They were too fast, too energetic, too determined, and too skilled. Too much for Spain, clearly.
Neymar, along with Brazilian teammates Fred, Hulk, Oscar, David Luiz, and keeper Julio Cesar dominated world champions Spain in a fashion not seen in many years to win the final of the 2013 Confederations Cup by a lopsided 3-0 score.
Though the match was more even in the first half (Spain, with 59% possession, was unlucky not to score), Brazil entered the tunnel with a 2-0 lead – thanks to a brilliant goal-line save by defender Luiz followed by a thunderous left-foot strike by Neymar in the 44th minute.
Things went badly sideways for the Roja after the break. Fred made it 3-0 after just two minutes; and when Sergio Ramos missed a penalty not long after, the slide gathered steam and hit bottom with a red card to Pique drawn as Neymar streaked by him with the ball.
Throughout the second half, the Brazilians gave the Spanish no time to settle and set up their famous passing game. Instead, the Brazilian midfield won ball after ball in the tackle, while the forwards gave Spain’s defence fits with speed and passing. Ramos looked lost. Xavi could not control the ball. Iniesta was ineffective. Villa was invisible.
With less than a year until World Cup, Brazil will be feeling much better about its chances, while Spain may need to re-think its dependence on an aging core of players.