Destiny found him Saturday, giving him a chance at glory. After a 1-1 draw with Germany, the teams were in a tense penalty kick shootout. The fifth German missed and Neymar walked the long path from midfield to just outside the area, and stood all by himself, 204 million Brazilians desperate for him to succeed.
Neymar paused, gathering his thoughts as he stuttered toward the ball, almost grinding to a halt before stroking his penalty kick high to the left of the Germany goalkeeper.
"This is one of the best things that have happened in my life," Neymar said. "That's it."
The day also brought plenty of highlights at the track and other venues around Rio. Here are a few of the most interesting stories of the next-to-last day of the Games.
You're a silver medalist-- No, you're not -- Yes! You are!
On a tremendous night of action on the track, the story surrounding Paul Chelimo was riveting.
Chelimo crossed the finish line behind Britain's Mo Farah
to take silver in the men's 5,000 meters. But when he went to do a celebratory interview with NBC's Lewis Johnson, the announcer had bad news, which caught the 25-year-old totally off guard.
He was told he had been disqualified.
Twitter users lost their minds.
"Shame on @nbc for telling Paul Chelimo on camera that he was DQ'ed. Be a freaking human being," tweeted Luke Johnson of Tennessee.
"Nooooo, NBC. I don't like that. They had Lewis Johnson tell Paul Chelimo on live TV that he'd been disqualified. He didn't know. #Rio2016," wrote reporter Dawn Rhodes.
But when Farah, who won his fourth career gold medal, stood on the podium, Chelimo was there with him, his appeal having been heard and upheld.
"That was the longest wait of my life. I've been working hard for this. It's been sweat, blood and tears," he said. "I just can't express myself right now. I'm happy because I got reinstated back."
Six is the number
Two US teams won gold medals for a sixth consecutive Olympics and the most decorated female runner in Games history earned her sixth gold.
Neither the women's basketball team nor the women's 4x400 relay has lost its final competition since 1992.
For the hoops team, there have been 49 wins in a row in Olympics competition
, including Saturday's victory over Spain.
"This put us on the map as arguably one of the best teams and we had fun doing it," four-time gold medalist Sue Bird said.
On the track the women's relay team continued its Olympics dominance that started during the 1996 Olympics.
Allyson Felix ran on the team for the most recent three wins. Saturday's gold was the sixth of her career, more than any other female runner.
"It's really special. I can look back at the things I've accomplished and be really grateful for what track and field has brought to my life," said Felix, who also has three silvers.
More silverware for Park
South Korea's Inbee Park has won her share of major titles, seven, in fact. In 2013 she was the LPGA Tour's leading money winner and player of the year.
On Saturday she added Olympics champion to her list of accomplishments.
"It feels truly unreal," she said. "I am just so happy to be standing on the highest spot on the podium. I have won many tournaments but I have never felt this before."
It was a nice win for a player who struggled this season. Especially since it pushed South Korea up the medal table.
"I think we were hoping for a 10th-place finish this Olympics and hopefully my gold medal will help us go into the top 10," Park said. Her gold lifted South Korea to eighth on the medal table, where it has nine gold medals (Its total of 21 medals is 11th best).
Gold medal roundup
Athletics, Men's 1,500 Meters -- Matt Centrowitz, United States
Athletics, Men's 4x400-meter relay -- United States
Athletics, Men's 5,000 Meters -- Mo Farah, Great Britain
Athletics, Men's Javelin -- Thomas Rohler, Germany
Athletics, Women's 4x400-Meter Relay -- United States
Athletics, Women's 800 Meters-- Caster Semenya, South Africa
Athletics, Women's High Jump -- Ruth Beitia, Spain
Badminton, Men's Singles -- Chen Long, China
Basketball, Women's -- United States
Boxing, Men's Bantamweight -- Robeisy Ramirez, Cuba
Boxing, Men's Middleweight -- Arlen Lopez, Cuba
Boxing, Women's Bantamweight -- Nicola Adams, Great Britain
Canoe Sprint, Men's Canoe Doubles 1,000 Meters -- Germany
Canoe Sprint, Men's Kayak Four 1,000 Meters -- Germany
Canoe Sprint, Men's Kayak Singles 200 Meters -- Liam Heath, Great Britain
Canoe Sprint, Women's Kayak Four 1,000 Meters -- Hungary
Cycling Mountian Bike, Women's Cross Country -- Jenny Rissveds, Sweden
Diving, Men's Platform -- Chen Aisen, China
Football, Men's -- Brazil
Golf, Women -- Park Inbee, South Korea
Modern Penthlon, Men -- Alexander Lesun, Russia
Rhythmic Gymnastics, Women's All-Around -- Margarita Mamun, Russia
Taekwondo, Men's More Than 80 kilograms -- Abdoulrazak Issoufou Alfaga, Nigeria
Taekwondo, Women's More Than 67 kilograms -- Shuyin Zheng, China
Triathlon, Women -- Gwen Jorgensen, United States
Team Handball, Women's -- France
Volleyball, Women's -- China
Water Polo, Men's -- Serbia
Wrestling, Men's Freestyle 125 kilograms -- Taha Akgul, Turkey
Wrestling, Men's Freestyle 86 kilograms -- Abdulrashid Sadulaev, Russia