I told Neymar to stay calm, says James Rodriguez

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.

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