Liverpool FC playmaker Philipe Coutinho believes the Selecao can still advance to the quarter-finals despite having FC Barcelona star suspended for four games including their crucial final group outing.
South American federation CONMEBOLa s disciplinary committee has extended the provisional one game ban for Neymar to four games following his behavior in the aftermath of Brazila s 1-0 defeat to Colombia.
The suspensin means that the FC Barcelona star will miss the crucial final game with all four teams locked at three points in Group C, alongwith the entire tournament should Brazil reach the finals.
Despite the absence of their talisman, the Liverpool FC playmaker believes that the Brazil team will unite to overcome the loss.
“Neymar is a great player, our main man, but everyone is prepared and focused on what we want,” the Liverpool FC star said in a press conference.
“We lost our main player, but the group is strong. We are focused to overcome the loss of Neymar in the next game.”
“I am prepared and I will do my best to help the team come away with the victory. We have great players in the Selecao – creative, fast and smart.”
“The most important thing is the team. Whoever plays has to get the job done.”
Brazil were hoping for a lenient punishment with the CBF citing the linesman calling the FC Barcelona man a a divera and thereby provoking him. But, the defense has failed.
Colombia upset the five-time world champions in a combative game Wednesday that ended in a tumultuous melee, as the FC Barcelona star Neymar appeared to aim a headbutt at Colombian goalscorer Jeison Murillo.
There was already bad blood between Neymar and the Colombian team heading into the match with the FC Barcelona star suffering a fractured vertebra in their World Cup quarter-final clash last July, an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the tournament as Brazil lost both the remaining games to finish fourth.
With Neymar out, Philipe Coutinho, who himself had missed a major part of the Copa America so far due to an injury, will be hoping to guide Brazil to Copa America glory. And with the way he played in the second half of the season for his club, the Liverpool FC man can certainly lessen the loss of the FC Barcelona star.