Emerging World Cup Golden Ball and Golden Boot front-runner Neymar, 22, of Brazil, put in a man of the match display against Cameroon in his country's final Group A match to not only secure maximum points but top spot of the group and a seemingly easier Round of 16 clash against the runners-up in Group B - Chile, rather than Netherlands, who finished above the South Americans.
Whilst Brazil may have glaring flaws at the back, including a confusion over marking and positioning, their attacking spirit - when on point - is amongst the best in the world. Neymar scored twice against Cameroon, the first of which occured in the first half when the "poster boy" expertly finished Luiz Gustavo's low cross from the left.
Over the tournament as a whole, Neymar averages 63 touches on the football per match, with a passing accuracy (82%) that is high for a striker in a forward position where he is more likely to be put under pressure than deeper lying midfielders or defenders. Interestingly, 25% of his pass attempts were toward goal, but he is yet to return a direct assist despite creating two chances per game.
On the ball, he is deadly when it comes to taking a man on - with over 6 dribbles completed per appearance. He also has a high shooting accuracy and is currently the World Cup's top goalscorer, with four goals to his name.
British football industry professionals have waxed lyrical over his most recent work, against Cameroon, with BBC Match of the Day anchor Gary Lineker exclaiming: "That kind of finishing [for the first goal] by Neymar is to be encouraged. Makes everybody here frightfully happy. Neymar has been marvelous again. I love his energy, skill and bottle!"
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Former Liverpool academy product and England international Michael Owen concurred: "The first goal from Neymar is a proper finish! Made it look easier than it was."
Former Manchester United defensive mainstay Rio Ferdinand, 35, reportedly on the cusp of a transfer to QPR, also talked up the player.
"Neymar is producing. He looks so much more dangerous in a Brazil shirt than Barcelona's… and under more pressure than any other at the World Cup - wow! He's 22-years-old, with 53 international games, 35 goals and 20 assists - that's illegal! He deals with pressure like a boss."
That kind of finishing by Neymar is to be encouraged. Makes everybody here frightfully happy!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 23, 2014
Neymar has been marvellous again. Love his energy, skill and bottle!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 23, 2014
That first goal from Neymar is proper finish! Made it look so much easier than it was.— michael owen (@themichaelowen) June 23, 2014
Neymar is producing...looks so much more dangerous in a Brazil shirt than Barca's....and under more pressure than any other at WC2014...wow— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) June 23, 2014
Neymar: 22yrs old, 53 games, 35 goals, 20 assists....that's illegal!! Dealing with pressure like a boss.— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) June 23, 2014