Brazil take on Costa Rica on Friday needing a win to avoid equaling their worst ever World Cup run, but the focus of their concern is once again not on the team but on one individual - Neymar.
The Paris St Germain player loves the limelight but the attention ahead of Friday’s game in St Petersburg has come for all the wrong reasons.
Neymar was criticized for his performance in Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their opener last weekend.
He was hunted down mercilessly by the Swiss, drawing 10 of Brazil’s 19 fouls, as many as some entire teams.
But he was also below par and showed little sign of the form that made him the world’s most expensive footballer when Paris St Germain signed him from Barcelona last August.
Worse, many fans thought he was playing for himself rather than his country.
“Whenever the ball came to him he slowed the game down, irrespective of whether it was the right thing to do or not,” former France defender Marcel Desailly wrote in The Guardian.