Brazil got some measure of revenge over Germany in the early hours of Sunday morning as Neymar netted the winning penalty in the gold medal match in Rio.
Germany had famously humiliated the Brazilians 7-1 en route to a World Cup triumph in Brazil two years ago, a game which Neymar had missed through injury.
But the Barcelona star was on hand this time as he showed nerves of steel to step up and seal the 5-4 shootout win, thereby earning Brazil the only major title to have eluded them in their illustrious history.
The forward had given Brazil the lead in the match with a superb free kick before half-time but Germany captain Max Meyer soon equalised for Germany as he steered Jeremy Toljan’s cross home near the hour mark.
With the game going to penalties, Brazil goalkeeper Weverton crucially stopped Nils Petersen’s penalty. With the sides having netted four apiece, the stop set up Neymar for the winning spot kick. He didn’t disappoint, driving his penalty into the roof of the net to seal the victory.
‘That’s it,’ Neymar said following the win, reports ESPN. ‘We made history.’
‘I don’t have words to say anything,’ Neymar said later, sobbing. ‘I can’t describe my feelings right now.
‘I just want to thank my teammates, my friends and my family, who have been by my side during the most difficult moments,’ he added.
Neymar also announced he would be surrendering Brazil’s captaincy following the gold medal win. The forward will now return to Barcelona to link up with his club.
Photo: Neymar’s Official Twitter