After Russia 2018 was shorn of two of its greatest stars on Saturday, Neymar ensured he would not be joining the exodus of headline talent by dragging Brazil through to the quarter-finals two days later.
Following a World Cup weekend which saw Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo bow out of the competition within a few hours of each other, the Selecao’s talisman avoided befalling the same fate by scoring one and assisting the other in Monday’s 2-0 win over Mexico in Samara.
Neymar’s goal was his sixth in World Cups, from his 38th shot. By comparison, Messi needed 67 efforts to reach that tally while Ronaldo required 74.
According to Livescore, the world’s most expensive player and arguably the only man who has a realistic chance of challenging Messi and Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or dominance, Neymar must expect more than his fair share of examination and condemnation.
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