Monday, 30 June 2014

Pressure? What pressure? Neymar keeps his cool again to boost Brazil

It had the feel of a defining moment.

Of course it did: Brazil had to overcome Chile in a penalty shootout in the first knockout round. At the World Cup. A home nation's hopes in the balance.

The eyes of 200 million people were glued to television sets, in Fan Fests, living rooms and scruffy botecos. They had all been through the wringer after 120 minutes of fraught, breathless action in Belo Horizonte had failed to produce a winner. Only the width of the crossbar had prevented the underdogs winning in extra time. Luiz Felipe Scolari's face said it all: We are not enjoying this one bit.

Brazil's fifth penalty taker was Neymar. Minutes earlier he had rallied the troops, but here he was all on his own. The Seleção's best player, their only genuine craque, walked up to the spot. You could not help but fear for him.

Read this piece on Neymar's ability to cope with pressure at ESPN FC.

1 comment:

  1. The kids got big match temperament for sure! Hopefully he remains fully fit for the rest of the tournament, he didn't look 100% against Chile