Brazil have booked themselves a place in the Copa America final.
Brazil reach Copa America final
Entering the tournament as both favourites and last-minute hosts, Tite’s team have lived up to expectations and now have the chance to retain the trophy that they ran away with in 2019.
In the mean time, the Selecao will find out whether they will face Colombia or Argentina in the final with the latter scenario potentially giving Lionel Messi his last shot at international silverware.
However, before we get carried away with the prospect of a Messi vs Neymar final at the Maracana, let’s remind for a second and recall exactly how Brazil booked themselves a place in the climax.
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Brazil 1-0 Peru
Brazil topped their group with victories over Venezuela, Peru and Colombia, while also drawing 1-1 with Ecuador, before progressing to the semi-finals by putting Chile to the sword 1-0.
The five-time world champions were then reunited with Peru in the final four, once again keeping a clean sheet and grabbing a winner courtesy of Lucas Paquetá.
And while the Lyon ace certainly deserves credit for bagging the decider in Rio de Janeiro, make no mistake that the strike was made by Neymar and his astonishing piece of skill for the assist.
It was just one highlight in what proved to be a whole myriad of stunning Neymar moments that saw him whip out all number of skills from nutmegs, rabonas and step-overs to toy with the Peruvians.
“Fred thought if Neymar can do it then so can I”
And one clip would have you believe that none other than Manchester United midfield Fred wanted to join his compatriot on the showboat by whipping out a skill of his own in the semi-finals.
Well, the key word there is ‘wanted’ because a viral video by Twitter user @hudDESlfield showed the moment that, in their own words, “Fred thought if Neymar can do it then so can I.”
That’s because the cheekily cruel clip, which has amassed over 1,000 retweets and 3,000 ‘likes’ at the time of writing, shows Fred failing the exact skill that Neymar nailed just a few seconds earlier.
It is, of course, very much tongue-in-cheek and Fred might have been thinking of literally anything aside from Neymar, but you can check out why the video has become so popular down below:
Fred deserving of credit
To be fair, Fred, it’s easy to look average at skills when you share a pitch with arguably the most technically-gifted footballer on the planet.
And besides, Fred has proven a lot of his doubters wrong through an impressive Copa America campaign, demonstrating that you don’t need to play ‘like a Brazilian’ to be a top Brazilian player.
Many of the comments about Fred both on the viral video and on social media generally seem to make a point of how the United star’s playing style is somehow incongruous with his nationality.
And while that statement might appear to carry weight when you see Fred botching a back-heel, we’re inclined to think that the comments should, in fact, be taken as a compliment.
After all, there are countless examples of where standing out and offering something different is nothing but a good thing, so power to you, Fred. Maybe just leave the skills to Neymar, though.