Brazil showed muscle and acrobatics in the opening game – played their way to victory

DOHA (VG) (Brazil – Serbia 2–0) Samba football, dancing, hard long shots – and finally the famous brass kick: The great World Cup favorite does not exactly dampen expectations in Qatar.

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– It’s brilliant. It’s like a parody of Brazil in the World Cup. The post itself: Fantastic, says football analyst Michael Cox – and is probably referring to the fact that the show of power contained all the typical Brazilian “ingredients”.

After 20 years without a World Cup title, Brazil is on another golden journey. Three quarter-finals and one semi-final are not enough for the all-time winningest World Cup nation, which comes to Qatar as the big favorite in the championship.

And when Tottenham striker Richarlison put the finishing touches on it by acrobatically scoring the second goal of the evening, it was in many ways a perfect end to a Brazilian evening.

– When you get Brazil up against their best, it is one of the finest things that sport can offer. We got examples of that today. Football is in many ways an art form, but then you need players who can develop themselves. Brazil has it, says NRK expert Åge Hareide after the match.

At the same time, it could have been more. As Hareide knows, there was no shortage of entertainment from the team that is number one in the FIFA ranking. In front of an almost completely yellow and green-clad Lusail stadium, which houses 80,000 spectators, the team’s big star wanted to show off his record immediately.

Some believe this could be 30-year-old Neymar’s last chance to do what the greatest Brazilian legends have done before him: win the World Cup.

At the same time, it could have been more. As Hareide knows, there was no shortage of entertainment from the team that is number one in the FIFA ranking. In front of an almost completely yellow and green-clad Lusail stadium, which houses 80,000 spectators, the team’s big star wanted to show off his record immediately.

Some believe this could be 30-year-old Neymar’s last chance to do what the greatest Brazilian legends have done before him: win the World Cup.

Ronaldo’s World Cup chances are also coming to an end. Did you notice this detail in his celebration against Ghana?

He has no intention of letting that opportunity pass him by. After a few minutes, Serbia stopper Strahinja Pavlović ended up in the referee’s book after a failed attempt to stop Neymar.

The Brazil star continued the show when he demonstratively removed his shirt when he was held up on the touchline – before following up with a fresh effort to curl the ball straight into the goal, but Serbia’s keeper was on the scoresheet.

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In addition to samba football, Brazil is known for some iconic long shots in the World Cup context, and in a championship almost devoid of attempts at shots outside the penalty area, both Neymar and Casemiro tried their luck before half-time was reached.

They also had several nice combinations, with Vinícius’ jab and Lucas Paquetá’s heel kick being some of the highlights, but overall the much talked about ‘end product’ was lacking in the first half.

Where the big chances failed to materialize before the break, Neymar barely had time to finish tying his shoe before Brazil had a great opportunity. The DJ at the stadium had just turned off ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” when Raphinha intercepted the ball and came alone with Vanja Milinković-Savić, but the Serbian goalkeeper resisted.

However, he had no chance when Alex Sandro found his inner Roberto Carlos, but the long shot hit the metal behind the goalkeeper’s right ear.

Serbia escaped the horror, but not for long. Without touching the ball and with a nice turn of the body, Neymar danced his way into the penalty area. Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr. tried to hammer the ball into the far corner, but it was Richarlison who took the credit for putting in Brazil’s first on the rebound from Milinković-Savić.

While the first goal showed a warrior goal instinct, the second goal was pure class. Richarlison first controlled the ball with a silky smooth touch – before throwing his body around in the air in acrobatic fashion and slotting 2-0 into the horizontal.

Even after the goal, the Brazilians continued to charm. They had several good chances to score, such as when Casemiro went wide and hit the crossbar, but it ended with a comfortable victory for the Brazilian artists.

– Brazil is the best team, there is no doubt about that, says Dragan Stojković at the press conference, and adds that the team was on par with Brazil in the first half, that they are struggling with injuries and that there is “no shame in losing to Brazil”.

However, what caused Brazil coach Tite a few lines of concern among the lines of smiles was that Neymar took the count and stayed down for over a minute.

The extent is not known, but the Brazil star was at least replaced shortly afterwards.

However, after the match he joined the rest of his teammates and jumped, danced and thanked the crowd for their support, suggesting that it is unlikely to be very serious.

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