If you area die-hard fan of Brazil Football then surely you enjoyed each and every bit of Champions League action last night. It was a night where the present and future stars of Brazil football set the stage on fire.

The beat of Samba could be heard even in Amazon when Neymar danced with the ball, Gabriel Jesus finished delicately, Philippe Coutinho sparked, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes plundered down both flanks and Felipe dished out an acrobatic celebration. When a Brazilian start to shine, they completely outshine others and that is why they are the best in business.

Without a doubt, it was the night of Samba Boys!

Neymar Jr

The prayer for the shining jewel from Brazil has always been about his fitness. The Brazilian fans know very well that if this gem remains fit and gives enough time in playing, then, he would easily be regarded as the best in the world. He has his whims and temper, but with the ball at his feet, Neymar is just an unstoppable force. The hype is always about Kylian Mbappe, but whenever Neymar played alongside the 19-year old, the Brazilian stole the show more often.

It was nothing different against  Galatasaray. He was a dominant force.

Neymar scored his first Champions League in a year and then followed it up with a sublime assist to Mbappe to add more to the tally. Paris Saint-Germain’s opener was the result of a Neymar set-up:  Played through by Neymar’s perfect through-ball, Mbappe kept his composure to pass over Muslera, presenting Icardi with a simple finish. Then Neymar was the architect of second 3 minutes later, charging forward and supplying Sarabia, who finished with a fine touch.

According to UtdArena, Neymar’s usage percent was 32%, which is the highest recorded since collecting his data for metrics, which means 37.21% of possession ended with Neymar. This indicates how involved he was in the game last night.

According to Opta, Since his Champions League debut in September 2013, Neymar has both scored and assisted in 9 different matches, only Lionel Messi (10) and Cristiano Ronaldo (11) have done so on more occasions in the competition in this time.

Neymar holds the record for most goals and assists by a Brazilian in Champions League.

Then Neymar showed that he had ended his feud with Edinson Cavani by handing the ball to him when PSG were awarded a penalty. The teammates had clashed twice on the pitch over who should take the penalty before Cavani grabbed the ball on both occasions. It triggered a lot of criticism, but with time Neymar has changed. It was a wonderful gesture, which earned praise. The boy is changing day by day.

Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes

Over the years, injuries have crippled the progress of Real Madrid. One of the most hyped players in world football, Eden Hazard came to Santiago Bernabeu with a lot of expectations, but so far he has hardly failed to make an impact. Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid have learned to rely more on young talents. Santiago Solari showed the faith and Zinedine Zidane carrying it further.

With Hazard and Gareth Bale absent on the wings, Zidane invested faith in two sublime talents from Brazil, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes.

Similar to the game at the Bernabeu, both Emmanuel Denis and Percy Tau worked well upfront to give Real Madrid’s defence tough times. Casemiro and Rafael Varane covered up very well. While in the midfield, Brugge swarmed Modric with two or three players every time he had the ball, which stifled Real Madrid’s build-up. Every time Los Blancos tried to run the ball down the flanks, the full-backs of Club Brugge stopped them. The first-half ended 0-0 and things were not easy.

In the second-half, the game burst into life. In the 53rd minute, Odrizola made an off-ball run down the flank, found expertly by Modric before crossing it to Rodrygo, who did not wait much but immediately powered a shot to beat the Brugge keeper. It was a superb left-footed volley. The deadlock had been broken.

Brugge equalized in 55th minute, but Madrid restored their lead after 64 minutes when Vinicius slotted home from close range after Rodrygo had failed to get a shot away inside a crowded penalty area. Then, Modric scripted a sumptuous finish to add a gloss to the scoreline during stoppage time.

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Certainly, the stars of Real Madrid were two Brazilian young guns. The first half might be a tough one, but in the second, they rediscovered themselves and utilized the spaces on both flanks to create threats in Brugge’s penalty area. Young Rodrygo proved yet again, how impactful he could be – he not only score goals but provides brilliant passes and assists n scoring goals. Whereas Vinicius is all about pace and skills, but one thing he lacks and which is scoring goals when the chances are there. He has scored the second goal for Los Blancos and last night’s goal should boost his confidence.

Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus has always been rated highly by Brazil national Coach Tite and Manchester City’s supremo Pep Guardiola. One cannot doubt about his talent, and has the ability to carry on the legacy of great Ronaldo O Fenomeno as number 9. But so far he has failed to live up to the expectation. Many pointed out about his lack of positional sense as a striker and too much movements in the centre after receiving the ball, which hampered his goal-scoring-intents. But Tite and Pep were never bogged down by criticism and continued to play Jesus.

After a frustrating weekend in the Derby clash, he lifted Manchester City with a sublime hat-trick despite trailing by 1-0 against Dinamo Zagreb. Also, he broke a record held by Neymar as Jesus reached 100 career goals. Jesus has scored 28 times for Palmeiras, 18 times for Brazil and 55 times for Man City and he is not done yet. Again, Jesus also became the fastest Brazilian to reach 10 goals in the Champions League. Neymar accomplished the feat at 23 years and 75 days, but Jesus overtook him by scoring his 10th goal in the Champions League at 22 years and 252 days.

A delighted Pep said, “We are incredibly delighted with Gabi. Hopefully, it can help him with his mood. He can be positive, he’s a fighter, he can help us to defend and does everything but a striker needs goals and they are important for him, for the team, for everything”.

As they say, the best is yet to come!

Philippe Coutinho

Not only for a Brazil fan but for the neutrals, the lean-patch of Philippe Coutinho did not please them at all. In Barcelona, Coutinho was treated shabbily. In fact, in this decade, Barcelona has never been a friendly place for Brazilian footballers.

Coutinho came to Bayern Munich. The starting has been scratchy and it was understandable how much damage Barcelona did to him. But Bayern is no Camp Nou – they kept on playing him to regain his rhythm and last night he delivered one of the best displays of the season against Tottenham Hotspur.

This is a Coutinho we know. This is the Coutinho we all wish to see. He was just sensational – drifted away from his markers with comical ease. Fluidity had been the hallmark of his game. He linked up with his teammates with a dash of class, scripted killer passes and thundered down shots as a Brazilian should do. He was a treat for all and one say, Coutinho is back!

Felipe

Felipe Augusto de Almeida Monteiro, more commonly known as Felipe joined Atletico Madrid on May 27, 2019 for a fee of €20 million. Felipe was called up to Brazil’s squad by then-coach Dunga for World Cup qualifier against Paraguay in March 2016, to replace suspended David Luiz. Felipe made his debut for the national team on 11 September 2018, in a 5–0 friendly win against El Salvador at FedExField in the United States. His Porto teammate Éder Militão debuted in the same game.

Felipe is a typical European-style-defender – a tough nut and perhaps this quality caught the attention of Atleti’s coach Diego Simeone. But he can score goals as well and it was evident last night against Lokomotiv Moskova.

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Kieran Trippier missed a penalty within 114 seconds of the match. Alvaro Morata had a goal ruled out and then Felipe stepped up to dash Lokomotiv’s hopes by netting the second – converted Koke’s cross with a side-foot volley at the near post. His acrobatic celebration hinted, how important this goal was for his team and himself.

Atletico Madrid advanced to Round of 16 with a 2-0 win.

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