The pain is great, says Neymar after SWC exit

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The pain is great, says Neymar after SWC exit

Headlines in the aftermath of the victory over Mexico focused on Neymar's theatrical reaction to challenges made on him rather than his performance, and he was powerless to stop Brazil losing 2-1 to Belgium in the last eight.

"The pain is very great because we knew we could get there, we knew we had the conditions to go further, to make history, but it was not this time". We have a relatively young team, but we've shown maturity and have been growing since the tournament started.

The core of that side remains in place in Russian Federation, where Belgium has won all four of its matches, including coming back from 2-0 down to beat Japan in the round of 16 with a thrilling counterattack in the final seconds of injury time.

"The system we've been using has been in place for two years and we've improved as individuals", Lukaku said in a prematch news conference.

Fred did not play any part in Brazil's World Cup campaign.

The Seleção plummeted out of the World Cup on Friday after falling to defeat at the hands of Belgium in the quarter final, leaving Tite to pick up the pieces as criticism over his team selection reached boiling point.

Fortunately for the Selecao, Belgium has a poor record against South American sides at the World Cup. "Now we need more energy for the semi-final".

"We know what we are capable of but Brazil are the favourites, putting us into a different role".

"Against a team like Brazil, you must attack and defend with 11 players", he said.

Pele was only 17 when he won his first World Cup in Sweden in 1958. The main questions following disappointing defeats in the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 European Championship centred on the team's character.

"It used to be in Belgian culture, and I think everyone would agree with me, we would feel defeated even before a game like this but all these players in our team, who play at clubs around the world, now believe 100 percent we can beat Brazil".

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