Neymar eclipses Pele, Ronaldo on World Cup debut

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Neymar celebrates his maiden World Cup goal
Sao Paulo, June 13: Brazil's media has hailed the performance of Neymar in the Selecao's 3-1 victory over Croatia in the opening World Cup match in Sao Paulo Friday.

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The 22-year-old's sparkling two-goal display at Sao Paulo's Itaquerao Stadium eclipsed the World Cup debuts of legends like Pele and Ronaldo, according to "O Globo" newspaper.

"Not even Pele, Garrincha, Zico, Romario or Ronaldo managed to score in their first game on football's biggest stage," the newspaper said.

Chelsea midfielder Oscar also drew superlatives from Brazil's sports writers.

In keeping with comparisons to the Selecao's past greats, Lancenet likened Oscar's late goal to a typical Romario strike.

"There is no doubt that Oscar has watched a lot of Romario videos," the news portal said. "A little toe-poke is all he needed to find the net."

The site added that the midfielder had rediscovered his best form after an inconsistent season for Chelsea. "He has saved it up. Today he has been brilliant."

Folha de S.Paulo football writer Juca Kfouri also alluded to Oscar's influence but had harsher words for Barcelona defender Dani Alves.

"From the feet of Oscar we saw the best moves of the match and from Daniel Alves the worst," Kfouri wrote.

He described Thiago Silva's performance as "firm and strong" while David Luiz was "a monster".

The estado de S.Paulo newspaper underlined the impact of the second-half penalty awarded to Fred, which Neymar converted to give Brazil the lead.

"In the end it finished 3-1 with some generous help from the Japanese referee (Yuichi Nishimura) who awarded a penalty that was, at the very least, dubious when the scores were tied 1-1," the newspaper said.

IANS

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