Home Football ‘I cried for 5 days’, Neymar on ‘painful’ World Cup exit

‘I cried for 5 days’, Neymar on ‘painful’ World Cup exit

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Brazilian superstar, Neymar has revealed how he “cried for five days straight” after his country’s 2022 World Cup exit.

The 31-year-old also noted that he considered international retirement after their quarterfinal defeat to Croatia via penalty shootout.

The 31-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward has not played for Brazil since the quarter-final loss on December 9

In the game against Croatia, Neymar put Brazil ahead in what seemed to be the winning goal in extra time before Bruno Petrovic’s superb strike beat Alisson three minutes before regulation time.

The leveler forced the game into shootouts as Croatia went on to win 4-2 on penalties and progressed to the semi-finals.

Neymar told Youtuber Casimiro: “I can’t tell you what went through my head,” Neymar told YouTuber Casimiro. “It was the most painful defeat of my career, for sure. I cried for five straight days. It hurt me a lot that my dream had turned to nothing.

“I’d have preferred not to have scored the goal, for it to stay 0-0 and lose on penalties, rather than ‘I scored the goal, they equalized and we lost on penalties.’ It’s a pain that only the players and staff can understand.

“It was the worst moment of my life. It felt like a funeral, someone crying on one side of you, someone else crying on the other. It was horrible, a feeling I don’t want to experience that again.”

Neymar was devastated because he could not achieve his dream of winning the trophy despite featuring at three World Cups: 2014, 2018, and 2022.

In 2014, Neymar suffered a back injury and could not feature in the semi-finals as hosts Brazil were humiliated 7-1 by eventual champions Germany on home soil.

In 2018, Brazil were also defeated 2-1 by Belgium in the quarterfinals of the World Cup held in Russia before being ousted by Croatia in Qatar in 2022.

In an interview with CazeTV, Neymar said he had contemplated international retirement after the latest disappointment but was now ready to give it another try in 2026.

“After the [2022] World Cup, I honestly didn’t want to [return to the Brazil national team],” he said. “But I’ve changed my mind. Because I’m very hungry, right? I changed my mind.

“After the World Cup, I didn’t want to go through the pain of losing again. Seeing my family suffering a lot, that weighs heavily on me. But they will have to put up with it again. It will be good. It has to be.”

The Selecao of Brazil will kick off their 2026 World Cup qualifiers in September with the football federation, CBF appointing Fluminense’s Fernando Diniz as their new interim head coach on a one-year contract, just before Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti joins the side in 2024, on a long-term appointment when his contract at the Spanish club expires.

Neymar is back in pre-season training with PSG, now coached by his former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique.

The French champions will play Le Havre in a friendly on Friday before leaving for a tour of Japan that will see them face Al Nassr, Cerezo Osaka, and Inter Milan.

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