BRASILIA, Brazil —Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has admitted Neymar is as important to the host nation as Lionel Messi is to Argentina after he scored twice in the 4-1 win over Cameroon.
The Barcelona attacker gave Brazil the lead after 17 minutes of play when he tapped home a low cross from Luiz Gustavo and scored his fourth goal of the tournament later in the first half with a fine solo effort.
"Brazil depends on Neymar like Argentina depends on Messi," Scolari said at the post-match press conference.
"They are players who are different and can make the difference for their respective teams.
"Neymar is a point of reference to Brazil, like Messi is to Argentina."
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Brazil managed to avoid Netherlands in the round of 16 after the win over Cameroon, but Scolari ensured the press he would not be looking beyond an in-form Chile side.
"Many thought that Chile wouldn't make it out of their group, but I'm not surprised. They have a lot of quality.
"If I had had the chance to choose an opponent I would have picked another team. I would have preferred not to meet Chile.
"It is always difficult to play against South American opposition. Chile has a lot of individual quality and is very well organized."
Brazil's round of 16 match against Chile will take place in Belo Horizone on June 28.