Neymar’s retirement claim, where does he rank among the legends of the game?

Brazil Football icon Neymar has said that next year’s world cup in Qatar will be the end of his international career.

 His love for Brazil is immense but currently, he is facing a rough patch in his career. The PSG star has received constant criticism for failing to deliver in big games. Currently, he is Brazil’s 4th most capped player and 2nd top goalscorer. Neymar has an excellent goal-scoring record as he has surpassed many legends such as Ronaldo, Romario, and Luis Suarez. But the only difference between these individuals and Neymar is an international trophy.

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Neymar’s passion and commitment for Brazil were yet again questioned when Brazil lost to Argentina in the Copa America final. After being constantly grilled to prove his loyalty to the country, Neymar has hinted towards early retirement.

In the documentary “Neymar & The Line of Kings,” produced by DAZN, a short clip was published on the channel’s Twitter feed. This is what Neymar had to say:

“I think it will be my last World Cup,” Neymar told DAZN.

“I am facing it like the last World Cup because I don’t know whether I will be able to, mentally, to endure more soccer.”

“I will do everything possible to get there very well,” he added.

“I will do all I can to win it with my country and realize my dream, the biggest since my boyhood. I hope I can achieve it.”

At the start of this season, Neymar was criticised for being out of shape when Brazil won 1-0 against Chile. Neymar fired back at his critics by roaming shirtless in the training sessions to show his fitness before scoring a goal and providing an assist in the next game against Peru. Neymar is Brazil’s top goalscorer in World Cup qualifiers with 12 goals. The 29-year-old will be eyeing Pele’s record of 77 goals for Brazil. The Paris Saint Germain star has scored 69 goals for his country.

Despite being Brazil’s second top goalscorer, Neymar hasn’t won a major trophy with Brazil. He has won the gold medal in Rio Olympics and was part of Brazil’s win 2013 Confederations Cup. His luck with injuries has also played a major role in his downfall throughout the years. Neymar suffered a horrific back injury against Colombia in the 2014 World Cup Quarterfinals, which prevented him from playing in the 7-1 humiliation against Germany in the semi-finals. Neymar was once again injured as Brazil won the 2019 Copa America in Brazil.

The last time Brazil won the World Cup was in 2002 when Ronaldo scored a brace in the final against Germany. The 2002 World Cup-winning team was filled with legends such as Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos, and Cafu. It was Brazil’s golden generation as they also had Kaka, Juninho, and Dida on the bench.

 Neymar now faces a similar situation like Messi as the Argentine was heavily criticized for not winning an international trophy after losing 3 consecutive finals. However, Messi completed his dream after winning the Copa America against Neymar’s Brazil. Neymar was impressive in the final and was fouled multiple times to prevent him from scoring or assisting.

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Mental health is a key part of an athlete’s game as it could make your career or will be the reason for your downfall. Former Brazil player Adriano is a good example of how important is mental health. Adriano was hailed as a long-term successor of Ronaldo Nazario but due to constant partying after his father’s death. Adriano’s career was completely derailed as he was unable to find a way to bounce back from his depression.

 An international trophy is something that is preventing Neymar from reaching the legendary status in the eyes of Brazilian fans otherwise his statistics are remarkable.

Photo Credits: Twitter

In his comments, Neymar expressed that he will be in great shape at the World Cup and also will do anything to bring the trophy home. Only the future will tell if Brazil is the rightful contender for the trophy but if Neymar truly wants an early retirement to his international career, then he will need his teammates to step up to fulfill the country’s dream to reality.

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