Brazil and PSG star, Neymar expects 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be his last attempt at football’s biggest prize, SurgeZirc UK can confirm.
In an interview on DAZN’s exclusive new documentary, Neymar & The Line Of Kings, the PSG forward said he is not looking forward to another World Cup after 2022, having exerted enough mental and physical energy on the game.
Neymar has carried Brazil’s hopes of reclaiming football’s biggest prize in the last two editions but has failed to edge across the finish line, with a painful semi-final defeat to Germany in 2014 and a quarterfinal exit to Belgium in 2018 encapsulating two regrettable campaigns.
With time on his side to compete in a fourth World Cup in 2026 slated to hold in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Neymar has conceded he will draw the final line when Brazil head to Qatar next December in search of a sixth silverware.
“I think it’s my last World Cup,” Neymar told DAZN.
“I see it as my last because I don’t know if I have the strength of mind to deal with football anymore.
“So I’ll do everything to turn up well, do everything to win with my country, to realise my greatest dream since I was little. And I hope I can do it.”
Neymar competed in his first World Cup on home soil in 2014. The then precocious Barcelona star, already tipped to be a future great, alongside a star-studded squad led by World Cup-winning manager, Felipe Scolari were huge favorites to win their first title since 2002 in front of their own fans in the mythical Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
Things went according to script in the group stages but the knockout phase proved increasingly difficult as Scolari’s men needed a penalty shootout and the odd goal to dispatch South American neighbours, Chile and Colombia in the R16 and quarter-final stages respectively.
The match against Colombia would be Neymar’s last participation as the forward fractured his vertebrae following a clumsy challenge from Juan Zuniga.
Coupled with suspension of veteran defender, Thiago Silva, Brazil faced off against Germany in the semi-final without two of its best players and ended up suffering a drubbing 7-1 defeat in front of home spectators.
Ahead of the 2018 World Cup held in Russia, Neymar, who had since joined French champions, Paris Saint-Germain gave Brazil nightmares following a foot injury that nearly ruled him out of Tite’s squad.
Once again Brazil crumbled to European competition as Belgium ran off 2-1 winners in a pulsating encounter. Neymar, unable to breach Thibaut Courtois’s goal on the night, managed two goals during the showpiece.
With the 2022 Qatar World Cup due to hold next December, Neymar will hope to add the coveted silverware to his Confederations Cup and Olympics Gold Medal and cement his name among all-time greats like Pele Nascimento and Ronaldo Nazario.