Japan 0 Brazil 4: Neymar steals the show
The stars came out to play at the National Stadium at the Sports Hub last night, but one shone brighter than all the others.
Even as the biggest names in world football -- Robinho, Kaka, Coutinho, Honda -- took turns to thrill the 51,557 fans who turned up to watch Japan's glamour international friendly against Brazil, there was one player who stole the show.
Samba superstar Neymar underlined his status as one of the world's best footballers - and Brazil's hope for the future - as he bagged all four of his team's goals in a one-sided result.
The Barcelona playmaker was simply unplayable.
From as early as the third minute, he picked the ball up in his own half and slalomed past three Japanese defenders, only for the ball to bobble away from him on the dodgy surface.
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In the 17th minute, he sent a freekick crashing off the crossbar, but made no mistake a minute later when he rounded Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima to open the scoring.
The Japanese managed to keep him quiet until the break, and threw on their own ace, AC Milan playmaker Keisuke Honda on at the start of the second 45 minutes.
But Neymar wasn't fussed by the introduction of Japan's best player.
He coolly finished for his second goal in the 48th minute, and made it a night to remember by capping his hat-trick with an easy goal off a rebound on 77 minutes.
The fourth strike -- the icing on the cake -- arrived nine minutes before the end.
As the match winded down, the National Stadium spontaneously erupted into chants of "Neymar! Neymar!" in appreciation of the show the forward had just put on.
The quadruple took Neymar's tally for his country to 40 in just 58 games, pushing him up to fifth in Brazil's all-time scorers list, just ahead of Bebeto.
The frightening thing is, Neymar's still only 22.
New Brazil coach Dunga faces a huge task in dragging the Selecao out of the doldrums following a dismal World Cup campaign in June.
But, with Neymar holding the torch, few would dare bet against the record five-time world champions climbing back to the top.