BRAZILIANS over in Santos are known to wear plastic masks of Neymar's face so their hero's trip to England has been a bit of an eye-opener for the world's latest footballing sensation.
With more than 40,000 supporters inside St James' Park to witness the favourites for Olympic gold narrowly overcome Honduras, the reception the 20-year-old got has caused something of a stir in his homeland.
By Premier League standards the level of jeers he received was nothing compared to those often dished out to a former player making a return or someone of Joey Barton's ilk. However, the boos which greeted many of his touches in a yellow shirt is clearly something relatively new for Neymar to experience.
Neymar said: “I'm always prepared for anything. The only time I fell was when the Honduras player fouled me and got sent off. I will not let the criticism affect me.”
This was not at the height of an encounter against South American rivals Argentina, nor was it against England on English soil. Supporters had merely turned up to watch him showcase his skills.
Occasionally he delivered. Not only did he confidently convert a second half penalty in a victory which set up a semi-final date with South Korea, he also showed flashes of the creative talent which has the likes of Barcelona purring.
But a growing reputation for theatrics, like those which earned him similar boos when he appeared at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium in a friendly last month, is also making him the pantomime villain.
“Possibly the reaction of the crowd was connected with the potential of a Team GB semi-final too,” said Brazil coach Mano Menezes, now knowing such a prospect has disappeared because of Korea's penalty shoot-out success over Stuart Pearce's squad.
“The booing of Neymar is to do with the cultural values of the British crowd and what they expect on a pitch. Neymar needs to learn how to deal with this. The booing is normal.”
The Neymar factor undoubtedly added to a good atmosphere at St James' Park, where underdogs Honduras ensured Tyneside's final taste of live Olympics action was an enjoyable one.
After shocking Spain in the group stages at the same venue, the Hondurans came close to repeating the trick by taking the lead twice.
Brazil's defence struggled to cope with the Kansas City Wizards playmaker Roger Espinoza. He helped to create Mario Martinez's 12th minute and struck one himself shortly after half-time, either side of Leandro Damiao's equaliser.
By the time the long-haired Espinoza, who will have caught the eye of Premier League clubs with his displays, had put Honduras ahead with a neat finish they had already been reduced to ten men.
Right-midfielder Wilmer Crisanto's double booking inside two minutes, including a reckless trip on Neymar, only acted to make the task more difficult for the Hondurans, who also lost Espinoza to a second yellow card in the dying seconds.
But to their credit they were never out-classed. Only when Neymar's penalty, after Leandro was floored by Jose Velasquez, was converted did Brazil look more comfortable.
And on the hour, after Chelsea new-boy Oscar and Neymar's incisive movement forward, Internacional striker Leandro turned marker Johnny Leveron before dispatching his shot beyond goalkeeper Jose Mendoza.
The defeat brought an end to Honduras' charge for a medal and coach Luis Fernando Suarez said: “The underdog is always favoured by the neutral fan base so we probably had the crowd behind us. It's just a shame we couldn't see it through, but I'm pleased with the progress this team has made.”
BRAZIL (4-1-2-3-1): Gabriel; Rafael, Thaigo, Jesus, Marcelo; Sandro (Danilo 42); Oscar, Romulo; Hulk (Lucas 67), Leandro Damiao (Pato 85), Neymar. Subs (not used): Bruno, Ganso, Neto (gk).
HONDURAS (4-1-4-1): Mendoza; A Peralta, Velasquez, Leveron, Figueroa; Garrido (Lopez 73); Crisanto, Espinoza, O Peralta (Meija 59); Martinez; Bengston (Lozano  87). Subs (not used): Colon, Hernandez, Najar, Reyes (gk).
Attendance: 42, 166