One thing that cannot be denied is that Brazil have not been the best team at this 2014 FIFA World Cup so far; far from it. Indeed, their quarterfinal opponents Colombia have been far superior to their more illustrious hosts over the first four games of the tournament.
The primary reason, apart from the obvious suspect defence, for that has been it has pretty much been a one-man show for Brazil going forward in this World Cup. Neymar, Neymar and then some more Neymar – the burden needs to be reduced, and time is ripe for one of the other much-vaunted forwards to raise their hands up and say "hey, I am in this team too, and I can dazzle as well."
Facing Colombia is definitely going to be Brazil's biggest test in this World Cup so far, and Neymar alone cannot inspire his team to the semifinal. Somebody else needs to step up. Enter the man who was so highly rated a couple of years ago, that almost every single team in Europe was after his signature, before a surprise move to Russia forced him to go under the radar a little bit.
Hulk is a player who divides opinion. Is he really any good? After all, he doesn't score enough goals, especially in international football – nine goals in 38 appearances is certainly not good enough for a forward, even if he plays out wide for Brazil. But then, then come those moments of wizardry and brute force which makes you stand up and take notice.
A lot of the Brazilian fans did not even know too much about Hulk when he made his debut back in 2009 and quite a little while after that as well. Impressing in Japan, Hulk moved to FC Porto, where he found his groove and started to strut his stuff. If you watch most matches of his in Porto colours, you will see why a lot of the clubs were drooling after his signature.
But then the international stage is a major step up, and the pacy, physical forward has not quite lived up to expectations. Hulk hasn't been too great either at this World Cup, but there were signs of his prowess coming to the fore in the round of 16 game against Chile.
When Neymar was finding it difficult to get into the game, with niggling injuries and extra attention (read physical fouls) getting to him, Hulk stepped up. He asked for the ball, got it quite often and made those searching, searing runs, especially from the left – one cross provided from the left was a peach, and only Jo knows just how he missed the ball completely with an open net gaping.
The big forward also scored a goal, which on another day might have gone his way. The strike was ruled out for handball, with Hulk controlling a long ball with his shoulder before slicing the ball with the outside of his left boot into the bottom corner – it wasn't the truest of finishes, but that would have mattered little.
That goal, early in the second half, would have probably taken Brazil to the quarterfinals without having to go the extra mile with extra time and that heart-attack inducing penalty shootout.
The goal would also have been a little bit of redemption for Hulk, whose mistake it was which saw Chile equaliser via Alexis Sanchez. Hulk would late also miss in the penalty shootout, which again would not prove to be as costly as it could have been.
While the 27-year-old will more often than not frustrate with his carelessness, impetuousness and "why can't he just do the small things right" quality, there is little doubt that if Hulk comes to the party against Colombia, then Brazil's chances of making it through to the semifinals increase quite a bit.
Neymar, injury worries and all, will be hoping he gets that support, not just from Hulk, but from Oscar, Fred and Fernandinho, who makes those nice little runs from midfield, as well.
Brazil's talisman will again undoubtedly get special attention from the Colombia defenders, and the hosts will require someone else to step up and score that special goal, that magical strike from distance, or a supreme finish at the tail-end of an outstanding run – the player most capable of that, after Neymar, is Hulk, and what better time to produce a "Oh man did you see that! That was unbelievable" moment than in the quarterfinals of the World Cup at home against great South American rivals in the form of their lives.