Neymar celebrated his eagerly anticipated return from injury with a superb goal for Brazil in their World Cup warm-up against Croatia on Sunday.
Neymar had been sidelined for over three months after fracturing his foot while playing for Paris Saint-Germain against Marseille in Ligue 1 on February 25.
But the 26-year-old striker has made a strong recovery and handed Brazil a pre-World Cup boost when he came off the bench to replace Fernandinho for the second half at Anfield.
And Neymar showed no signs of rust as he got on the scoresheet in the 68th minute with a sublime individual effort to put Brazil ahead.
He needed just 23 minutes to prove how important he is, not only to Brazil’s hope of a sixth world title but also for the millions of fans who will watch the World Cup hoping the planet’s most expensive player can take a leading role.
Receiving a pass from Philippe Coutinho, Neymar cut into the area, beating Sime Vrsaljko and Duje Caleta-Car with impressive close control and dribbling, before burying a shot into the roof of the goal from the edge of the six-yard area.
Neymar ran behind the goal, in front of Anfield’s legendary Kop end, and punched the air in delight as he was mobbed by team-mates.
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits from Chris Kelleher)