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 remarks 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 am facing it like the last World Cup because I don’t know if I will be able to bear more football mentally or not.
“I will do everything I can to get there well,” he said.
“I will try my best to win it with my country and make my dream come true, which is my biggest dream since childhood. I hope I can achieve that.”
Neymar will play Brazil in a World Cup qualifying match on Sunday in Colombia. Selçao leads the 10-team round robin competition with 27 points after nine games.
The striker did not play in Brazil’s 3-1 win in Venezuela on Thursday because of the suspension.
The match in Barranquilla will mark Neymar’s return 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 show how fit he was.
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 suffered a back injury in the quarter-final against Colombia, which prevented him from playing in a 7–1 humiliation against Germany in the semi-final.
In the most recent edition of the tournament, Neymar had just returned from a serious leg injury and turned in an ineffective performance in Brazil’s 2–1 quarterfinal loss to Belgium. He left Russia amid heavy criticism for an apparently exaggerated reaction to the foul.
Neymar won the 2013 Confederations Cup title with Brazil. He has also won a gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. The striker was injured ahead of the 2019 Copa America, which Selçao won at home.