Neymar ridiculed for his World Cup theatrics

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But the midfielder did not play a single minute of his nation's campaign which ended on Friday evening following a 2-1 defeat to Belgium in the quarter-final.

Adding insult to (exaggerated) injury, Brazil was knocked out of the tournament in that game, losing 2-1 to Belgium.

The overachieving hosts, the lowest ranked team in the tournament at No. 70, were trying to make it to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since the Soviet Union finished fourth at the 1966 tournament in England.

Brazil superstar, Neymar Jr., has admitted that their quarter-final exit at the 2018 World Cup, "is the saddest moment of my career".

As disheartening as the loss is for Brazil, Neymar and Co. are in good company, in a manner of speaking.

Already the only continent to win three World Cups in a row, Europe is now guaranteed to extend that to four in the July 15 final in Moscow.

To watch Brazil play in the World Cup is to see Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, known simply as Neymar, writhe around on the ground a lot.

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I'd lean towards Belgium - they're [2.2] to qualify - if picking a victor but I'm happier to invest in goals both overall and individually.

Another indication of the winds of change: Among those taking their place is Belgium, which has never won the title but looks capable of doing so after reaching the semis for only the second time. This Belgium team have also scored their 14th goal, now a record for most goals by Belgium at a World Cup, beating the 12 scored in 1986.

Italy, France, Germany and Portugal were the semi-finalists at the 2006 World Cup, the last time this had happened. Belgium thrashed the cup favourites Brazil, which had the likes of Neymar and Coutinho. I think the Belgian footballer is quite unique - technically-gifted player with an incredible footballing brain.

With an epic comeback in the last 16 against Japan, fighting back from 2-0 down and scoring a sensational victor in the dying seconds, the Red Devils not only broke Japanese hearts but put to bed doubts about the team's character. We're all old enough to know what we're doing.

'In general and physical terms, the team flew.

Belgium managed just 0.54 xG against Brazil, with an own goal and a clinical finish from Kevin De Bruyne (5%) sending them through.

"It is still hard for us to understand what happened and where we made a mistake".

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