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Winners & Losers

Brazil winners, losers and ratings as Neymar & team-mates stand defiant in the face of racism & laser pointers

5:49 AM SGT 28/9/22
Brazil dance Tunisia
That was a mess of a friendly match, but the Selecao handled it as well as possible.

Brazil encountered a racist fan incident, laser pointers from the stands and rash defensive challenges from Tunisia in a 5-1 victory on Tuesday at the Parc des Princes.

Fred kicked a banana hurled from the crowd off the pitch, barely acknowledging the vile act, and players continued to celebrate Richarlison's first-half goal as more objects rained down. What was meant to intimidate Brazil in another act of bigotry towards Tite's team did no such thing.

They put on another beautiful football show, danced as usual and didn't give racist spectators the satisfaction of a response.

Brazil have now won seven matches in a row, with six of those games finishing with a score margin of at least three goals. They will enter the World Cup as one of the favourites, and it appears the hate they've faced in recent weeks has only brought them closer together.

Raphinha (twice), Richarlison, Neymar and Pedro were all on the scoresheet in the victory over Tunisia, which also included a red-card challenge from Dylan Bronn on Neymar.

Dan Bernstein contributed to this report...

  • Neymar Brazil Tunisia 2022

    The Winners

    Raphinha:

    If Raphinha has been somewhat erratic for Barcelona early in the 2022-23 season, he has been filled with confidence when he wears the Brazil shirt. The right winger opened the scoring against Tunisia, demonstrating skill and great sense of placement with his header after an exquisite pass by Casemiro. Also in the first half, he turned the victory into a rout by scoring Brazil's fourth goal.

    Richarlison:

    In Brazil's recent 3-0 win against Ghana, Richarlison took a big step to place himself as the holder of the No. 9 role. Now, he has practically confirmed this status. He only played the first half, but he stole the show with a goal and assist. During the cycle of Tite's selection for the 2022 World Cup, Richarlison has scored a total of 17 goals, only behind Neymar. He's unmatched when penalties are excluded.

    Neymar:

    The No. 10 once again demonstrated his skill. He suffered from the challenges of the Tunisians and his reaction was what it should be: pressure on the referee. He stood up to opponents and continued doing what he knows best - playing football. Scorer of the third Brazilian goal in the friendly, when converting a penalty won by Casemiro, Neymar seems to be better than ever.

    Pedro:

    Despite the limited minutes on the field, Pedro showed his eye for goal by scoring Brazil's fifth. If he is on the field, he will take advantage of it. It's like that with Flamengo, it was like that against Tunisia.

    Casemiro:

    It's normal that in a rout the highlights go mostly to the forwards, but Casemiro was another great performer. The pass that turned into an assist for the first goal was like Gerson in the 1970 World Cup (with the difference that the Manchester United player usually uses his right foot, of course). The experienced midfielder also drew the penalty that resulted in Neymar's goal.

  • Fred, Brazil v Tunisia, Friendly, 27092022

    The Losers

    Fred:

    First of all, it is important to point out: a 5-1 victory, with a good performance by the team as a unit, is a triumph for all involved. But if we need to list some who were not as prominent as their companions, it is possible to mention Fred. The midfielder filled in the spaces well, but wasted some passes and shanked a shot that could have gone closer.

    Roberto Firmino:

    Firmino was called up despite his wobbly form at Liverpool, but did not leave the bench. From there, he saw other attackers demonstrate to Tite that they could be better options than him for the World Cup.

    Matheus Cunha:

    Currently in the reserves of Atletico Madrid, the striker has not scored in the last two friendlies of the Brazilian team. And this time, he didn't even come off the bench.

  • Danilo Brazil Tunisia 2022

    Brazil Ratings: Defence

    Alisson (5/10):

    Not much demanded, as was the case against Ghana, but in the second half he misjudged a ball he should have handled.

    Danilo (5/10):

    Inconsistent showing as he tries to nail down the starting right-back spot.

    Thiago Silva (6/10):

    To see Brazil conceding a goal from the air, on a set piece, is not usually a good sign for the centre-back. Still, Thiago Silva hit practically every pass he tried to help launch attacks.

    Marquinhos (6/10):

    The same assessment made about Thiago Silva can be used for Marquinhos.

    Alex Telles (6/10):

    Appeared more involved in the game than in the 3-0 over Ghana, showing Tite that he can be useful in the Qatar mission.

  • Casemiro Brazil Tunisia 2022

    Midfield

    Casemiro (8/10):

    Outstanding all over the pitch, the ex-Real Madrid star gave an exquisite assist for Raphinha's goal and drew the penalty converted by Neymar. He was decisive.

    Fred (5/10):

    Didn't make big mistakes, but he was just a little less electric than his team-mates.

  • Raphinha Brazil Tunisia 2022

    Attack

    Lucas Paqueta (7.5/10):

    In all parts of the field, Paqueta helped keep the Brazilian team's pace high.

    Neymar (7.5/10):

    Brazil's ace was hunted a lot on the field, but he didn't lose his head. He converted a penalty and was his side's main creative weapon.

    Raphinha (8.5/10):

    Scorer of two goals, one of them being a beautiful header, the striker put in his best display in a long time. And that's saying something considering how good he had already been for the Selecao.

    Richarlison (8/10):

    He practically sealed his place in the starting line-up by scoring another goal.

  • Pedro Brazil Tunisia 2022

    Subs & Manager

    Vinicius Junior (6.5/10):

    Demonstrated his ability, tried some dribbles, but lacked decisiveness.

    Pedro (7/10):

    Pedro showed the reason why people in Brazil are begging for him to make the World Cup squad. He came on in the second half and scored his first goal with the national team.

    Renan Lodi (5/10):

    Introduced in the second half, but didn't make a big splash.

    Ibanez (5/10):

    Came off the bench to replace Marquinhos. Didn't need to make an impact.

    Rodrygo (6/10):

    Entered the final stretch of the game, replacing Fred, and created a good chance with a cross into the area.

    Tite (8/10):

    The coach was able to observe more options in the assembly of the team for Qatar and is overseeing a red-hot squad.