November 14, 2012
Brazil v Colombia: Preview
Brazil keeper Diego Alves goes into tomorrow's friendly against Colombia worried about the threat of Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao.
The Selecao and the Cafeteros meet in New Jersey and the stopper is hoping to continue his record of never having conceded a goal in his six caps to date.
However, he will face a stern examination from Falcao, who has scored 13 goals in 11 games for his club this season plus five in five matches in World Cup qualification.
"To me, Falcao is the best striker around at the moment. We must take special care of him because he defines matches,'' Valencia keeper Alves told Globoesporte.com.
Brazil, who are not involved in qualifying as they will host the World Cup in 2014, head into this game after a 6-0 win over Iraq and a 4-0 triumph over Japan.
Kaka, who returned to the national team for those games after a two-year absence and scored against Japan, said: "I felt great in the last two games but I am yet to feel settled.
"I played those games very actively, scored, assisted, but I still need more.''
Kaka added Brazil are feeling the impact of sitting out the qualifiers, adding: "We feel the lack of tough competition, the nerves of being close or far from making it.
"However, I don't think the fact of not playing the qualifiers will prevent us winning the World Cup. France (in 1998) is the example of that.''
Colombia are a transformed team under coach Jose Pekerman, having claimed six wins in seven games since the Argentinian took charge.
Defender Luis Perea is keen to keep up their winning momentum as they work towards a first World Cup appearance since 1998.
He told Caracol TV: "We are doing our best to keep this moment up and give our fans something to cheer, hopefully reaching the World Cup.
"We are worthy of a game against these opponents. Colombia must take profit from these type of games to keep improving.''
Keeper Faryd Mondragon added on Radio Caracol: "This Colombia team have a big group of players in Europe, who won titles and most of them are stars in their respective teams. That is why we can dream of making it into the World Cup.''
The veteran has bad memories of previous meetings against the Selecao, though, and said: "I played Brazil twice, once in the 1997 Copa America when we lost 2-0 and previously, I lost 3-1 in a friendly in 1995.''