Pitch-perfect Neymar show

Pitch-perfect Neymar show
Brazil's Neymar beating Japan's goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima (middle) and Gotoku Sakai to score his first goal at the International Friendly match between Japan and Brazil at the National Stadium on 14 October 2014.

When Brazil were stunningly thrashed 1-7 by Germany during the World Cup in July, many declared that samba football was dead.

Last night, the 51,577-strong crowd at Singapore's National Stadium might just have witnessed what could be the resurrection of that romantic, irresistible brand of attacking football.

There were flashes of brilliance from the likes of Oscar, Everton Ribeiro, Kaka and Robinho, but the essence of samba football - the daring, the cheekiness and the creativity - came from only one man.

"Neymar, Neymar," the Kallang faithful chanted, long into the night.

There was much to applaud. The shining, glittering skills that radiated from his orange and crimson boots; the haircut, almost as extravagant as his step-overs; the proof that the cracked vertebrae suffered during the World Cup has all but healed, as the 22-year-old carried his team by scoring every goal in the 4-0 friendly win over Japan.

That masterful display of marksmanship left Brazil coach Dunga gushing: "Neymar was great, and we know that. What we can do as a team is to make him even better in the future.

"The way we won showed the players are playing the right way. Even after battling jet lag, they showed a fight for their place."

The Man of the Match by some distance, Neymar netted the first in the 18th minute when he collected Diego Tardelli's through ball, calmly rounded Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and booted home into the top of the net.

Three minutes after the break, he showed perfect anticipation to collect Oscar's pass before slotting in his second.

In the 77th minute, Kawashima spilled Philippe Coutinho's stinging shot and the Barcelona striker swooped yet again to tap in with his left foot.

And with nine minutes to go, he went airborne to nod in Kaka's cross from the left, to not only score four international goals in one match for the first time, but also dispatching them with his head and both feet.

Those goals tallied 40 in 58 international appearances for the young forward.

Neymar liberally dished out skills worthy of being gushed over repeatedly on YouTube - the step-overs, drag-backs and even turning his marker inside out with a Cruyff Turn.

Brazil's victory made it four straight wins without conceding a goal in Dunga's second spell in charge of the Selecao, after wins over Argentina (2-0), Ecuador and Colombia (both 1-0).

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