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The pain of loss to Belgium very great, says Neymar

11 Juillet 2018

Laurence Griffiths/Getty ImagesNeymar looking anguished during Brazil's World Cup quarter-finals match against Belgium.

Those were the expectations this time, too, which is why Martinez feels Belgium is playing with house money ahead of Tuesday's meeting with France in Saint Petersburg.

"My awareness, my skills, my shooting, my control in front of the goal, my actions, where I have to be on the field, scoring goals out of nowhere - that's what big players do, don't wait for the ball to come in front of you, you have to create the goal yourself", said Lukaku.

'Very happy to be part of this team, I am proud of everyone, they interrupted our dream but they did not remove it from our head nor from our hearts'.

"It is true that Neymar sometimes takes things too far, but we must remember that he gets kicked a lot", the 47-time Brazil global said.

"Well, I don't know what he's going to do, he hasn't told me", De Bruyne intimated.

However, having sealed his £52m switch from Shakhtar Donetsk to United, the midfielder endured a torrid World Cup. "It is an opportunity in our careers and we have to grab it with both hands".

Neymar played the entire 90minutes, as Belgium beat the South Americans 2-1 on Friday night.

A compelling cast of players, two attacking teams propelled by great pace and a clash between neighbours to boot.

Unfortunately for Brazil's Neymar his displays are still being talked about - though probably not in the way the world's most expensive player would have wished.

The title favourites Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Spain and Uruguay are all home and we are left with Belgium, Croatia, England and France. France have always been a footballing stronghold but as we have seen in this World Cup, reputation precedes determination.

Brazil stars arrived back home in sombre mood on Sunday as they touched down in Rio de Janeiro following their 2-1 quarter-final loss to Belgium.

But in an online poll in Globoesporte, 56% of fans rated Neymar's World Cup as unsatisfactory with just 4% believing the forward produced his best football in Russian Federation.

Excluding shootouts, France have lost just one of their last 13 games in the knockout rounds of the World Cup (W10 D2 L1).

Neymar, who scored two goals in Brazil's campaign this year, has been more in news for his play-acting in attempts to draw fouls during matches.

The goal showed that while Belgium hugely benefit from Hazard they are far from dependent on him. They are one of those teams which have evolved as the tournament progressed and have learnt from their mistakes especially after the Japan game, where they had to come back from a two-goal deficit.

"What we didn't have was global experience, the know-how of winning a World Cup, the know-how of being a footballer, how you are expected to perform in front of the world and knowing how you feel in those moments", Martinez said on Monday. I think for me they are an example for any young player who wants to play the game.

"Neymar will have to reflect on his tournament and try to understand why he is so disliked", SporTV presenter Marcelo Barreto said. This is his time to shine.

The pain of loss to Belgium very great, says Neymar