'Best in the world' Neymar makes dream World Cup debut

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Neymar's reaction after scoring his maiden World Cup goal
Sao Paulo, June 13: He is one of the stars to watch out for, at the FIFA World Cup 2014. And he lived upto the expectations of the home crowd and the millions of his fans across the globe. Young Neymar did not disappoint in the tournament opener as he showed no signs of nerves in his World Cup debut.

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The 22-year-old Neymar found the net twice in Brazil's 3-1 victory over Croatia in a Group A game as the World Cup opened in the land of Samba.

Neymar is carrying the hopes of a nation and he received loud cheers from the sea of yellow that swept the stadium.

In his World Cup debut, Neymar took only 29 minutes to get his name on the scoresheet. This came after his team-mate Marcelo had blundered in putting the ball in his own net in the 11th minute.

Much to the delight of the Brazilians, Neymar first cancelled out the own-goal and put the home team ahead in the 71st minute with a controversial spot-kick. He played for 88 minutes before being substituted with Ramires. As he walked out, the fans were on their feet, applauding the youngster. The only blemish in the game was his yellow card.

The Barcelona forward had won the "Goden Boot" at last year's Confederations Cup at home and is now on a mission to land the same honour at the biggest stage.

He has begun on a bright note and needs to carry on if Brazil have to secure their 6th Jules Rimet Trophy.

For his two-goal effort on Thursday, he won the Man-of-the-match award. And he did not hide his joy at scoring twice.

"I'm very, very happy to score two goals to help the team win the match. I'm happy that we react strongly to turn the match around. We have a strong squad. If we don't play connected we wouldn't win the match," Neymar said.

Brazil coach Luiz Scolari, watching Neymar's play from the bench, declared his ward is the best in the world.

"Neymar has great quality, and he has a lot of pressure. Today he scored two goals. All we want is Neymar to be happy playing," said Scolari.

"He plays for the team and we also play for him. He doesn't need anyone to tell him he is the best in the world. He just need to continue playing for the team, for Brazil," he added.

Before the start of the World Cup, Scolari had said this, "The star player will be the champion because if you're the star player and don't win the World Cup, it doesn't make sense." The coach clearly wanting Neymar to excel and deliver the World Cup to the country.

Neymar has started well in his maiden World Cup appearance. Now for him to keep moving in the right direction till July 13.

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