Finally on Saturday night in Rio, Brazil cheered the loudest since 2014. Neymar stood there in the ground content that he brought his nation the coveted Gold in a game which flows in the blood of every Brazilian. He was not there when Germany humiliated Brazil in the latter’s own home at the football World Cup 7-1, but Neymar was here in this match against the Germans. And he gave what was missing in Brazil’s glittering football trophy rack – an Olympic Gold.
The match was tight and ended in a penalty shootout with forward Neymar scoring the winning goal to end Brazil’s campaign.
His team won the match 5-4 before thousands at the Maracana stadium. No Brazilian watching the game would forget the 24-year-old star picking up the ball and kissing it before calmly sending it into the top corner of the goal post.
Whatever happened later was pure jubilation.
Neymar of Brazil (3rd L) and teammates pose with their gold medals during the medal ceremony. Leonhard Foeger, Reuters
Neymar, the Brazilian skipper, had given the lead to his team with a free kick in the 27th minute of the game. German skipper Maximilian Meyer equalised just before the hour to force the extra period. Neymar, who was quite emotional after this memorable victory, said he did not have words to describe his feeling. He just expressed gratitude to his teammates, family, and friends who were there by his team during the most difficult moments. Brazil coach Rogerio Micale said that the victory has restored their self-esteem.