Brazil's Neymar says World Cup defeat is 'saddest moment of my career'

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Belgium's "golden generation" finally delivered a big scalp on the global stage in a thrilling 2-1 win over Brazil in the last eight to erase memories of disappointing quarter-final exits to Argentina four years ago and at Euro 2016 to surprise package Wales. Have a look at how many times we discussed the worldwide press taking aim at him. Already the only continent to win three World Cups in a row, Europe is now guaranteed to extend that to four in the July 15 final in Moscow.

Both were on the same pitch last Friday, when Belgium beat Brazil 2-1, but the difference between their contributions was strikingly evident.

Beaten finalists at Euro 2016 on home soil, France will aim to go one better in Russian Federation and emulate the successful squad of 1998 which included Didier Deschamps, who could emulate Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer by winning the World Cup as both a player and manager.

The forward, who became the world's most expensive player when he left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain past year for 222 million euros ($264 million), will be 30 by the time the next World Cup comes around in Qatar in 2022.

But it is now Belgium's Eden Hazard who is making the strongest bid for that crown.

"We've strived to be as good as we could be at global level and it's taken us two years to get there".

The 25-year-old picked up an ankle injury in training prior to the tournament.


But here, when Belgium was facing a similar upset, trailing Japan in the last 16, it was his magical twist and turn and then pin-point cross that created Marouane Fellaini's headed equalizer.

The player also confessed the French man has helped him improve all aspects of his game.

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.

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. "I can't answer that question right now". "Very happy to be part of this team, I am proud of all".

When the tournament began, not many people predicted a final four consisting of France (No. 7 in Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings), Belgium (No. 3), England (No. 12) and Croatia (No. 20). On this occasion at least, Brazil could not overwhelm a team through the quality of its individuals, though it did come close.

The coach has great support among fans back home despite the loss, and reports say the soccer federation wants him to stay for another World Cup cycle.

It's without a doubt the best opportunity for Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard to win a major global trophy.

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