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Neymar ‘Cried for Five Days Straight’ After Brazil Was Knocked Out of the 2022 World Cup

Neymar is opening up about how he dealt with Brazil’s crushing exit from the 2022 Men’s World Cup.

In a new interview with the YouTuber Casimiro, the 31-year-old Brazilian soccer star said he “cried for five days straight” and considered retiring from the team.

Brazil was knocked out of the World Cup in the quarterfinals last December when the country lost in a dramatic penalty shootout to Croatia. The São Paulo-born forward had scored a go-ahead goal in extra time before Croatia roared back with a game-tying goal in the final minutes of overtime, sending the game to penalty kicks.

“I can’t tell you what went through my head,” Neymar said, according to ESPN. “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.”

Neymar said he would 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,” he explained. “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 hasn’t played for Brazil since the emotional loss, which he said left him considering retirement from the country’s national team. Since Neymar joined the Brazilian team, the country has been ousted from three straight World Cups — including an infamous 7-1 loss to Germany in 2014 during the semifinal round.

Arguably the country’s most famous modern player, Neymar first put on the famed Brazilian yellow and blue uniform in 2009 when he joined its under-17 youth team. He led Brazil’s under-23 team to a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, scoring a goal and a penalty kick in the shootout to cap off the team’s victory.

After considering retirement following the country’s disappointing exit from last year’s World Cup, Neymar said eventually “I changed my mind” and vowed to play in the next tournament come 2026.

“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,” he said. “But they will have to put up with it again. It will be good. It has to be.”

Source : People