Neymar barged his way into the World Cup limelight with a goal, an assist and another helping of histrionics as Brazil roared into the quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over Mexico on Monday.
Yet he answered a number of questions with his display and a decisive finish early in the second half from a move that he had started himself. Now that the group phase has concluded, teams have entered the knockout phase. They are built on foundations which mean there will be no repeat of the 7-1 demolition at the hands of Germany, from that disastrous 2014 tournament on home soil. After South Korea defeated Germany in the final game of the group stage, videos went viral of the Koreans and Mexicans celebrating the elimination of Germany together.
Neymar now has 15 goals in 16 games for club and country this year, showing exactly why Tite has persisted with him in this World Cup, despite below-par performances against Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
Brazil will face Belgium or Japan - who meet in Rostov-on-Don in the day's second match (19:00 BST) - in their last-eight tie in Kazan on Friday. Willian flashes the ball across the goal and Neymar is there to slide it in from close range.
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.
Firmino has played second fiddle to Gabriel Jesus for much of the tournament, but he scored against Mexico within just minutes of entering the field. The game was done and dusted and so was Mexico's World Cup.
And while Osorio insisted the national team was still on the right path, he said the experience that Brazil's players have gained with top clubs in Europe made a difference.
The Mexico full-back appeared to press his studs against Neymar's ankle as he retrieved the ball from between the Brazilian's legs.
Who would you start for the game against Brazil: Firmino or Jesus? "We know we have players that can decide the game". With 88 minutes on the clock, the substituted Roberto Firmino cemented the lead with a fluky touch that came after Ochoa denied Neymar.
'Unfortunately it's a shame we wasted so much time for one player.
Click through the gallery above to see pictures of Neymar's play-acting against Mexico.
The breakthrough came shortly after half-time when Willian fired in a unsafe cross from the left after speeding past Ayala, with Neymar sliding in behind team-mate Gabriel Jesus to poke Brazil in front.
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