Star forward James Rodriguez believes facing Argentina in the quarter-finals of the Copa America football tournament presents Colombia with a great chance to raise their game.
Colombia scraped through the first phase, finishing in third position following a goalless draw with Peru.
Their placing sets up a last-eight meeting with Group B winners Argentina, to be played on Friday, and the star thinks that taking on one of the tournament favourites is a great opportunity.
“Everyone knows that they have good players, but Colombia intends to play,” James said at a press conference on Monday.
“I never want to play bad but sometimes it’s not how you want. Friday is a great match to try and make things better. We always want to win. There are still four more days to talk, but there are always things that can be improved.”
The 23-year-old is yet to show the sort of form that earned him a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid after an impressive World Cup last year.
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has also struggled to translate his club form from this season to the Copa, and while James acknowledged his ability, he feels that Colombia are up to the task.
“Messi is in another world – he is a unique player. Colombia can play against a tough team,” he added.
Colombia had a nervous wait to find out if they would feature in the quarter-finals following their draw with Peru, but Brazil’s win against Venezuela was the result they needed in order to progress.
Rodriguez revealed that waiting on the outcome of that match proved nerve-wracking.
“We wanted to go through and we knew we could get some help and that happened. Those three hours were intense, hoping that someone won,” he concluded.