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Neymar unsure of international future after Brazil World Cup exit

Neymar suggested he might join coach Tite in stepping away from the national setup

Neymar has hinted that he might join Brazil coach Tite in walking away from the national side, after their FIFA World Cup exit at the hands of Croatia on Friday.

For the second time in a row Brazil’s World Cup journey ended at the quarter final stage, after a dramatic penalty shootout defeat to 2018 finalists Croatia, and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, 30, has suggested that Qatar might well have been his final attempt at achieving World Cup glory.

Neymar equaled Pele’s record of 77 international goals when he opened the scoring in extra time in Friday’s elimination fixture at the Education City Stadium just outside of Doha, before Bruno Petkovic’s late equalizer ensured the tie would be settled by spot-kick lottery.

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Marquinhos’ crucial miss in the ensuing shootout handed victory to Croatia – with Neymar, who was scheduled to take Brazil’s fifth penalty, little more than a bystander.

Speaking afterwards, Brazil coach Tite confirmed that he was ending his six-year stint in charge and said that he “goes in peace” after his team’s elimination in Qatar.

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It is a painful defeat but I go in peace. It is the end of a cycle,” he said.

I already said that a year and a half ago. I didn’t come here to win and then turn around and say I was going to stay. People who know me know that.

Neymar, though, was non-committal about his future in the famous yellow shirt.

I need to think a bit more about this, about what is the right thing for me and for the national team” he told the media following the match.

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I am not closing any doors on the national team but I am also not guaranteeing 100% that I will return.

It is an awful feeling. I think this is a worse feeling than what happened at the last World Cup,” he added, referring to Brazil’s elimination in Russia four years ago against Belgium.

It is difficult to find the words to describe this moment. We fought and I am proud of my team-mates, proud of the character they showed to step up and take penalties.”

Neymar made his debut for Brazil at the age of 18 and has gone on to win 124 caps for his country since 2010.

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December 10, 2022 at 07:04PM
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