12.08.2016 17:33 h

Neymar renews bruising Colombia rivalry as Euro giants clash

Brazil superstar Neymar renews his bruising rivalry with Colombia in Saturday's Olympic Games quarter-finals while Germany face Portugal in a clash of world and European champions.

Neymar again failed to find the net as Brazil staved off a humiliating early exit on home soil, but was the creator in chief as Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa struck twice in a 4-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday to kickstart a hitherto stuttering campaign for a first football gold.

Relief was the buzzword for a Brazilian squad booed off in their opening two 0-0 draws with Iraq and South Africa and seeking to heal the pride of the national team just two years after being thrashed 7-1 at their own World Cup by Germany.

"The criticism did us good. We had to make the most of it to turn the situation around," said Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos.

"We have achieved our objective by playing collectively, which is what we lacked, but playing like this we can go even further."

The question for coach Rogerio Micale will be who to leave out as midfielder Thiago Maia returns from suspension for a much tougher test posed by Colombia who were unbeaten in their three group games

Micale used a daring 4-2-4 formation against the Danes, but one of Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus or Luan -- both of whom scored on Wednesday -- is likely to be sacrificed for Maia.

Colombia will also have the World Cup from two years ago on their minds as an impressive run to the quarter-finals was ended by Brazil in a brutal clash in Fortaleza.

The rough treatment dished out by both sides ended Neymar's World Cup as he was stretchered off with two broken vertebrae in his back.

And Colombia's star at the Games, playmaker Teo Gutierrez said his side will be up for the fight again to "leave their names in the history of Colombian football."

The winners in Sao Paulo will move on to face South Korea or Honduras, who meet in Belo Horizonte.

The tantalising prospect of Brazil facing Germany once more with a gold medal on the line is in play, but first the world champions have to negotiate their way past a Portugal side still riding the wave of their senior side's success at Euro 2016.

Many of the Portuguese players that smashed Germany 5-0 in last year's European under-21 championship semi-finals went onto star in France last month, whilst others have shone in Brazil.

Porto's Goncalo Paciencia has scored in all three Games as Portugal dumped out Argentina on their way to the last eight and believes a summer of unparallelled success shouldn't come as a surprise.

"It's only a surprise to people on the outside. We've always known that we have a quality side," he told FIFA.com.

"It's another example of the excellent work Portugal have been doing. If a lot of these players are unknowns, then it's because there's so much quality around and they've had to wait a long time to get their chance."

Arsenal's Serge Gnabry has been revitalised at the Games after a stagnant couple of years with five goals to lead the scoring charts alongside German teammate Nils Petersen.

Gnabry was part of the German team thrashed by Portugal last year, but played down the importance of revenge.

"We played with a completely different team last year, just like Portugal did," he said.

A semi-final clash against Nigeria or Denmark is the prize for the winners in Brasilia.