St Petersburg: Neymar rounded on his critics and defended his emotional reaction while scoring in Brazil’s 2-0 World Cup win over Costa Rica after he broke down in tears at the final whistle.
“Not everyone knows what I went through to get here,” the Brazilian striker posted on Twitter and Instagram.
“Even parrots can talk, but walking the walk… not everyone does it. I cried out of happiness, overcoming, grit and desire to win. Things were never easy in my life, so why would they be now? The dream – no, the OBJECTIVE – is still alive. Congratulations for the performance, guys,” added Neymar.
The world’s most expensive player was making just his fourth appearance after breaking a bone in his foot in February. Brazil coach Tite admitted the Paris Saint-Germain star is still not fully match-fit.
“He needs some time to resume his high standard. Before then there is a team that have to be strong and not depend on him. Neymar will have to play a minimum of five matches to get into shape,” Tite stated
However, there is some concern in Brazil that Neymar’s tears are a sign he may struggle to handle the pressure against tougher opposition as the tournament progresses.
“It’s not normal to cry in the second game of a World Cup,” Brazil’s biggest newspaper, O Globo, said. “A team need to demonstrate mental strength, not fragility. Genuine or not, Neymar’s crying is worrying.”