The ambitious government eventually wants to launch a bid for the Winter Olympics but on Saturday, the people of Kazan looked happy enough to still have a team in the World Cup, for a the few hours until the quarter-final against Croatia at least.
At the end of the day, Neymar's still a bloody popular player - the dude has nearly 99 million Instagram followers and counting.
This year's World Cup has seen Neymar up to his antics more than usual resulting in quite a lot of criticism from competing nations and whatnot.
"We know what we are capable of but Brazil are the favourites, putting us into a different role".
Now, Belgium and France are set to play a semifinal match next Tuesday. "I think we will have to savour the game and do as much as we can for our country".
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The Tottenham striker is also level with Gary Lineker's England record from the 1986 World Cup as he leads the race for the Golden Boot.
"I'm not anxious at all: I think the Spanish media is dreaming a bit. It was a natural situation, he was faster than expected because he's a great player, he resumed his work quickly".
"I believe defensively they can be taken, but the way in which you do it will have to vary". We have to defend as well as we can and then cause them pain when we have the ball.
The Samba Boys are course for their sixth World Cup title but will have to compete with the talented Belgian golden generation.
"I knew, time allows you that [recovery]". The main questions following disappointing defeats in the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 European Championship centred on the team's character.
Coach Roberto Martinez won praise for his substitutions, with both Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli scoring, the latter with practically the last kick of the match. "I'm proud of everyone", said Neymar, who hadn't spoken publicly since the team's elimination in Kazan. Brazil hasn't had the same coach for two straight World Cups since Mario Zagallo was at the helm in 1970 and 1974.