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Brazil star Neymar received treatment after Miguel Layun stood on his ankle on the sideline during Monday’s 2018 World Cup Round of 16 game. More

Brazil star Neymar received treatment after Miguel Layun stood on his ankle on the sideline during Monday’s 2018 World Cup Round of 16 game. More

After fracturing his metatarsal playing for PSG in the club season, Neymar found himself in a race to be fit for the World Cup, and while he was eventually given the green signal by the medics, it was evident in the group stage matches that the winger still lacked sharpness.

- Neymar after being widely criticised for writhing in agony on the turf, then getting on his feet and sprinting off soon afterwards, during Brazil's 2-0 win against Mexico.

Cool, well played, but at what point does this guy have to answer for his ridiculous on-field behaviour?

But before setting up the second goal it looked like Neymar's game - or even his World Cup - could be over with 20 minutes to go.

Belgium made one of the best comebacks in the tournament so far this morning, coming from two goals down in the first fifty two minutes to beat Japan, three two.

"I do not know how to stop Neymar - he is very unpredictable", Meunier admitted after setting up the late victor in a thrilling 3-2 round-of-16 victory against Japan in Rostov-on-Don on Monday.

That's why we love the World Cup right there. But not before trying to step on Layun.

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Against Mexico, Neymar burst into life after Brazil weathered early pressure from opponents determined to end a 32-year wait to reach the quarter-finals.

Their round-of-16 tie against Mexico was another object lesson in defending from the central pairing of Thiago Silva and Miranda, assisted by full backs Fagner and Filipe Luis and given an extra layer of protection by Casemiro in midfield. If we give Brazil a chance, they will take it.

"He's very agile. He's very fast", Brazil coach Tite said.

As Brazil pressed their advantage, Neymar set up Firmino for another close-range finish that sealed the 2-0 victory. On July 6, Belgium and Brazil will play in Kazan, and Uruguay and France in Nizhny Novgorod.

VAR decided against any punishment for Layun, but Neymar also escaped without seeing a yellow card for simulation that would have seen him banned for the quarter-finals.

Paulinho has had a good season with FC Barcelona, where his ability to break into the box and score key goals was important, but that doesn't make him one of the great passers in the game. "Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus and Marcelo - the whole team".

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