Without a doubt, he is the star attraction. So when Brazil coach Dunga named Neymar in the squad to face Japan in Singapore next month, it was music to the ears of football fans in Singapore.
The striker heads a cast of star names which are set to face the Samurai Blue at the National Stadium on Oct 14.
Another familiar name in the 22-man squad is former Real Madrid and Manchester City forward Robinho, who was left out of the Selecao's World Cup squad in June. Other stars picked are Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Chelsea trio Willian, Ramires and Oscar.
Currently with Brazilian club Santos, Robinho retains his place in the side after he was first recalled for Dunga's first two games in charge of the national side - 1-0 victories over Colombia and Ecuador.
Dunga, who captained Brazil to the World Cup in 1994, took over the hot seat from Luiz Felipe Scolari last month. Scolari was sacked in July after a poor World Cup, in which the hosts were humiliated 7-1 by eventual winners Germany in the semi-final.
Since taking over, Dunga has dropped key players like full-backs Dani Alves and Marcelo while misfiring striker Fred has retired from international football.
Explaining his latest team, Dunga said yesterday: "We are just starting off. There is no point in changing everything around. We have to build a base and target continuity. We must offer the youngsters tranquillity and tap into their enthusiasm."
The Selecao will be flying in to Singapore from China, where they are scheduled to play arch-rival Argentina at the Beijing National Stadium in another friendly match on Oct 11.
Football fan Jermaine Tan, 28 cannot wait for the match. He said: "It's great that one of the world's best footballers is coming to Singapore. Neymar's a definite crowd-puller.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.sportshubtix.sg, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium box office, at all SingPost outlets or over the phone by calling 6333 5000 or 3158 7888.
This article was first published on September 18, 2014.
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