Football

The search for Brazil's soccer soul

Published 1218 GMT (2018 HKT) July 4, 2014
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Brazilians have always had a love affair with football but as World Cup hosts for the first time in over 60 years expectations are high as they chase a sixth World Cup title. Magnum Photos Paris
To reach the World Cup semifinals Brazil must overcome the tournament's surprise package Colombia. Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images
Brazil's golden-boy Neymar has been a shining light for the World Cup hosts, scoring four goals and an all important penalty against Chile in a tense shoot out that took them into the quarterfinals. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
David Luiz became the most expensive defender earlier this year with his reported $67 million move to PSG. His defensive skills will need to be at their sharpest against Colombia. Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Brazilian forward Fred's performances have come under scrutiny at the World Cup. Is he good enough to be in Brazil's squad? Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Hulk is another Brazilian forward who has had a relatively quiet tournament but his wrongly disallowed goal against Chile showed what he is capable of. Pierre-Philippe/AFP/Getty Images
At the other end of the pitch Julio Cesar's heroics in the penalty shoot out against Chile made him a national hero. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari hugs Neymar after the team qualify for the quarter finals after that nervous penalty shoot out win over Chile. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Twenty years ago at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, Colombian Andres Escobar scored an own goal against the hosts as the South America side crashed out of the tournament. Five days after their elimination Escobar was shot dead in his home town of Medellin. Michael Kunkel/Getty Images
His death sent shock waves around the world and caused many of the Colombian players who had been part of that "golden-generation" to retire as they felt unsafe. Michael Kunkel/Getty Images
Escobar's murder was a dark moment in the country's history, but this new generation has danced its way into the quarterfinals, arguably led by the player of the tournament -- James Rodriguez. Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images
Colombia's star man Radamel Falcao sustained an injury playing for his club Monaco earler in the season which kept him out of the World Cup. Many thought his absence would be the end of Colombia's hopes of winning the World Cup. Christopher Lee/Getty Images
But then Rodriguez, who has scored five goals at the World Cup, turned up. Christopher Lee/Getty Images
With Falcao out of the tournament Porto's Jackson Martinez is the man tasked with leading the Colombian attack. Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Alongside Rodriguez and Martinez, Juan Cuadrado has been another key player for Colombia and the Fiorentina winger scored a well taken penalty in their 4-1 victory over Japan. Clive Rose/Getty Images
Pablo Armero spent the last six months on loan at West Ham United and made only five appearances, but his performances at this World Cup have been a revelation. Christopher Lee/Getty Images
Faryd Mondragon became the oldest player to have ever played in the World Cup at the age of 43. He came on as a substitute for the last 10 minutes of Colombia's last group game against Japan. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Colombian coach Jose Pekerman led Argentina to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2006 before losing to hosts Germany on penalties. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Although the run up to World Cup was overshadowed by the threat of protests and riots, the Brazilians have reveled in their team's progression to the quarterfinals. Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
Football fans in Rio play a game of beach football on Copacabana beach. Mario Tam/Getty Images
Brazilian fans celebrate on Copacabana beach after that nerve-wracking penalty shoot out win over Chile. Mario Tama/Getty Images
Fans of 'los cafeteros' in Medellin, Colombia, get behind their team as they make an appearance at the World Cup for the first time since 1998. Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images
Colombian fans in Bogota burst into celebration as Rodriguez scores arguably the best goal of the tournament against Uruguay. Guillermo Legaria/AFP/Getty Images
While the Colombians dream of knocking out the hosts and advancing into the semifinals, the Brazilians will be hoping their team can live up to expectations. Tune in on Friday... Clive Rose/Getty Images