As it tends to be the case with the Brazil national football team, if Neymar plays, Neymar will grab the headlines. And when Neymar plays and Neymar scores two goals, then Neymar will definitely grab the headlines. This usually means that good performances from Chelsea's Oscar go somewhat unnoticed. Today, it means that a great performance from Chelsea's Willian will probably go mostly unnoticed. Of course, as a Chelsea fan, I may be as biased in my assessment of Mr. Positive Afro as Neymar fans at large are in their assessment of Mr. Tragic Combination of Hair and Beard. But, for me, there was no contest in who dazzled the most as Brazil nonchalantly dismantled hapless Turkey 4-0 in Tuesday's international friendly in Istanbul.
As it tends to be the case with international friendlies, neither team really gave a toss about the prospect of exhibition football in the middle of the club season, and thus, the football on offer was careless, disorganized, individualistic. Basically, some Turkish kids and some Brazilian kids showed up at the stadium for a bit of pick-up football. Unsurprisingly, stereotypically, the Brazilian kids put on a show and unlike the Turkish kids, took advantage of the many opportunities gifted to them by the porous, useless defense. Neymar and Oscar frolicked in the vast spaces behind the line and on the left flank, while Willian-lookalike (from afar) Luiz Adriano and Luiz Adriano-lookalike (from afar) Willian took care of most of the transition game. Brazil and Neymar's first came from a simple ball over the top from Fernandinho, their second (an own goal) from a simple Danilo cross from the right wing. Their third was started by Oscar: his through ball set Neymar free on the left wing, whose over-dribbling was saved by a lucky bounce and a toe-poked pass out to a wide open Willian running the right channel. The man who just the other day said he wanted to score more goals made no mistake. Later, in the second half, he combined with Neymar for Brazil's fourth, before making way for Douglas Costa with about 15 minutes to go. Oscar, provider of a few excellent corners, left the scene a few minutes earlier, while Filipe Luis, provider of a few fouls, completed the full 90, much of which he spent covering for David Luiz or watching Turkey waste chance after chance.
As it tends to be the case with FIFA-mandated international dates, there was at least one other match with Chelsea interest. But it was happening right around the same time as the Brazil show, so I could not watch Belgium dispatch Iceland by a score of 3-1. Eden Hazard played just the first half of this friendly while Thibaut Courtois played the whole game. At one point, Belgium had Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku, AND Divock Origi on the pitch at the same time. Oh international friendlies, you so crazy!