Neymar's stunning World Cup warning in Brazil romp

Tuesday, 12 Jun, 2018

You have to go back to 1978 for the last time Brazil failed to finish top of their group at a World Cup and they are overwhelming favourites to do so again. Brazil, if not the favorite, is one of the two or three favorites to lift the World Cup trophy on July 15.

"You have to trust, you dream", Neymar told reporters. But Coutinho makes Brazil a more efficient team and certainly much more joyful to watch.

After a quiet start to the second half, Brazil doubled their lead in the 62nd minute as Neymar skillfully skipped past a defender before calmly slotting into the bottom corner.

Neymar had the "great honour" to go level with Brazil great Romario on 55 global goals in Sunday's 3-0 win over Austria, saying it allowed him to pay tribute to the former striker. "Dreaming is not forbidden".

If Tite maintains the more attacking formation, the Manchester City man will have to mind the spaces created up front but he did slot into the team more easily than perhaps even Tite might have imagined.

"Austria had quality and we knew it would not be easy".

Jesus opened the scoring nine minutes before the break when he curled in from an angle after Marcelo's shot deflected into his path.

Lindner was a spectator as Coutinho sent one of his speciality strikes thumping against the bar, while his underworked opposite number Alisson tipped behind from substitute Stefan Hierlander in the 81st minute - preserving a fifth consecutive global clean sheet before Neymar departed late on to a warm ovation.

"The game was important to us". It was the last game of preparation before the World Cup.

Barcelona midfielder Coutinho added the third goal shortly afterwards.

"France obviously have a lot of good players but I'm a bit sceptical about them in tournaments".

Brazil also face Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E in Russian Federation as they look to hit back from their shock 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil four years ago.

Neymar is now level with Romario and only behind Ronaldo (62) and Pele (77) in Brazil's all-time record scoring charts.

There was little let up after Austria captain Julian Baumgartlinger trod on his ankle in the third minute and Neymar joked the hosts' tactics at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion were more suited to mixed martial arts.