Heartbroken Neymar breaks silence on whether he will play for Brazil at another World Cup

Brazil's Neymar, left, has tears in his face beside Brazil's Dani Alves, right, after losing the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Croatia and Brazil, at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Brazil forward Neymar said Friday he could retire from international football after his team's penalty shootout defeat to Croatia in the World Cup quarterfinals.

"Honestly, I do not know. I think talking now is bad because of the heat of the moment," the 30-year-old said. "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."

Neymar seemed to put the South American team on course for victory with a stunning 106th-minute strike after a mazy run at Education City stadium. But Croatia substitute Bruno Petkovic equalized with a long-range effort that deflected in off Marquinhos with four minutes of extra time remaining.

Mislav Orsic, Luka Modric, Lovro Majer and Nikola Vlasic converted each of Croatia's spot kicks in the shootout. Rodrygo's feeble first attempt was saved by Dominik Livakovic before Pedro and Casemiro held their nerve only for Marquinhos to send his team's fourth penalty crashing against the left post.

Neymar, who made his international debut in 2010, added: "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."

Neymar's strike saw him equal Pele as Brazil's all-time leading scorer with 77 goals from 124 matches. 

By Agencies Jan. 27, 2023
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