Neymar and little else

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Neymar and little else

The Brazilian team, one of the top favorites to win the World Cup in Qatar, fell against Croatia in the quarterfinals after a dramatic penalty shootout that further exacerbated the suffering of the canarinha, who has gone 20 years without winning a World Cup and there will be 24 when I get to 2026. Neymar put the world champion ahead in extra time, Petkovic tied and then Croatia won 4-2 on penalties.

Alison: He could not do anything in Petkovic’s goal, but in the penalty shootout, when his team required him the most, he did not appear. He did not stop a single penalty.

military: Another night he was imperial as a right back and he didn’t even need his best version to make a difference. Although it is true that Croatia did not demand him, his good positioning on the field and the ease he has to take duels made him shine in a very placid game for the forceful Brazilian defense. He gives the feeling of having played in that area all his life. Alex Sandró entered for him and the Croatian goal came from that flank, with Danilo on the right, orphaned by his physique.

Marquinhos: his leadership and his extraordinary game were marred by his penalty, which ended up on the post. Both in PSG and in the national team, the spectacular performance that he has given does not correspond to his record, since he has not won the Champions League or the World Cup, in which he remains in the quarterfinals this year. To top it off, he missed the penalty that consummated Brazil’s defeat.

Thiago Silva: a wall without holes another day. He is 38 years old, but the freshness with which he plays, the adequacy with which he prevails in duels and, above all, the speed with which he goes to court, take us to the 25-year-old Thiago Silva and not to the current one. With very bad luck, he deflected Petkovic’s shot in the final stretch of extra time that led to the Croatian tie.

Danilo: He was seen, in general, more nervous than normal. He was the first admonished of the match after giving Juranovic a kick in which he could even play the red card. He played as a midfielder, as always with Tite, when his team had possession, but he found a great Croatian team. With the entry of Alex Sandro, Tite relocated him to the right and Petkovic’s equalizing goal came from his side.

Casemiro: the good Croatian work in the first half practically left him without prominence. He had a hard time covering Modric and Pasalic, who continually appeared next to him when Modric went down to midfield to organize. In the second half and in overtime the pattern continued to be the same. He scored, with an extraordinary shot, his penalty in the shootout.

Lucas Paqueta: Like all the Brazilian midfield, the current West Ham player had a hard time beating the trivot Modric, Brozoviuc and Kovacic, who dominated possession of the ball in the midfield during the first 45 minutes. In the second he was somewhat better, but without a doubt his stellar moment came in extra time. In a play started by Neymar, Paquetá left him alone with a nice wall that meant the 1-0 for Tite’s men. It went from less to more, but he leaves the World Cup without the title.

raphinha: Borna Sosa was a roller for him in the first half. He couldn’t beat him once and the Croatian full-back, brilliant in duels, prevailed over the Barcelona winger. In the second half it was the first change of Tite, entering Antony in his place.

Neymar: You don’t need your best version to remain the best. When the game was destined to go to a penalty shootout, the PSG star appeared with a play by what he is, one of the best players in the world. He combined with Paquetá, launched himself with determination towards Livakovic, who had twice deprived him of the goal in the second half, dribbled it with ease and equaled Pelé, with 77 goals, as the five-time world champion’s all-time top scorer. His game was not brilliant and, to top it off, the goal was of little use, as Petkovic equalized and Croatia eliminated Brazil on penalties.

Vinicius: Juranovic was the best Croatian player, with Modric’s permission, in the first half, and it was partly due to his forcefulness in the duels against Real Madrid. He tried it with a shot after a good wall with Richarlison, but Gvardiol parried his shot. In the second half, before being replaced by Rodrygo, Livakovic made a great save in a one-on-one, although he was ruled out for offside. Very discreet, in general, the party of him.

Richarlison: Croatian dominance in the first half made him touch very few balls, although he doesn’t need many to score a goal. A wall in the area with Vinicius could have been the first Brazilian goal in the 12th minute, but Gvardiol avoided it. In the second half he left Neymar alone on two occasions, but the PSG star ran into a brilliant Livakovic. Tite put Pedro in his place in the final stretch.

Anthony: he came on for Raphinha to try to give the slow Brazilian attack more dynamism and he succeeded, generating danger with his virtuous dribbling, which seems more like a video game than current football, as well as punishing the back of Borna Sosa, who had been very reliable in the first time. He plays for the show and the public appreciates it, although he lacked decisiveness.

Rodrigo: He came on for his teammate Vinicius and was placed on the left wing, very close to Neymar. He had some inaccuracies, but his presence on the field allowed Neymar to play with greater freedom and this was seen in the PSG crack goal. He didn’t touch many balls, but he helped in defensive tasks. In the penalty shootout he missed Brazil’s first penalty.

Pedro: Surprisingly, Tite brought him in for a Richarlison who hadn’t been good throughout the game. He tried continuously, but he ran into a Gvardiol who was imperial. He did not shake his pulse when scoring his penalty, although he was insufficient in the end.

Alex Sandro: In the second half of extra time, he entered through Militao and was placed as a left back. His change was of no consequence, since Petkovic’s goal, already at the end of the second half of extra time, originated from Danilo’s band, which had passed to the right wing.

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