Rio de Janeiro: Brazil star Neymar has said that the 2022 World Cup will be his last assignment for the country. In fact the 29-year-old Neymar may even hang up his boots for good as he ‘doesn’t have the strength to put up with more football’.
“I think it (2022 in Qatar) will be my last World Cup,” the 29-year-old was quoted as saying by ‘DAZN’. “I will play it like it is the last because I don’t know if I will still have the mental strength to put up with even more football,” the Brazilian star added.
Neymar has played in two World Cups so far. He is his country’s second top scorer of all time behind Pele. However, he will be 34 when the 2026 tournament rolls around. His close friend Lionel Messi has played World Cups even after crossing the age limit of 30. Messi, incidentally is playing very well in the qualifiers leading to the 2022 World Cup. Messi will be close to 35 when the Qatar World Cup is played.
Neymar has also stated that he will try to win the winners’ trophy for Brazil in the 2022 World Cup. “I will do everything to get to the 2022 World Cup in great shape. I will do everything to win for my country, to fulfill my biggest dream since I was little,” the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star also said. .
Neymar played in the 2014 World Cup on home soil and scored four goals. However, Brazil suffered a humiliating 1-7 loss to Germany in the semifinals. Neymar however, did not play that game due to injury.
Four years later, in Russia, Brazil were knocked out by Belgium in the quarterfinals.
So far, Neymar’s international honours have been limited to the 2013 Confederations Cup and an Olympic gold medal in Rio in 2016. Injury ruled him out of the 2019 Copa America which Brazil won as well as the 2021 edition where Argentina triumphed in the final.
Brazil are comfortably placed to reach the 2022 World Cup in Qatar having won all nine of their qualifiers in the South American region so far.