Brazil could play right into their hands.
Or so it appeared based on his over-the-top reaction. Mexico's Miguel Layun approached to grab the ball and, in the process, stood on the superstar's ankle.
Samara, Russia • Neymar flaunted his flair and his theatrics with a goal and an assist Monday to lead Brazil into the quarterfinals at the World Cup with a 2-0 victory over Mexico. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Brazil beat Mexico this morning 2-0 in a match that got physical on more than one occasion.
Lucky for us, we have at least one more match in which to witness another classic Neymar flop as Brazil takes on the victor of Monday's Belgium vs Japan match on Friday.
Philippe Coutinho's goal against Switzerland was a fantastic strike from distance, but this was Brazil's best moment of the World Cup so far, and it was borne out of Neymar's trust in his team-mates to keep the move going and return it to him at the right time.
At a post-match press conference he said, "I would like to thank all of our fans".
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Uruguay chose to change from a 442 formation to a 41212 formation, bringing Lucas Torreira into the side as a holding midfielder. Two goals in the first 23 minutes and a red card for Russian Federation a little later killed off the game early.
Momentum was with Mexico in the opening 20 minutes, with El Tri's attacking trio of Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela and Hirving Lozano particularly testing Tete's men down the flanks and forcing Brazil into retreat.
However, that team went on to win the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea just 12 months later.
Mexico took down one of those giants, stunning reigning champion Germany in its opener. Off a quick counter attack, Neymar backheeled to Willian who returned a handsome pass back to a sliding Neymar who poked the ball in for the 1-0 lead.
The Brazilians were keeping them quiet, however, by largely nullifying their counter-attacking style. "I want to congratulate the whole team", he continued.
"We know Neymar very well, we know his character and playing attitude and it is peculiar", Marquez said.
He did reveal, however, that defender Marcelo would not start the match in Samara, having not recovered fully from the back spasm he suffered in their final group game.