‘It’ll be fine,’ he said.
‘My team-mates have got it covered,’ he said.
‘I have full faith in them,’ he said.
Poor Neymar, how wrong he was. Days after literally breaking his back to get his side to the World Cup semi-final, Brazil's fallen hero was powerless to stop the most humiliating of defeats playing out in front of a gobsmacked home crowd.
Children wept, women wailed, one man tried to eat his jersey while slumped over the stadium railing looking every bit like Bruce Banner after somebody had spilled his pint.
The Maracanazo was bad; haunting, even. But the world's a smaller place now and it was pointing and laughing on the night of July 8th as the Brazilian defence, with David Luiz running around like his hair was on fire, repeatedly waved the Germans through a brittle defence denied the suspended Thiago Silva in Belo Horizonte.
Müller, Klose, Kroos, Kroos, Khedira. pheeb-pheeb-pheeeeeb.
The final humiliation when things can't get any lower is the pity that befalls a hitherto remorseless foe. Germany spent most of the second half gently and quizically toeing the lifeless carcass of a nation's dreams, almost embarrassed for them and the part they themselves had played in their destruction.
Still, on comes a sub who's not feeling at all bad about the situation and bangs in another two - Schürrle, Schürrle.
It would be an insult to consolations to call Oscar’s 90th minute response anything of the sort.
The ghost of the Maracana was exorcised but there’s a bigger bogeyman in town now.