The son of a Croatian player bypassed security to console Neymar in a touching moment after the Brazilian star was left in tears following another World Cup shock on Friday night.
Croatia beat the five-time champions 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out to reach the semi-finals. Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic proved the hero by saving Rodrygo's penalty, while Marquinhos was denied by the post.
After finishing 0-0 in normal time, Neymar scored high into the net late in the first half of extra time to give Brazil the lead after a sublime move, before Croatia equalised late through Bruno Petkovic.
Neymar’s memorable goal had taken him level with Pelé as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals.
He was then, somewhat bizarrely, set to take Brazil’s fifth penalty, but the decision backfired as Croatia secured a place in the last four.
With Neymar standing alongside stunned Brazilian team-mates, the young fan, believed to be the son of Tottenham player Ivan Perisic, ran over from the Croatian celebrations towards the Paris Saint-Germain player.
He was initially stopped by security on the half-way line before Neymar stepped in to shake his hand and give him a brief hug and return a smile.
In the aftermath of defeat, pundits were left miffed over Neymar being listed as Brazil’s fifth penalty taker.
Rio Ferdinand said: “Lads in the studio all speaking on how your best penalty taker can’t be left until last…he never takes a pen half the time….Neymar now left thinking what if.”
Meanwhile former Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann said: “Neymar would have been my number one penalty taker. You need him to set the tone.”
Livakovic, according to Opta, has now saved four penalties during shoot-outs, the joint-most of any goalkeeper in World Cup history.
Croatia’s late goal typified their never-say-die attitude when it comes to major competitions.
Five of Croatia's last six World Cup matches at World Cups have now gone to extra time, while Croatia have won eight of their past 10 knock-out matches.
Livakovic, clutching his man of the match award, admitted that Croatia’s mental strength, following their second shoot-out win in Qatar after success over Japan, had come to the fore.
The Croatian said: "First of all we are experienced and we are raised as fighters. We spare no efforts, we are giving our best - and that is the recipe for success."
Croatia will face Argentina in their semi-final as they attempt to go one better after their final loss to France in 2018.
Watch: Fans go wild after Neymar lookalike appears in stands