(Reuters) – Colombia coach Nestor Lorenzo is looking forward to his side’s Copa America opener against Paraguay on Monday and insists he does not like being labelled one of the favourites to claim the continental showpiece.

Lorenzo, who was keen to avoid being tipped as one of the heavy weights, said there is a lot of expectation surrounding his team, given their 23-match unbeaten run.

“We are taking it one game at a time and not thinking about the unbeaten record. The processes are different, comparisons are disgusting,” the coach told a press conference on Sunday.

“I hope we bring joy to the people, we see them excited, that motivates us. It makes us happy to know that we are transmitting something good from the pitch,” he added.

Lorenzo, who took over as Colombia boss in July 2022, has been at his best in the build-up to the tournament, leading his side to a 5-1 victory over the United States and a 3-0 win over Bolivia earlier this month.

But with Colombia also facing Brazil and Costa Rica in Group D, he said there was no guarantee of going further in the competition and that the key was to focus on each game.

“It’s not that we’re not excited – we are. It’s just that the favourites almost never win. We’re not going to get carried away, we’re going to take it game by game, ball by ball, and that’s how you win.

“We’re going to try to attack, to be protagonists, even if our opponents sometimes don’t let us. Hopefully we’ll be able to turn ourselves into a versatile team that can be in the game when we’re not dominating,” he added.

(Reporting by Angelica Medina in Mexico City; Editing by Sonali Paul)

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