What became clear in Brazil's 2-0 victory over Mexico on Monday is that the wild side of the striker's character is going nowhere at this year's World Cup. Willian darts towards the goal and centers the ball low, finding Neymar just completing his break to send home the first goal of the game.
Update: Neymar notches the first goal of the game at the 51 minute mark.
During the group stage, Neymar was often guilty of trying to go it alone, reminiscent of the 2014 World Cup in which he represented the Selecao's sole hope of winning the tournament. It turned out to be pure histrionics. The second goal was made by Roberto Firmino, who was assisted by Neymar. "Absolutely, but Layun steps on him".
Brazil's forward Neymar (centre) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during their 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Mexico at the Samara Arena in Samara on July 2, 2018.
Tom Marshall, a reporter for ESPN who covers the Mexican team, wrote on Twitter shortly after the match that Brazil, with its "elite players at elite clubs", was "simply too much" for El Tri.
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The referee refused to buy into Neymar's exaggerated reaction and it, in a way, helped Layun escape a yellow card, let alone a sending-off.
"This is a game of men that is played with intensity and not with so much clowning".
And leading Brazil from the front, Neymar Jr dominated their Latin American neighbour quite well in the second-half.
However, with his side trailing 2-0 and seemingly crashing out of the World Cup in a huge shock, Martinez reacted just in time to save Belgium's chances of lifting the World Cup for the first time.
Brazil remain most likely to progress but their fans will be hopeful of an improvement in the fluency of their team's attacks. My players got more and more exhausted because of that situation.
"We'll always have a line-up that at very least will have five attacking players, or four attackers and two false nines such as Hector [Herrera] and we know what players we have from the midfield".
Neymar broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half when he finished off a fine team move-that he himself started-from close range. Tite came to join him. "We were maybe not very efficient and we didn't have that extra quality that they had coming to our goal".