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FIFA World Cup 2022: High-on-spirit Brazil look to make semis

Updated on: 09 December,2022 07:35 AM IST  |  Doha
Ashwin Ferro | ashwin.ferro@mid-day.com

What could spell more bad news for Croatia is the fact that Neymar is also approaching a massive record. He has currently netted 76 goals for his country—including one in their Round-of-16 win over South Korea—which is just one shy of legendary Brazilian Pele’s tally of 77

FIFA World Cup 2022: High-on-spirit Brazil look to make semis

Brazil star striker Neymar


Brazil and their mercurial striker Neymar will look to extend their impressive World Cup run with a win over Croatia in the quarter-finals at the Education City Stadium on Friday. 


The two teams have met four times before with a draw followed by three victories for the men from Sambaland. Notably, Neymar scored twice on his World Cup debut when they met in 2014 where Brazil won 3-1. What could spell more bad news for Croatia is the fact that Neymar is also approaching a massive record. He has currently netted 76 goals for his country—including one in their Round-of-16 win over South Korea—which is just one shy of legendary Brazilian Pele’s tally of 77. 



The Brazilian players have been in high spirits throughout their 4-1 win over South Korea in the Round-of-16 where they celebrated their goals by dancing on the sidelines with their coach Tite. The veteran has promised to continue the trend despite criticism by some that it may be hurtful to opponents. “I’m sorry, but I won’t comment about people who don’t know Brazilian football history, Brazilian culture, the way each one of us is,” he responded to the critics. “This [dance] is a connection I have with the younger generation. I’m 61 and I work with players who are 21, 22 years old. They could be my grandkids. I have a connection with them and if I have to dance to connect with them, we will continue dancing,” he said at the pre-match press conference.  


Also Read: FIFA World Cup 2022: ‘This World Cup is my obsession’

Croatia meanwhile, have accepted the fact that the Brazilians are favourites here. “Let’s face it, Brazil are the favourites. They are the most powerful team at this World Cup. Their players and their quality and skills are terrifying,” said coach Zlatko Dalic, whose team beat a gritty Japan via tie-breaker following a 1-1 finish in regulation time in the Round-of-16 match recently. 

The finalists at the 2018 edition, after losing 2-4 to France in the summit clash, however insisted that his World No.12 side would play fearless football as they have nothing to lose against the World No.1 side. “We have nothing to fear. They are a great team, but I believe we can challenge them. It’s not a 50-50 battle, but we will take our chances. Now, only if this was the final,” he concluded. 

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