Monday, 9 July 2018
Neymar labels Brazil's World Cup exit 'saddest moment of my career'
Brazil's unexpected elimination from the 2018 World Cup left Neymar at the lowest point of his career. The 26-year-old said Friday's quarter-final defeat to Belgium was the worst of his life, bookending a trying few months that began in February when he fractured his foot.
"I can say it's the saddest moment of my career," Neymar wrote on Instagram. "It's very painful because we knew we could've made it, we knew we had the conditions to go further, to make history ... but not this time.
"It's difficult to find the strength to return to playing football, but I am sure that God will give me sufficient strength to overcome anything, for this I will never refrain from thanking God, even in the loss ... because I know your path is much better than mine.
"I'm very happy to be a part of this team, I'm proud of everyone, our dream has been interrupted but it has not been removed from our heads or our hearts."
Neymar couldn't achieve ultimate redemption for a similarly frustrating 2014 World Cup, which ended prematurely for him due to a back injury. The Selecao went on to lose in the semi-finals to Germany in humiliating fashion.
He admittedly entered this year's tournament at less than 100 percent following surgery on his right foot. Despite scoring two goals - one against Costa Rica in the group stage and the other in the last 16 versus Mexico - the Paris Saint-Germain star gained more headlines for his histrionics than his overall play.