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 depend on Neymar like Argentina depend 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.”
Brazil managed to avoid Netherlands in the round of 16 after their 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 have a lot of individual quality and are very well organised.”
Brazil’s round of 16 match against Chile will take place in Belo Horizone on June 28.