but an excellent team that we face. I will always do my bit for the sake of this team.”
The Inter Milan defender believes Colombia will need to be totally focused – particularly at the back – in order to allow the attackers more freedom to try and find the net against a very good Argentina defense.
“I think that concentration will be vital. That is what coach [Jos ] P kerman has asked of us,” Murillo added.
“We are keeping calm. We have the same mentality as always, which is to win. We are facing a great team with great forwards and we must be on top.”
“The idea is for the defence to give security to the forwards so they know they can look for goals at any point.”
“We must keep a cool head and have the mindset to do what it takes. A winning mentality and be sure of qualification in the 90 minutes.”
If James Rodriguez is to work his magic, he will need the held from Murillo and his fellow defenders, as Colombia not only need to provide the security for their forward, it is more of a question of stopping the quality at Argentina’s disposal with Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi, and Angel di Maria set to be unleashed on their defense.