Neymar has admitted that the 2022 World Cup will probably be his last for Brazil, as he bemoaned the mental strain football has had on him in recent times.
He has played at two World Cups previously. In 2014 his tournament – which was played in his home country – was cut short by injury. As a result, he missed his side getting thrashed 7-1 by Germany in the semi-final.
Four years later he was again involved as his side crashed out in the quarter-finals to Belgium in Russia.
Neymar is widely expected to feature prominently in 2022 too, but during an interview with DAZN (via Joe) he hinted that he may step away from the international scene after this tournament.
“I think it’s my last World Cup,” the Paris Saint-Germain forward confided. “I see it as my last because I don’t know if I have the strength of mind to deal with football any more.
“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.”
Brazil look well placed to progress to the tournament, winning each of their opening nine games in qualification. They are currently eight points clear of nearest challengers Argentina, who they are yet to face after their September meeting was abandoned after Brazilian health officials stormed the field.
As well as being desperate to lift the World Cup next year, Neymar will also be targeting a Champions League triumph this campaign.
He currently forms one third of one of the best forward line’s ever assembled, alongside Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.
After stuttering to a 1-1 draw with Club Brugge on Matchday One, Neymar and co secured an impressive 2-0 victory over last year’s finalists, Manchester City.