Neymar revealed he “cried for five days straight” after Brazil’s 2022 World Cup collapse, and that he considered retiring from international football after their quarterfinal loss to Croatia.
The 31-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward hasn’t played for his country since the December 9 penalty shootout loss.
Brazil took the lead with what appeared to be the winning goal in extra time, but Croatia equalized with three minutes remaining and went on to win the shootout to go to the semifinals.
“I can’t tell you what went through my head,” Neymar told Casimiro, a YouTuber. “It was without a doubt the most painful defeat of my career.” I cried for five days in a row. It saddened me a lot that my desire had come to naught.
“I’d rather not have scored the goal, for it to remain 0-0 and lose on penalties, than ‘I scored the goal, they equalised, and we lost on penalties.'” Only the players and staff comprehend the agony.
“It was the worst experience of my life.” Someone was crying on one side of you, while someone else was crying on the other. It was an awful feeling, one I never want to have again.”
Neymar has appeared in three World Cups for Brazil: 2014, 2018 and 2022.
After the striker suffered a back injury in the previous round, they were humiliated 7-1 by eventual victors Germany in the semifinals on home soil in 2014.
Four years later in Russia, Brazil were beaten 2-1 by Belgium in the quarterfinals before being eliminated at the same stage by Croatia in Qatar in 2022.
In an interview with CazeTV, Neymar said he had contemplated international retirement after the latest disappointment but was now ready to go again in 2026.
“After the  World Cup, I honestly didn’t want to [return to the Brazil national team],” he said. “But I’ve changed my mind. Because I’m very hungry, right? I changed my mind.”