Philippe Coutinho's sorcery is of the subtle kind.
There are few Neymar-esque pyrotechnics in his armoury and few of the barrel-rolling dives in which his foil in canary yellow indulges under the slightest contact.
There is simply a level of sustained, understated excellence that has prompted Kaka, no less, to describe Coutinho as the "protagonist", the pivot, the one figure Brazil cannot afford to lose.
One might even call it a Jagger-Richards dynamic, where Neymar assumes all the front-of-house primping and preening, while Coutinho keeps the rhythm section rumbling along in the background.
That much was evident in the orchestration of Brazil's opening goal against Serbia, as Coutinho, spotting Paulinho's run from deep, threaded the pass through to his Barcelona teammate to score.
Tite, so far balancing the egos in his side, has long known the degree of Coutinho's influence and the cushioning effect it has on Neymar. Having followed Brazil's campaign in 2014, he saw how wild national expectations suffocated one so psychologically fragile.
His wife, Rosmari, cried when Germany's third goal went in en route to a 7-1 semifinal drubbing. Under his leadership, Coutinho has become the channel through which all Brazil's most creative energy flows, picking up the slack from Neymar as this delicate talent works himself back to full fitness.
Take it from Roberto Carlos, the former left-back still celebrated for his banana free-kicks, who said: "Everyone speaks about Neymar, but Coutinho is proving that he's a massive player for Brazil, too. When all the defenders focus on Neymar, he is the one who pops up and decides matches."
Nemanja Matic was the man entrusted with marshalling him for Serbia, but he had scant hope. Coutinho was every bit as slippery in thwarting his marker as he has been all tournament.
Already, his body of work in Russia is justifying admiration: a stunning strike against Switzerland, a winner against Costa Rica, and now the most visionary of assists.
Worth a combined £303 million, Neymar and Coutinho are two of the three most expensive signings in history.
Are they deserving of their staggering price tags? What cannot be denied is the verve and commitment they have shown in the cause. Has the exit of their tormentors in Belo Horizonte cleared a path to glory this time? As long as Coutinho remains at the centre of all they do, anything is possible.
- Telegraph Group Ltd