Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Scolari backs Evergrande against Barca’s ’25 Neymars’

16 December 2015, 13:53

Yokohama - Guangzhou Evergrande coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has warned Barcelona to expect a battle in Thursday's Club World Cup semi-final in Yokohama.

"Barcelona are one of the best teams on the planet, everybody knows that," the Brazilian told reporters on Wednesday. "But my players have the heart and the desire to make a game of it and I expect them to show that tomorrow."

Barca forward Neymar is likely to miss the clash with a groin strain but Scolari insisted the Brazilian's absence would make little difference.

"Neymar is one of the top three players in the world," said the former Brazil coach, whose Evergrande side upset Mexico's Club America 2-1 in the quarter-finals at the weekend.

"He has the potential to be the best player in the world in the next five years but Barcelona have 25 Neymars. They have quality in every position.

"They have (Lionel) Messi, (Luis) Suarez, (Andres) Iniesta, the list goes on -- players who can hurt you everywhere," he added. "It will be a huge challenge but one we relish."

Also read: Scolari, Eriksson take rivalry into China league showdown

Scolari, known as "Big Phil" in his native Brazil, has fond memories of Yokohama, having led this country to their fifth World Cup triumph here in 2002 when they beat Germany 2-0 in the final.

"When we arrived on the bus today I had some nice flashbacks to that time," said Scolari. "It's a place which has great significance for Brazil. But that chapter of my life is over so let's see what happens."

- 'No reason to be nervous' -

Scolari compared Barca's devastating 'MSN' strike-force of Messi, Suarez and Neymar to his 2002 trio Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho.

"It's hard to say which attack was better," said the 67-year-old. "But Barcelona's MSN is absolutely world-class. Clearly we will have our hands full."

Scolari will hope Brazilians Paulinho, scorer of a dramatic late winner to break Mexican hearts, and Robinho, the former Real Madrid striker, can spark against a Barca side who have drawn their last three games.

"I don't need to say anything to my players to give them any extra motivation," insisted Scolari. "They've won the Chinese league, the Asian Champions League and beat Club America in our first game in Japan. That's all the motivation they need."

Evergrande captain Zheng Zhi promised that the Chinese would not be intimidated by their illustrious opponents.

"We have been looking forward to this game," said the veteran midfielder. "We just want to go out and enjoy it, and learn from it. We don't fear them and we have no reason to be nervous.

"We will put our heart and soul into it," he added. "Barcelona are a fantastic side but we will be ready. We want to go out and play to our potential and see what happens."

Argentina's River Plate were playing Japanese champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Wednesday's first semi-final in Osaka.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...