“Vamo, vamo, vamo,” David Luiz hollered in the tunnel. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! Brazil’s newest cult hero and temporary captain then stood in silence for a few seconds, steely-eyed, gazing out onto the pitch. A deep breath or two and then the roar.
Luiz led Brazil out onto the pitch in that familiar funereal procession. No one knew just how appropriate that slow walk would prove. As the anthem started, he raised a shirt high above his head. ‘Neymar 10’, it read. Brazil’s fallen hero, remembered as if he had passed away.
The tears may have subsided in the wake of the Chile game, but this was still an emotionally charged moment. Of course it was: this was Brazil’s biggest home game for 64 years.
But even before hindsight cast the Neymar tribute in such a damning light, the contrast between the sides was telling. While Germany lined up like a super-powered Flamengo side (what an occasion to use that shirt for the first time in the World Cup!), Brazil were again caught up in the moment.
Read the rest of this piece on Tuesday's Mineiraço on the MirrorFootball site.