Santiago, June 18 (IANS) Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez has said he tried to calm down Brazilian star striker Neymar after the latter was sent off in the five-time World Cup winners’ 0-1 defeat in a group match of the Copa America.
Barcelona star Neymar drove the ball into Colombian defender Pablo Armero after the final whistle was blown and then aimed a headbutt at Jeison Murillo, who had tried to step in during Wednesday’s match.
A brawl followed and it included other players too and ended with Neymar and Colombia’s Carlos Bacca being red-carded but James claims he tried to calm the former down.
“At the end of the match I told Neymar to stay calm,” James was quoted as saying by goal.com on Thursday.
“I also went through that four days ago when we lost to Venezuela. That day I felt really angry,” the Real Madrid star added.
Brazil are second in Group C ahead of their final match against Venezuela, while Colombia sit third — but level on points with the former two teams — with a Peru clash on the horizon.