Neymar‘s dream, and with that a million Brazil fans’ across the globe, was crushed on Friday after the Selecaos lost to Croatia on penalties in a quarter-final clash. Neymar even hinted he may not pull on the Brazil shirt again following a painful defeat to Croatia. The 30-year-old, who gave Brazil the lead during extra time of their quarter-final in Doha with a brilliant individual effort, was distraught after Croatia triumphed on penalties. Speaking to reporters, his voice trembling with emotion, he admitted he could not “100 percent guarantee” he would be seen in the famous yellow shirt again.
After the match, Neymar penned an emotional note in which he said that the loss “psychologically destroyed” him.
“I’m psychologically destroyed. This was certainly the defeat that hurt me the most, which made me paralysed for 10 minutes and right after I fell into non-stop crying. It’s gonna hurt for a loooong time, unfortunately. We fought until the end,” Neymar wrote in the post on instagram.
“That’s what I’m proud of my teammates because there was no lack of commitment and dedication. This group deserved it, we deserved it, BRAZIL deserved it… But this was not the will of GOD! It was worth every sacrifice to feel the affection of each one from inside the field… Thank you all for your support with our national team. Unfortunately it didn’t work out… it’s gonna hurt for a long, long time. Thank you for everything my GOD, you have given me everything so I can’t complain. Just thank for watching over me All honor and glory are always for you, regardless of the circumstances.”
Neymar, who has 124 Brazil caps, will be 34 by the time the next World Cup comes around in North America in 2026. That is still younger than many leading names in Qatar, from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to Luka Modric and Olivier Giroud.
But Brazil’s brittle number 10 hinted last year that he would not appear at another World Cup, suggesting in one interview that he might not have the mental strength “to put up with even more football”.
Neymar has carried the hopes of a nation into three World Cups since his emergence as a generational talent at Santos.
He has scored eight World Cup goals but the tournament has exposed his vulnerable physique and fragile emotions.
With AFP inputs
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