The world's most expensive footballer made his long-awaited return from a foot injury as a half-time sub, and took just 24 minutes to make his impact with a dazzling run and finish to open the scoring.
Find out how all of the action unfolded on Merseyside courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute updates below.
Liverpool's Anfield home is the setting for this match, and with less than two weeks to go before the start of this summer's tournament, it is an important one for both sides. Squads must be finalised tomorrow too, so time really is running out for players to impress their managers.
Let's start with a look at the team news from Merseyside...
Well, the headline news comes from the bench, with Neymar named amongst the substitutes for Brazil. The PSG superstar is expected to feature today, which will be his first competitive outing since breaking his metatarsal in February, and all eyes will be on how that holds up.
Brazil have no shortage of star names, but many of their hopes still rest on the shoulders of the world's most expensive player, who directly contributed to 43 goals in just 28 games for PSG before his injury earlier this year.
The PSG winger is both the most experienced member of the squad and unsurprisingly the highest scorer in the squad, with Paulinho the only other player to have reached double figures for his country. His importance to the Brazil cause cannot be overstated.
This will be Coutinho's first return to Anfield since leaving for Barcelona in January, and it is a ground where he spent five very successful years. His former Liverpool teammate Roberto Firmino is also in the squad today, but he is only named on the bench just eight days after playing in the Champions League final.
Thiago Silva will captain the team from defence, while behind him rumoured Liverpool target Alisson is once again preferred to Manchester City's Ederson. City do have three players in the Brazilian starting lineup, though, with Danilo, Fernandinho and Jesus all included.
The deadline for the final World Cup squad lists is tomorrow, so you would imagine Dalic already has a pretty good idea of who will miss out from the current crop of 27, but today's game is the final chance for any of those fringe players to perhaps change his mind.
Mandzukic is unsurprisingly the highest scorer in the current Croatia squad with 30 international goals to his name, but they actually have goals throughout this team, with Perisic, Kalinic, Rakitic and Modric all having also reached double figures for their country.
Vedran Corluka is still knocking about and will win his 98th cap, while Rakitic will earn his 91st. This World Cup is perhaps the last chance for this golden generation to impress, though, as Mandzukic, Modric and Rakitic are all in their 30s now.
Lovren, who has had his issues with the national team in recent years, is named alongside Corluka in a centre-back pairing Brazil may feel they can get at this evening, although there is a lot of experience there.
The five-time champions will be particularly keen to make amends for the end to their last World Cup, when they were incredibly thrashed 7-1 by Germany in the semi-final on home soil - their heaviest ever defeat and arguably the lowest moment in the nation's proud footballing history.
The Selecao have since lost just one of their 19 matches under the manager, who immediately turned their qualifying campaign around and has restored some faith in the national team after a dark couple of years.
Indeed, heading into this match Brazil are unbeaten in their last nine outings, including four wins from their last five. The only exception in that run did come on English soil - a goalless draw with England at Wembley in November - but so far this year they have beaten the World Cup hosts and the World Cup holders - Russia and Germany - without conceding a goal.
Brazil will get their campaign underway against Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don on June 17 before facing Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E. Switzerland pushed Portugal all the way in qualifying and Costa Rica pulled off some major shocks at the last World Cup, but Brazil will fancy their chances of winning all three of those games.
After this clash with Croatia - a match designed to help them prepare for taking on Serbia - they will then face an in-form Austrian team, who are fresh off the back of beating Germany, in Vienna. That Austrian test is designed to prepare them for Switzerland.
The Selecao have conceded just five goals in their 19 games since Tite's appointment, keeping 14 clean sheets in that time and never letting in more than one goal in a single game. Just one goal has been shipped in their last six outings ahead of this one, including an ongoing run of three successive clean sheets.
That stunning form included a run of 23 successive wins before their defeat to Argentina, and England are the only other team in that time to have prevented Brazil from running out as winners in a friendly encounter.
There is no doubting the quality of some of Croatia's individuals, but this golden generation has so far failed to live up to its billing and this summer's World Cup may be their final chance. A win against Brazil in the warm-ups would certainly send out a message.
On that occasion in France 20 years ago Croatia finished in third place - helped by tournament top scorer Davor Suker - but in their three World Cup tournaments since then - 2002, 2006 and 2014 - they have fallen at the first hurdle.
It won't be easy for them in a group which also contains Nigeria and Iceland, but before the tournament they will certainly fancy their chances. Argentina only just qualified for the tournament but are favourites, Nigeria went through qualifying unbeaten but are the lowest-ranked African team, whereas Iceland impressed at Euro 2016 but are making their first appearance at a World Cup, so it really is an intriguing group.
As is the custom nowadays, they have tailored their warm-up matches to best prepare them for their opposition, with Brazil hopefully giving them a taste of Argentina today and Senegal giving them an African outing on Friday in preparation for Nigeria.
Croatia recorded a crucial 2-0 win over Ukraine on the final matchday to secure second place in the group, earning them a replay against Greece, which they duly won 4-1 on aggregate with all of the goals coming in the home first leg.
Dalic had previously spent seven years managing in the Middle East at clubs in Saudi Arabia and UAE, including leading Al-Ain to the AFC Champions League final during his time in the latter.
Since the beginning of 2017, Croatia have won six, lost six and drawn two games across all competitions, with those defeats including going down at the hands of China, Estonia, Turkey, Peru and Iceland - al of whom they would be expected to beat with the players at their disposal. Indeed, even some of the wins have been unconvincing, including just a 1-0 triumph over minnows Kosovo.
Croatia certainly have a lot of talent in their team, but everything points to a Brazil win here. Tite's side are in good form, have the pace up front which could cause problems for Croatia's ageing defence and also have the Neymar factor off the bench if things are not going as planned. I am going for a comfortable Brazilian victory.
SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Brazil 3-0 Croatia
However, they have only ever met once before in a friendly match, and on that occasion Croatia came away with a draw in what was the first ever edition of this fixture. That came in August 2005, when Niko Kranjcar and Luis Ricardinho were on the scoresheet.
Neymar was influential with two goals before Oscar killed the game off in stoppage time, although that World Cup would, of course, end in humiliation for the hosts.
Brazil's key players have a habit of stepping up against Croatia, then - at least in competitive matches - so it will be all eyes on their stars today.
BRAZIL STARTING XI: Alisson; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Paulinho, Casemiro, Fernandinho; Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Coutinho
CROATIA STARTING XI: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Corluka, Vida; Badelj, Rakitic, Modric; Perisic, Rebic, Kramaric
Croatia have been slightly the better team and have certainly created the best chances so far, so Brazil will be demanding an improvement in this second half.
Moments later Alisson was called into action for the first time following a defensive error from Miranda as Croatia continued to look the most likely to break the deadlock, while Kramaric has also missed a decent chance after good work from Perisic.
Coutinho has had a couple of long-range efforts on his return to Anfield, while Willian missed an attempted flicked shot, but they need more inspiration in this second half.
Coutinho plays the ball to the PSG winger, who dribbles into the area, cuts inside past Vrsaljko and then lashes his finish in off the underside of the crossbar to leave the goalkeeper no chance. That is his 54th goal for Brazil!
Croatia cannot be too disheartened with their performance - indeed, they were the better side in the first half - but they will now be aware of the difference between themselves and the very best, with a moment of magic from Neymar in particular the difference today.
Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's World Cup warm-up game as the returning Neymar helps fire Brazil to victory over Croatia at Anfield. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too!
From me, though, it is goodbye for now!