World Cup 2018 Review: Brazil - 3 Best Performers
Brazil are expected to win every game they dance their way into, that's just the way it is - so it's quite natural for the fans of A Selecao to look back at the 2018 World Cup with a tinge of disappointment. This is amplified by the way they'd come to Russia - unbeaten under that part-philosopher, part-father-figure Tite, and playing with a swagger the proud footballing nation hasn't seen for many a year... but it didn't quite click as they'd have expected and a fighting quarterfinal loss to Belgium was the best they could do.
Which is not to mean there were no bright spots in the campaign, here's our selection of the top 3 performers for Brazil in the 2018 World Cup
Note - This is part of a series that evaluates the three best performers of all the sides to have progressed to the knockout stages of the World Cup; an achievement that is not often given the credit it deserves. While the intent is to have an objective selection and ranking process, it's quite natural that at times subjectivity creeps in. If you disagree - vehemently, or otherwise - with the names on this list, please feel free to jot down a top 3 of your own in the comments section below
At times, it's absence that underlines just how important a member of the unit is. An oft-invisible, omnipresent, and all important figure during the World Cup run till then, it was arguably Casemiro's absence against Belgium that decided the tie.
Fernandinho had an abysmal night - one of his worst in either Brazil yellow or City sky blue - and it's entirely possible that if Casemiro had been around to patrol the Brazilian midfield as Paulinho made his forays forward, as Coutinho and Neymar danced around on the wing, then Belgium might not have made quite as much merry as they did on the night
He was excellent in the group stages - and absolutely superb against a rampant, counter-attacking Mexico before this, so there's nothing to suggest otherwise