Neymar shines for Brazil

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They should easily top the group and overcome Mexico in the round of 16. With pinpoint precision he curved the ball from the corner flag into an empty net.

Federation Internationale de Football Association 2018 World Cup: How does Brazil line-up?

The Paris St Germain forward scored his 55th global goal during the 3-0 win over Austria on Sunday to go level with Romario and sit joint-third in Brazil's all-time scoring charts. Neymar's levity in movement and gaiety in the game befitted Brazil's talisman.

"I'm not anxious. In 2014 and 2010 we also lost in March", Loew said. Neymar's strike had Brazil's coach raving.

"Me neither", Ronaldo says. "His technical and creative capacity is impressive. When we spring him into action in the last third of the field, he is lethal".

That opportunity, it seems, falls squarely at Neymar's feet.

Also, Brazil is playing for redemption. Austria and, at times, Croatia pressed Brazil high up the pitch to no avail.


The foursome, starting together for the first time, worked superbly to break down an Austria side who had beaten world champions Germany only a week earlier.

Born into a family of modest means in Brazil's temperate south, Tite was first spotted by another future Brazil coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, on whose recommendation the youngster won a professional contract with Caxias. Tite has a system, and has drilled it into his players' minds. You have to play with speed and compactness.

Brazil, who crashed out of the last World Cup on home soil in a humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany, start their campaign against Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don on Sunday. The Austrians have geographic proximity to Switzerland, but their game style is different.

"You can talk, you're Brazilian and you can dream; we're dreaming more and more". Chelsea's Willian and Juventus' Douglas Costa are also on hand. Brazil understand that the best European teams pose a challenge in controlling possession. In the likes of Neymar, Jesus, Coutinho and Willian, Brazil are a formidable attacking unit. In that moment, Brazil's light was extinguished. The choice boils down to the role Tite envisages for Coutinho, that of a support striker or midfielder? They are the only side to win World Cups in four continents, but the last time they won in Europe was back in 1958 in Sweden. "The talent is always there in Brazil, but now Tite and his coaches have put it all together in the right way", Guardiola said previous year. In 2014, he took a sabbatical and recalibrated the blueprint of his side, fine-tuning the attacking department by overloading the midfield to dominate games.

Brazil will hope Neymar can carry the hopes of the nation.

The Selecao star insists the five-time champions are dreaming again of winning the World Cup in Russian Federation after cruising past Austria 3-0 in their final hit-out ahead of the tournament. They had a good run in the qualifiers too, and the team has finally started to play the attacking brand of football like teams from their glorious past.

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