Three nights ago, Brazil took on Colombia in the much-anticipated World Cup rematch that left Neymar out of the tournament after suffering a back injury at the hands of the cafetero, Juan Zuñiga.
Subsequently, Brazil's infamous loss to Germany in the semifinals left the country in utter turmoil and completely devastated by the Maracanazo-like tragedy.
Fast-forward one year: the Brazilian national team is in the midst of the world's oldest soccer tournament with the hope of regaining some respect, they've defeated Perú in a fairly convincing 2-1 win, and they HAD the opportunity to make up for their disastrous World Cup exit.
Instead, the pentacampeão seems doomed to repeat history. But in this case, it's Neymar himself who is responsible for Brazil's likely demise.
As the Brazilian's Copa America match got underway, it became clear, almost from the get-go, that the group stage alley fight would be dirtier than a FIFA presidential election. Each team hammered the other with hard tackles, cheap dives, and a plethora of verbal insults, many of which, we can only assume, were directed at someone's mother.
As the second half came to a close, every member of the Brazil squad, especially Neymar, was visibly frustrated. The Seleção had not only failed to score, they had been unable to create a decent attack; the team simply fell apart, and, when the last whistle finally blew, so did their captain.
Immediately following the match, Neymar kicked the ball in anger directly at Colombia's Pablo Armero. Instantly, the Barça forward was surrounded by blue and yellow jerseys, and Jeison Murillo, the first to confront the Brazilian for his transgression, was met with a head-butt.
Neymar was then quickly led off the field by his teammates (and with a bit of help from Carlos Bacca, who received a two match suspension for harshly shoving the former Santos player), but, unfortunately, wasn't escorted far enough. The player reportedly waited for head referee, Enrique Osses, in the tunnel and verbally abused the Chilean.
Yesterday afternoon, it was revealed that Neymar would be punished with a 4-match suspension, consequently leaving him out of the Copa America and destroying Brazil's opportunity at redemption, and a $10,000 fine.
Regrettably, Neymar's hot temper, bad attitude, ludicrous behavior, and lack of respect for the opposition have become a staple in his rapidly growing career. Several weeks back, the quick-footed Brazilian was caught up in another scandal, in which his poor showmanship angered both the Athletic players and the Spanish media. Even FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique smited Neymar for the unnecessary, yet beautifully executed, maneuver.
As of now, the Confederación Brasileña de Futból (CBF) will appeal the match ban, but the likelihood of it being successful looks grim.
Regardless of the court's decision, the damage has been done, Brazil will almost certainly fail in securing America's top title, and the country's first captain, who should be striped of the honor for his atrocious behavior, is the only one to blame.