Brazil are confounding. On the pitch, they are probably the most balanced side in the competition, and showed a reasonable level of resilience in finally breaking down Costa Rica yesterday. That said, off the field, you feel they are rickety to the point of collapse if someone so much as looks at them with enough intensity.
Their delicate temperament is largely attributable to Neymar Ltd, who wept at the end of an absurd performance in which he dived for a penalty that was first awarded and then revoked, repeatedly told the referee to "fuck off" while at one point warning him not to touch him and got booked for petulantly throwing the ball away before eventually scoring to wrap the game up.
Neymar did not just reserve his tetchiness for the referee, as Thiago Silva has revealed to Globo Sport in Brazil. Before Phil Coutinho broke the deadlock, Neymar lashed Thiago Silva for giving the ball back to Costa Rica out of sportsmanship.
Silva said that Neymar's insult "saddened " him.
I was saddened by his behaviour. By the time I returned the ball, he insulted me. But I think I was right, because they were trying to save time.
I returned the ball because it was not this ball that was going to win us the game.
I am serene about this and I was sad about his behaviour towards me.
There are no signs that team spirit has caved in just yet, but the fissures are beginning to appear.