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Brazil's forward Neymar on the ground during FIFA World Cup 2018 round of 16 against Mexico at the Samara Arena

Brazil's forward Neymar on the ground during FIFA World Cup 2018 round of 16 against Mexico at the Samara Arena

The forward was fouled ten times in Brazil's opening match against Switzerland, the most a player had been fouled in a World Cup match since Alan Shearer in 1998.

Shearer echoed the sentiment of the majority of football fans, who were disappointed to see a player of Neymar's calibre constantly attempting to deceive the referee with gamesmanship.

"Lukaku can make it hard for any team because of his physique". The Brazilian public expected World Cup glory, despite what happened four years ago, and the onus was on Neymar to deliver it.

Lukaku is pleased with his contribution to Belgium's World Cup cause so far, with a prolific marksman eager to point out that he wants to offer more than just end product.

It's a move Neymar has pulled numerous times throughout the World Cup, whether for sympathy, to draw a penalty kick, or some combination of both.

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They played that match without Neymar, who had been stretchered off in the quarter-final win over Colombia with a fractured vertebrae. Exhibit A: The contender for goal of the tournament scored for France by Benjamin Pavard against Argentina.

The opportunity created by Argentina and Portugal's last-16 exits was not grasped by Neymar as he turned in a frustrating display in the 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Belgium.

Fred was left on the bench for all of Brazil's games. Belgium are a strong side on paper and play as a total unit.

Adding insult to (exaggerated) injury, Brazil was knocked out of the tournament in that game, losing 2-1 to Belgium. Like some of the others listed, the lack of a definitive Champions League campaign could act against De Bruyne in the Ballon d'Or reckoning.

He said: "I think it's a bit disrespectful of them to be confident because their record in this tournament is better than ours, they've played better teams than us and our record against them is really, really poor".

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