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Report: Brazil World Cup 2014

Dazzling Neymar takes Brazil to face Chile

Cameroon's Allan Nyom, Brazil's Neymar, Brasilia national stadium
Cameroon's Allan Nyom, Brazil's Neymar, Brasilia national stadium Reuters/David Gray

Five things we learned on day 12.

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  • We’re worried about the flight out of Belo Horizonte. Shock and awe has descended on the daily review. A taxi driver managed to drive in an orderly manner. It was stunningly cool, calm and collected. We asked for his card so that he can ferry us to the airport. But it might be tempting fate.
  • Happy days are here again. Following Brazil’s 0-0 draw with Mexico in their second Group A match, there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Joy was thus unbridled when the national team swept past Cameroon 4-1 on day 11. Admittedly this was an abject Cameroon side. But you can only beat what’s in front of you. Brazil qualified top of Group A and will next play Chile. They finished second in Group B behind the Netherlands who will next play Mexico.
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  • Neymar is living up to the poster boy status. He scored twice in his first game for Brazil against Croatia, went very close during the second game against Mexico and bagged another brace against Cameroon on day 12. Are Brazil in danger of being a one trick pony? Not sure quite yet. We do know that Neymar is the key to Brazil’s hopes of winning a sixth world cup. We also know that the Barcelona forward has replaced Marcelo as the hero for a son. We’ve been urged to purchase a Neymar Brazil shirt. We could have sworn it was the sturdy defender’s shirt that was on the wish list when we left.
  • Frank Lampard is considering his international future. England midfielder Frank Lampard will skipper the side in their final Group D match against Costa Rica on day 13. Many pundits think it will be his last game for England. But the England boss Roy Hodgson says he wants 36-year-old Lampard to stay available because his experience is invaluable. Hodgson says he will play Jack Wilshere, Adam Lallana and Ross Barkley in the middle of the park. These three are seen as the future England midfield. Frank’s time is coming to an end. But to cite Mick Channon, the boy done well.
  • We’re not afraid of hailing good imagery. The daily review has never shirked in its efforts to scavenge its vast and pulsating database for a wry line. We’d even go as far as to say we’ve dug where it would have probably been wiser to have left well alone. However. Homage on day 12 goes not to the review itself. (We know. This is rare.) But to Jim. The ex-detective from Dundee in Scotland is following England around Brazil and happened to be at the same breakfast table as the daily review. A couple of stories of life in the force were relayed and mighty entertaining they were too. We especially liked the word used for felons ready to confess: burst. Excellent.

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