Brazil star Neymar says next year’s World Cup in Qatar could be the last match of his career.
The 29-year-old striker’s comments were made in the documentary “Neymar and the Line of Kings” produced by DAZN. An excerpt was published on the channel’s Twitter feed on Sunday.
“Man, I think this will be my last World Cup,” Neymar said. “I’m facing it like the last World Cup because I don’t know if I’ll be able to bear more football mentally or not.”
“I will do everything I can to get there well,” he said. “I will do whatever I can to win it with my country and make my biggest dream come true since childhood.” Neymar played out Brazil’s 0-0 draw in Colombia on Sunday in a World Cup qualifying match. Selçao leads the 10-team round robin competition with 28 points after 10 games. Neymar missed last week’s 3-1 win over Venezuela due to suspension.
Brazil coach Tite was asked about Neymar’s poor performance, which saw 17 passes and 30 possessions lost.
“He is an exceptional player because he plays exceptionally, he does exceptionally and not usually,” the Brazilian coach said. “He’s a special player, we know it. And he was also well marked, sometimes by two players.”
The match in Barranquilla was Neymar’s first international since a 2–0 win against Peru on 10 September, in which he converted Brazil’s crucial performance with an assist and a goal. Despite all his efforts, Neymar made it clear after the match that he was troubled by the treatment being done at home.
“I don’t know what else I need to do with this shirt to make people respect Neymar,” he said. Local media accused the striker of being out of shape in a 1-0 win in Chile in early September, prompting the striker to walk around shirtless during training to demonstrate his fitness.
Against Peru, Neymar overtook Romário as Brazil’s top goal scorer in the World Cup qualifiers with 12 goals. He is approaching Pele’s record of 77 official goals for Brazil. The Paris Saint-Germain striker has scored 69 goals for Brazil.
Neymar has played two World Cups so far. In 2014, he picked up against a back injury in the quarter-finals.
Colombia, which prevented them from playing in a shocking 7–1 semi-final loss to Germany.
In the most recent edition of the tournament, Neymar had recovered from a serious leg injury and turned in an impressive performance in Brazil’s 2–1 quarter-final loss at the hands of Belgium. He left Russia 2018 amid heavy criticism for an apparently exaggerated response to the foul.
Neymar won the 2013 Confederations Cup title with Brazil and also won a gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. He was injured before the 2019 Copa America, which Brazil won at home.