Football: Praise for Neymar abound following his dazzling performance in Brazil-Japan friendly

Brazil captain Neymar wheels away after scoring his fourth goal against Japan in their 4-0 friendly win at the National Stadium in the Singapore Sports Hub. The gripping victory has set international and social media abuzz, even the morning after the
Brazil captain Neymar wheels away after scoring his fourth goal against Japan in their 4-0 friendly win at the National Stadium in the Singapore Sports Hub. The gripping victory has set international and social media abuzz, even the morning after the match. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Brazil's gripping victory against Japan during Tuesday's friendly in Singapore has set international and social media abuzz, even the morning after the match.

Most were full of praise for Brazil captain Neymar, who is often hailed as the successor to football legend Pele.

At the young age of 22, the star striker scored all four goals of the match, taking his already prolific tally to 40 goals in 58 matches.

The Daily Mail's Chris Waugh said of the player's performance: "Brazil were good in patches, but Neymar was just sensational".

Ben Bloom from The Telegraph took his awe to the next level: "I'm off to change my middle name to Neymar, buy a Brazil kit that has Neymar's name on the back and get my hands on a Neymar haircut wig."

Many fans took to Twitter with plenty of excited hashtags for the Brazilian star:

Meanwhile, disappointed fans of Japan lamented the team's lacklustre defence, which The Guardian described as a "porous backline":

Also much talked about was the state of the new National Stadium's pitch, which, as Brazil coach Dunga put it, contained more sand than grass.

The lack of green inspired the tongue-in-cheek hashtag #YourPitchIsSoSandy ahead of the match, and more humorous tweets throughout the game.

Indeed, for Japan, the grass is now greener on the other side.

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg