Neymar has revealed details of conversations he has had with various Brazil teammates on social media in the aftermath of A Seleção’s surprise exit from the Qatar 2022 World Cup at the quarter-final stage. The Paris Saint-Germain star opened the scoring against Croatia in extra-time, becoming the joint-top goalscorer in the history of the Brazilian national team alongside Pelé in the process, but his superbly-worked goal didn’t prove to be enough as the Croats netted a late equaliser and went on to prevail in a penalty shootout.
It had been suggested in the Brazilian media that the national team had been hampered by a lack of unity at the tournament, with Neymar’s public sharing of private messages on Instagram seemingly a tactic to prove that that was not the case.
Despite Neymar’s record-equalling goal, Brazil lost to Croatia in the 2022 World Cup quarter-finals. MATTHEW CHILDSREUTERS
The former Barcelona attacker first shed light on messages of consolation he had sent to PSG teammate Marquinhos and Real Madrid youngster Rodrygo, the two players who missed the penalties in the shootout which cost Brazil a place in the semi-finals.
Neymar’s message to Marquinhos
“I’m dropping by to say that I am your fan. One penalty will not change what I think about you. I am with you forever, and you know it. Love you.”
“I really wanted it all to have worked out – it’s dreadful to think that penalty was an obstacle to making our dream come true! But let’s go, we need to be strong, give it some time, and see what football has in store for us.”
“Only we know what we went through to be here, what we went through those days over there, that’s why it really hurts. It weighs heavy on us but God knows what He’s doing. If He gave me this it’s because I can deal with it and move past it.”
Neymar’s message to Rodrygo
“Brother, I’m here to tell you that you’re amazing. The only people who miss penalties are the ones who take them. I already missed a lot in my career and I learned with all of them. But I never gave up, always tried to be better and improve in every way.”
“Thanks, my idol. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sorry for everything and for delaying your dream as well. I hope you can continue with us, so we can win together.”
Neymar also reached out to central defender Thiago Silva, a veteran of several World Cups, like Neymar himself and Dani Alves.
Neymar’s message to Thiago Silva
“We’re gonna have to keep going bro, sadly that’s how it is! I really wanted to win this trophy for you. You, me and Dani [Alves] really deserved it… But God knows our purpose and He knows everything.”
Thiago Silva’s response
“Brother, it’s harder than what I originally thought. I’m not holding up well. I can’t believe we lost! Every time that I remind myself of what happened, it makes me want to cry a lot…But I will be OK.”
Will Neymar play for Brazil at the 2026 World Cup?
At 37, Silva will almost certainly have appeared at his last World Cup and Neymar, who will be 34 by the time the 2026 edition comes around in the USA, Mexico and Canada, hinted after the Croatia defeat that he could call time on his international career:
“Honestly, I do not know. I think talking now is bad because of the heat of the moment. Maybe I’m not thinking straight.
“To say that this is the end would be rushing myself, but I don’t guarantee anything either. Let’s see what happens going forward.
“I want to take this time to think about it, think about what I want for myself. I will not close the door to playing with Brazil, nor do I say 100% that I’ll come back.
“I need to think a bit more about this, about what is the right thing for me and for the national team.”
Neymar made his debut for the Brazil in the days after their elimination from the 2010 tournament and has since gone to make 124 appearances, scoring 77 times. Despite his impressive goalscoring exploits at international level, there is a risk his career will come to an end having not won a single major trophy with A Seleção.
In the three World Cups Neymar has taken part in, Brazil have been eliminated at the quarter-final stage twice and once in the semi-finals, with the winger missing the 7-1 last-four humiliation against Germany in Belo Horizonte due to injury. The South Americans did win the Copa América in 2019 but Neymar also missed that tournament due to fitness issues, which means the only international title he has won is a Confederations Cup in 2013.